Synopsis: Three cousins — Arjun (Arya), Divya (Sri Divya) and Kutty (Simhaa) get to realise their childhood dream of living in Bangalore, and have to deal with the turns that their lives take there.
Review: Anjali Menon's Bangalore Days was overlong with a plot filled with cliches — a marriage where the man is unable to forget his past love and accept his wife (a sort-of Mouna Ragam with the roles reversed), an impulsive, aimless individual learning to enjoy life after falling in love with a girl who is a motivational figure, a goofball character whose 'romance' is used largely for laughs, and even a climax that involves stopping a character from going abroad! And yet, the film worked and connected with its audience, because it played out more as a wish-fulfillment fantasy, invoking nostalgia (cousins enjoying each other's company), and filled with feel-good moments that one savour many times. But mostly, the cast, which included the younger generation of Mollywood, was simply terrific.
No wonder that when the cast of Bangalore Naatkal was revealed, the news was met largely with dismay. But, surprisingly, this remake works to a large extent (if you haven't seen the original, even better), because the director, Bommarillu Bhaskar hasn't made any drastic change to the original script and manages to capture the emotional drama of the scenes. The film is still overlong (despite clocking in at 156 minutes compared to the original's 172) and does take a bit of time to warm up to — the initial scenes are bland and the lead trio, especially Simhaa, are stiff and do not project the conspiratorial closeness that cousins share. Bhaskar is also unable to capture the rural setting. But once the action shifts to Bangalore, the scenes become more casual and free-flowing. It also helps that the three characters are finding themselves in a new situation and that makes their performances feel real. Sri Divya might not be as chirpy as Nazriya, but she gives a confident performance as a small-town girl in a big city. The only issues are her whiny voice (the actress has dubbed for herself) and the out-of-sync dialogues in the initial scenes. Arya, in fact, is more believable as Arjun, because the role is that of a biker and requires him to be a moody individual who doesn't show his emotions on the outside. We even get used to Simhaa after a point, but Rana Daggubati is clearly miscast. The actor can do brooding roles but here, as Prasad, a newly married man who is unable to forget his girlfriend (Samantha), he doesn't project the character's reluctance to let his wife into his life.
The sub-plot involving Kutty's mother and father does not feel as organic as they did in the original (even there, they seemed a bit unnecessary) but it delivers the laughs here and Saranya Ponvannan has a great time playing the role of a woman who gets to satisfy her yearning for city life.
But then, we begin to care about these characters and their problems — Can Divya make Prasad forget his past and fall in love with her? Can Arjun discover the happiness in live and get together with Sara (Parvathy, who reprises the role she played in the original and is fantastic) before she moves to Australia? Can Kutty find his one, true love? — we are swept up by the narrative (and Gopi Sundar's emotive score), despite the predictability, and start enjoying it.