: Ad filmmaker James, and Alice, a banker, marry against parents' wishes. But the marital bliss is short-lived with their busy careers playing spoilsport with their lives.
: It's said that often in a marriage, the woman looks at it as a moving train, and her husband considers it a station. The story arc of James and Alice is quite in sync with the analogy. Presented in a fragmented, flashback-heavy style, the movie is a simple portrait of a contemporary relationship, of a young family that is going through a rocky patch.
Lovebirds James (Prithviraj) and Alice (Vedhika) got married fighting oppositions and they have been together for several years. But, real life gets in the way gradually with James inadvertently prioritising his career, and now they are at an impasse in their relationship. The movie's implicit message is familiar to all who have grown watching movies and TV serials in India - Being happy in a marital relationship means learning to play the game and how an ideal family will always be the one with an intact household of parents raising their kids together.
The film's narrative unfolds in two separate timelines, juxtaposing their youthful days of happiness and the current phase of discord. To start with, the theme is too familiar and done to death, that what could have saved it was a novel treatment with tight packaging. After a slow yet decently engaging first half, the movie's drama just intensifies a lot more through the irritatingly predictable story line. All the inexperience of the debut filmmaker glares through the movie, and even the dialogues come across as extremely cliched, with familiar, sappy, agony aunt-style relationship conversations lined up one after the other. There is a portion where an 'autopsy' is held of the soon-to-fail relationship with someone asking the husband, 'When is the last time that you told your wife that you love her?' And another in which the husband's best friend 'educates' the wife on his pure love for her... Viewers desperately wait for at least one refreshing line of thought or dialogue in these sequences, but in vain. The characters also hardly challenge the lead actors, but the child artiste playing their daughter has given a convincing performance.
James and Alice does have the aftertaste of a genuine attempt, but offers no good-enough takeaways as a movie.