Cast: Arya, Rana Daggubati, Divya, Bobby Simha
Direction: Bommarillu Bhaskar
‘Bangalore Naatkal’ is a faithful remake of the original ‘Bangalore Days’, but with an angle that reflects more of the Tamil’s sentiments towards Bangalore: great for a weekend getaway but a complete craze? No thanks.
Starring Arya, Sri Divya and Bobby Simha, the film explores the lives of three cousins - Ammu, Aju and Kutty respectively and how their trajectories were altered by the decision to go to Bangalore and live life without much preconception. It’s as though all these utopias and fantasies we garner about a life well lived are to be found in the garden city! But the garden city ends up offering a host of surprises - both good and bad ones - just like any other city. And despite being a bit stereotypical in parts, director Bommarillu Bhaskar has succeeded in capturing fleeting moment of love, redemption, heartbreak and joy.
The film is premised by the fact that Divya Raghavan is to marry Prasad (Rana Daggubati) - a businessman who lives in Bangalore; and Kannan (Bobby Simha), who had landed an IT job in the same city. Arjun aka Aju (Arya) an aspiring bike racer meanwhile comes from a more splintered background and hopes that his new move, with the help of his cousins turns his life around.
However, not everything is easy and sweet in their new vicinity: Divya’s marriage goes nowhere as her love is hardly reciprocated. Aju finds hope when an RJ, Sarah (Parvathy,) enters his life. But the past doesn’t vanish just like that and it exerts a strong pull on the course of Aju’s new direction. Even Kannan, the least involved character among the three, dates an airhostess Lakshmi (Raai Laxmi) and their relationship goes terribly wrong.
Stability might seem like a rare commodity given the predicaments. The cousins nonetheless manage to find a little magic and love for life. Director Bhaskar has infused the film with unforgettable moments of joy and laughter. If images of Paris, New York, Vancouver, Buenos Aires and Amsterdam reflect a very particular kind of attraction, where you feel that the buck stops and ‘this is it,’ then ‘Bangalore Naatkal’ too has a very similar vibe. Except that, as already mentioned, one questions how much of this can actually be true for someone from Tamil Nadu.
It is after very long that Arya shines in a character, which is fleshed out believably with his unsullied performance. Sri Divya as Ammu improves quite a lot as the film goes on. Her realistic portrayal with her first attempt on dubbing her own voice has paid off. Bobby Simha at times felt like a dues ex machina - just another prop to change the tide of the script. And Rana seems to have continued his imposing stature from ‘Baahubali’. Parvathy who reprises the role, which she did in the original continues her good work. Samantha, Saranya, Prakash Raj and Rai Laxmi fit in their roles perfectly. Gopi Sundar’s music and Guhan’s cinematography elevate the proceedings.
That said, Bangalore Naatkal’ is certainly a feel good watchable film.