Film: 100 Days of Love
Direction: Jenuse Mohamed
Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Nithya Menon, Sekhar Menen, Rahul Madhav
“What we talk about when we talk about love”,a short story by American writer Raymond Carver, is the interpretations of love by four different people, who despite myriad deliberations fail to define the intricacies of the emotion. For starters, director Jenuse Mohammed is the son of veteran filmmaker Kamal. He treads the much travelled rom-com road into tinsel town with his debut ‘100 Days of Love’. However, like the characters in the short story, the film is an attempt at portraying the nuances of love which ends up tangled in the trivias and travesties instead.
The heroine Sheela (Nithya Menon), who does not belong to the ‘church of love’, firmly believes that love is a bundle of complexity that she rather shun.
To her “love has an ugly side”: Jealousy, Ego, possessiveness and of course the squabbles”.
Hence, when flamboyant Rahul (Rahul Madhav) pops the question to her, she readily agrees as she prefers the “stability” of marriage over the fickleness of love. But for the romantic protagonist Balan K Nair aka BKN (Dulquer Salmaan) love, unlike Sheela, is a different ball game altogether.
Though ditched by his earlier girlfriend he holds firm to his pursuit of true love and sets out to find “The One”.
The plot of the film circles around the love story of Balan K Nair and Sheela, and is set in the backdrop of the bustling upscale Bengaluru. The movie opens with the narration of BKN about the 100 days of his love story. He works with The Times Newspaper as a feature writer, but aspires to become a political cartoonist. As BKN sees the pictures posted by his ex-girlfriend with her new lover on FB, he starts binge drinking and lands himself in a lot of trouble after his sardonic comments on her posts goes viral.
Meanwhile, he is fired from his job and his rival-colleague Romanch (Aju Varghese) is made a permanent employee. But things take an unexpected turn for him when he crosses path with Sheela. He then sets out with his gamming-nerd friend Ummar (Sekhar Menon) to track her down. Their search for Sheela and the things that transpire forms the rest of the plot.
One striking highlight is the play with the names of the lead characters- Balan K Nair and Ummer, heroine-Sheela and Villain-Rahul (the name of most mushy lovers in Bollywood flicks). The makers tried their best to infuse the entire plot with love, but when the plot thickens “love” slips off to the backseat,and the title 100 days of Love falls flat. It only evokes one question -what the director talks about when he talks about love!
Remember all the movies you have seen, you can experience shades of them in one form or the other through out the movie(from Casablanca to Batman). Hence, it tempts one to assume that it is a rip-off from all the movies that Jenuse Mohamed grow up watching. Even the classic line from Casablanca -’Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine’- stands testimony to this assumption. Dialogues are mediocre.
The idea of presenting Dulquer Salmaan in a double role was totally unwanted. Nithya and Shekar Menon delivers a decent performance but Dulquer gives nothing remarkable. It is an old wine which tastes a tad different, and thus watchable.