Taking up a remake is always risky business. This is a phenomenon which has been discussed over and over again in the past, and is a great topic of debate in the days to come. The latest remake to hit the marquee is ‘Bangalore Naatkal’, which is Bommarillu Bhaskar’s marginally altered perspective of its Malayalam equivalent.
There are two things you can do when you remake a film. Either you make it a scene-by-scene translation and play it safe, or gamble around with your own version of someone else’s vision. Bhaskar here, takes the former route. There are very minute, negligible changes, sans which the film is very similar to Bangalore Days. Though the first half is awkward and strives hard to make a connection, the second has a good share of feel-good moments, making it the better of the two. It is only when the film divulges into the sea of emotions that it begins to score, with the little-off-nought performances not adding much to the mix. Above all, it is Bhaskar’s packaging and presentation which makes Bangalore Naatkal a passable, watchable ride.
The biggest drawback of the film lies in its unacceptable casting. While Arya tries his best to impress with his so-called lazy elegance, Simhaa is a complete misfit in a role aced by Nivin Pauly in the original. It is really tough to see him struggle with that kind of an accent, letting go of a handful of good scenes with his amateurish acts. Rana Daggubati is probably the pick of the lot, managing to walk the talk, despite his big built structure being a small hurdle. In return, the girls uphold Bangalore Naatkal, barring the one miss in Raai Laxmi. Sridivya is superb as the bubbly and cherubic Ajju, and she deserves a lot of praise for her dubbing efforts which well match up with her performance. On the other hand, Parvathy pulls off a near-perfect show as RJ Sarah, lighting up the screen whenever she’s on it. It wouldn’t be fair to go off without talking about Saranya Ponvannan, who adds Bangalore Naatkal as another feather to her already overflowing cap. And Samantha, well, some cute smiles in a blink-and-you-miss walkover.
While the cinematography and the editing stays adequate, Gopi Sundar’s music is a blend of his tunes from the original OST and some fill-in-the-blank work. A little bit of trimming to finish the final cut at less than 150 minutes would have helped this too.
Altogether, Bangalore Naatkal would be a fine watch for those who have kept themselves away from Anjali Menon’s ostensibly superior version. For the others, it is a time-pass fare with a few good moments to take back home.
Verdict: Gently absorbing rehash.