Koimoi Recommends Bangalore Days: The new wave Malayalam cinema has successfully grabbed the attention of the world. But, let’s go six years back in 2014 when this all began. Anjali Menon weaved a resonating narrative of life, people, love and struggles in Dulquer Salmaan, Nivin Pauly and Nazriya Nazim led Bangalore Days, which went on to speak with the masses. Today on Koimoi Recommends I take you back to the film that made many Malayali youngsters see themselves on screen. Let’s discuss why till date it is one of the strongest flag bearers of the new wave and deserves to be so.
Director: Anjali Menon
Available On: Disney Plus Hotstar
Language: Malayalam (with subtitles)
Three cousins, Divya (Nazriya Nazim), Arjun (Dulquer Salmaan) & Krishnan (Nivin Pauly), are stuck in different situations of their life, while they explore it in Bangalore. The city is a collective dream, and what happens when they land there together is the film.
No summary can quite define what Bangalore Days exactly is. All our lives, films have asked one general question, which is ‘what is love?’. Anjali Menon’s film is no exception. What it does uniquely, gives you several shades, let’s say variations of it while not judging anyone’s idea of love even once.
In Bangalore Days, there are estranged relationships, some forever broken, some about to bloom, ideas about an ideal wife, a lady obsessing city life, her husband seeking nirvana. But as I said you don’t judge, because you are in one of those boats. That is the magic of Anjali Menon’s writing.
What makes this almost 3-hour long journey a fruitful one, is the fact that things aren’t obvious. A rural farmer escaping to Goa isn’t a point of criticism. Or a boy (Dulquer) falling in love with a handicapped girl (Parvathy), doesn’t give rise to a conversation around her disability. You are watching her through the said boy’s eyes, and she is the most beautiful woman there. Bangalore Days takes us away from the staple conversations and tells us what we should focus on. Without being preachy even once.
More than following the ‘log kya kahenge’ syndrome, Bangalore Days is what your hearts feels. Here is a city that signifies freedom, what happens when three people with caged feeling at different levels meet here makes the plot. The catharsis is inner and personal, instead of bursting and public. We all have been in one of these situations, and that connects the screen and the audience.
Add to this complex yet meditating screenplay some fantastic music by the master himself, Gopi Sundar. This is a delicacy that I can eat for years. What Bangalore Days and for that matter, Malayalam cinema as full benefits is the fact that the biggest of the actors don’t shy away from collaborating regardless of the screen time.
A cast that comprises of actors like Dulquer Salmaan, Fahadh Faasil, Nazriya Nazim, Nivin Pauly, Nithya Menen and Parvathy will be almost an impossible dream in Bollywood. Here they come together to tell a story that shines like a lighthouse.
Watch Bangalore Days and you must. Let Anjali Menon tell you what shades of love look like, be it with your sibling, parents or spouse. See what happens when the matrimonial structure is questioned. Above all, see how all of this can be said without shouting out the theme even once. Subtlety is a virtue, and Menon owns it.
Bangalore Days Star Rating: 4/5 Stars (Four Stars)