100 Days of Love Review
Jenuse Mohammed takes up an age old romantic tale to mark his directorial debut, and despite striving hard to pull off a spoof here or there, hardly manages to pull it off. The flimsy script that talks of a tale that had been told a million times does not even for a moment illuminate something new.
Well, perhaps not. The (only) one thing that makes '100 Days of Love' stand apart from the scores of love tales that we have heard and reheard, is the way in which its protagonists have been named. Balan K Nair (Dulquer Salman) has reinvented himself as BKN, especially after having discovered that it isn't easy living with a name as the one he has been bestowed with. That his best friend happens to be Ummer (Shekhar Menon) is perhaps just a coincidence.
It certainly seems to be more than a happenstance though, when Balan K Nair discovers love at first sight, when he sets his eyes upon Sheela (Nithya Menen), and starts tacking down her whereabouts. When Mr. Money Bags Rahul (Rahul Madhav) turns up as her fiance, the picture is complete, and it only takes some time before it all ends up well, and they live happily ever after.
While the film does make the admission that all romantic tales essentially happen to be cheesy, it appals that no efforts are made to bring down on the cheesiness bit. For that matter, '100 Days of Love' rarely endeavours to look beneath that pretty surface; or perhaps it knows for sure that there is nothing much to be found in there.
There are the trials to make the tale appear a tad different, like for instance in the climax where at the railways station, things do not go as planned. But these purposive attempts hold very little significance, except appear as convoluted events that do not let the film stay on in the rutted track that it has already fallen into.
In a Shree 420-esque turn of events, Balan takes Sheela under the umbrella, as the rain rages on, and breaks into a song. Thus it is that '100 Days of Love' becomes a puddle of romantic cliches that proves a bit too bland even for its target audience.
It's become almost funny to see Dulquer Salman in the role of a youngster who is having trouble communicating with his parents. I wonder what it is about him that makes film makers want to cast him in a role in which he is having familial issues, in film after film.
But he, along with Nithya Menen, make an incredibly charming pair, and together they light up the screen with their admirable presence. Shekhar Menon lends that special flair that makes the role of the well-meaning, roly-poly buddy worth a remembrance. Vineeth and Praveena make a fleeting appearance, while Rahul Madhav pitches in his little bit with the right amount of flamboyance.
'100 Days of Love' is stunningly shot, thanks to cinematographer Pratheesh Verma's magical frames, with Bijibal's background score ramming away in the backdrop. The autumn colours and the night lights do proclaim that love is in the air, but alas, '100 Days of Love' smells more like an adolescent crush than a classy romance.
It takes the wine drenched words of Balan, a rain and a whole lot of thinking for Sheela to decide once and for all, as to what she truly wants from life. It takes infinitely lesser time for us to decipher what '100 Days of Love' is all about - a swoonless romance bereft of smiles or sighs.
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