Transitioning a short film idea into a full-length feature is somewhat risky since you have to work hard to fit a lot of stuff into it. But nevertheless, few ideas are worthy from the moment they are born. Love Today is one such worthy idea that has a tremendous scope to be a complete entertainer and has succeeded in every way.
The premise of two lovers exchanging mobile phones sounds hilarious and instantly guarantees fun, hopefully when executed well. Love Today is a lot of fun, with superbly written exciting sequences that follow one after the other. There is so much room to write as many scenes as you want, and Pradeep Ranganathan has done an excellent job of picking the best ones and weaving them into a sequential screenplay that is entertaining. Once the phones are exchanged, the pace of events, from unlocking the phone to slowly unfolding one issue after the other, is just right, especially the first half, which is an exponential laughter riot.
The director’s first film, ‘Comali,’ is also very interesting, but Love Today worked much better for me due to the seriousness with which it is handled. Aside from the fun aspects of the film, the intense content reflects the maturity of the writing and execution. The underlying content of the phone conflicts is very much about connecting emotionally with someone who is in a relationship or has come across these things. It is natural for a writer to become engrossed in a slew of social issues, but Pradeep has done so without sounding forced. Women’s harassment on the internet, for example, and body shaming issues have blended in seamlessly with the original script.
Because of the demand created by the first half, the second half of the film felt a little slow with a few used and expected scenes towards the end ; but the emotional transition worked well, and that’s how you have to end a movie which has been the practice for years. There are personal scenes that raise questions about one’s honesty in a relationship and are told with utmost clarity.
Uthaman Pradeep is played by Pradeep Ranganathan who portrays a typical youngster and fits perfectly, carrying the film with his natural performance. Sathyaraj as Venu Shastri rocks with his usual sarcasm and attitude, but his characterization is slightly exaggerated. The fight scenes between Pradeep and Sathyaraj are fantastically staged and well received by audience members. Needless to say, Radhika is fantastic as always. Ivana, as Nikita, had such a difficult role early in her career and did it justice. Notable performances include Pradeep’s friends, who contribute to the comical sequences, and Yogi Babu and Bhaarath, who use the space they have to perform emotional sequences in addition to their usual comedy.
Yuvan’s delightful music, once again, plays a major role in the film. Characters like Revi, played by Aajeedh, Mamakutty, and Vijay Varadaraj, are typical characters that we see in similar stories, but the director handled them well to avoid clichés.
Love Today provides an in-depth analysis of the current generation’s love, relationship, and trust issues, which I believe is absolutely brilliant content to present and that the team has done brilliantly with the necessary flavor of comedy to make it enjoyable.
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This is Madhan Ranganathan (a) Felix Kingsley - Behind the Mirrors
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