Would you exchange your mobile phone with your significant other for a day? The lead couple of director Pradeep Ranganathan’s sophomore film – Uttaman Pradeep (Pradeep Ranganathan) and Nikitha (Ivana) – are forced to do so by the latter’s dad, which comes across as a sly ploy to pry them apart. And it works. The couple, who keep telling each other corny lines like “Enaku unna pathi ellam theriyum, baby (I know everything about you, baby)”, realise the truth in that one day. Like how Nikitha is still in touch with her ex-boyfriend, who she still fondly calls “Mamakutttyyyy” or how Uttaman Pradeep keeps sliding into the DMs of women under the pretext of approaching them for his short film. As they dig deep into each other’s phones, trust issues creep up and put a question mark on their relationship.
Like his debut film Comali, Love Today also centres around a quirky idea that makes director’s job easy. It also makes the film feel like a string of scenes rather than a seamless story; even the screenplay is segmented. The first half deals with revelations of Ivana’s secrets and then we move on to Pradeep’s. The humour works big time because it is in perfect sync with our pop culture. Maybe, that’s why it feels like you are watching a YouTube channel that’s hilarious, but still YouTube. The characters also serve a single purpose. Take Ravi, sorry Revi, for instance, the purpose of the character is to diss ‘boy besties’, and if you have to ask what a boy bestie is, you are too old for the movie.
“Fun…fun…” a catchphrase of sorts in the film also happens to be an apt description of the film, where every problem is dealt with in a rather juvenile fashion and receive shallow solutions. The film conveniently deals only with softcore issues that are palatable for the mainstream audience. Pradeep doesn’t actually cheat, he just flirts. Nikitha was just helping her distressed ex-boyfriend by going on a car ride with him. Things get whitewashed as we see only the deleted chats and hidden conversations. But what about their search history, their kinks, and our truths that only our mobile phones know? Maybe, those are too dark for this film, which wants to end on a rosy note.
The film may want to be modern at its heart, but there’s a Boomer-ish vibe that seems to be at the core of it. A case in point is the characterizations of Revi and Mammakutty. Though the film pretends to be accepting of the idea of the heroine having other guys as friends, the gaze it has towards such relationships is outdated. It doesn’t see its hero or heroine with the same lens. At the end of the day, he is another ‘Momma’s boy’ and she is ‘Daddy’s little princess’. I wish the film had just been a long string of comedy sequences, instead of becoming another moral science lesson, just like Comali.
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