100 Days of Love

TICKETS:

$10.00 for adults
$5.00 for Children (ages 5- 12)

It did, yes it did resemble the Zooey Deschanel-Joseph Gordon starrer 500 days of Summer, but it has borrowed very little apart from the title idea from the movie. And that could be good and bad news, depending on how you look at it.

It all starts with love, and other such disasters. A ditched lover, who likes to call himself BKN (Dulquer Salmaan), whose biggest claim to fame is an FB comment that went viral, even though he’s a feature writer working for a behemoth organisation. He runs into Sheela (Nithya Menen) and after a short while of contemplation, decides to stalk her. Luckily for him, she left her camera behind—an antique SLR. So what does he do? He takes off the reel and develops the print. To find her. To take to social media at this point conveniently slips off his mind.

Mission stalking is activated with BKN and his friend Ummachi (Shekhar Menon) on the job. And they had to run into her, owing to the predictable scenarios. Now wait, what are we missing—the man who is officially with the girl being stalked but most often has to give her up, since the more intense the wooing, the harder the girl falls. That man here is Rahul (Rahul Madhav). We do get the drift, but the only question is, is there a reverting from the clichés we’ve seen over a hundred times.

Coming to the direction, Jenuse Mohammed has packed up frames replete with references from all genres of movies and music. From a Casablanca dialogue, the Gregory Peck-Audrey Hepburn-Lambretta scene from Roman Holiday acting as backdrop to a song, to a Frank Sinatra song Strangers in the night setting the mood for a candle-lit dinner, a casual reference to Guns and Roses, Audrey Hepburn again on the wall of Sheela’s bedroom, the movie endorses the idea of an elite urban love story. And just when this European movie tour seems to have gone overboard, the antidote for this appears in the names of the central characters. BKN is the shortened version of the name—Balan K .Nair! And as Ummachi puts it, “Sheela and Balan K. Nair, what a pair!” This little name-play was probably the funniest moment.

And the Bangalore Days fever continues, with Bengaluru being named half a dozen times as the best city to be in. And to a large extent, it justifies Nithya Menen’s slightly anglicised Malayalam, as well, owing to the Dubai-Bengaluru Keralite tag.

What’s amusing though is, the director’s vision of Bengaluru. The city, on his canvas, is classy; the Bengaluru here is quaint, with faint colonial flavours. The camera works brilliantly around the colours and frames, and most of them look postcard ready. Even the black-and-white song, infusing a pun where Dulquer shows Nithya Menen a monochromatic dream looks great, even though it’s ill-timed.

The movie’s highlights are those little dear diary moments—a girl’s unique gift to her parents, the hero sloshed and dropping off to a snooze half-way through his proclamation of love, and the antics that ensue the declaration make the movie watchable, after a rather discordant start. Dulquer plays a slightly varying, but very similar shade of character from his recent releases—that of the quiet but progressive young man. He does that effortlessly, but the silliness surrounding Aju Varghese’s Romanjan is distracting. Nithya Menen’s character has been given a lot of breathing space, and she’s at ease. Dulquer 2 (a lookalike brother) is an eyesore, and pointless. Thaikkudam Bridge Govind Menon’s music fits the bill.

100 Days of Love is breezy and great to sit through. The irony though is that after making references to umpteen clichés, (also rubbishing the ‘Rahul’ syndrome in Bollywood), the movie itself resorts to a lot of them by the end of it. It does shimmer, every now and then, but then again, all that glitters needn’t turn out to be 916!

-ARATHI KANAN, ON MANARAMA

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