Director: Arun Bose
Cast: Tovino Thomas, Ahaana Krishna, Nithin George, Vineetha Koshy
For all those who love a good romance and the associated feelings of love, the lead pair of Luca (Tovino Thomas) and Niharika Banerjee (Ahaana Krishna) will surely satiate. The good-looking pair brings to life a romance that is sweet, poignant, happy and sad in parts. But if you think this is a romantic film, then here is news; there is also an investigative thriller penciled in a non-linear manner.
The film starts off with an unexpected event that sets in motion an investigation by police officer Akbar played by Nithin George. A diary which Akbar reads takes the audience through the lives of Luca and Niharika, with the diary playing the role of a storyteller. Luca, an orphan, is an extremely talented scrap artist with a very small circle of friends. Luca has a lot of anger in him that pours forth in violent streaks when something irritates him. The film is set against the backdrop of the Biennale and Luca locks horns with Niharika when she passes childish remarks about his installation. She later seeks his forgiveness and moves into his home as a paying guest and from there develops a very close friendship between the couple that transforms into an all encompassing love. She becomes the calming force when he simmers with anger and becomes his guiding strength ready to brave every storm that threatens them to any ‘end’. Luca suffers from thanatophobia (fear of death) and Necrophobia (extreme fear of death or dead bodies) and Niharika becomes his comfort when he goes through such episodes. Niharika, too, has got her share of childhood secrets that have left a permanent scar in her which Luca in turn understands. Into their dreamy world enters a villain in the form of a medical condition and all hell breaks loose. A drastic chain of events begin which eventually sucks Akbar into it. Akbar is fighting his own demons with a prior failed relationship and an impending divorce from wife Fathima (Vineetha Koshy). Luca’s and Niharika’s love story changes him at some point, while he solves his case.
Tovino breathes life into his character and you only see Luca the artist — highly talented, romantic, angry, empathetic, pained, funny and naughty. Ahaana is the perfect foil with her calm demeanor and rational thoughts. Debutant director Arun Bose does have some directional lapses when extreme close-ups lay bare the poker faces of Akbar and Fathima who almost seem mechanical. Certain story gaps are not filled and some story situations evoke disbelief. When positivity is the buzz word now, the film takes a step back to wrongly state that ending your life can be a viable solution.
A lasting impression that stays with you about the film is the colourful frames, be it the clever artwork and the flamboyant yet casual dresses of the lead pair. Special mention must be made of art director Anees Nadodi, cinematographer Nimish Ravi and costume designer Remya Suresh. Music director Sooraj S. Kurup (who also acts in it) has done a decent job. Go watch Luca for Tovino and Ahaana’s chemistry....