Director: Sreebala K Menon
Producer: Mukesh R Mehta, Dileep
Production Co: E 4 Entertainment
Music Director: Bijibal
Cast: Dileep, Nikhila, Suhasini Mani Ratnam, Lena, Sasikumar, Shankar Ramakrishnan, Idavela Babu, Sudhi Koppa, Sreenivasan, Manju Pillai, Alensiar, Jaiprakash Kuloor, Krishnan Balakrishnan, Sidharth Siva, Krishnaprabha, Sujatha, Baby Anjitha
The assured sense of tone that is apparent in Sreebala K Menon’s debut feature ‘Love 24 x 7’ renders it a film that takes pleasure in the simplest of its moments. Roopesh Nambiar (Dileep) is a leading television journalist, who works at the channel ‘Naalaamidam’, and is enamoured by a new trainee with a fancy name – Kabani (Nikhila Vimal).
When he realizes that Kabani has none of the Wayanad roots that he had expected her to have, he is surprised, but she shocks him further with a horrendous Trivandrum slang. Nonetheless, love strikes between the two.
The romantic tryst is observed with much adoration by Sarayu (Suhasini), a dear friend of Roopesh’s mom, who is haunted by the loneliness all around. When she meets her former class mate and lover Satheesh (Sasi Kumar) after eons, the duo recognizes that it’s never too old to get going again. Burying their bygone lives under the carpet, Sarayu and Satheesh decide once and for all, that they should perhaps start living for themselves.
‘Love 24 x 7’ is thus all about the choices that we get to make in life, some of which lead us on to decades of never ending regret, and some others that we force ourselves to be happy with. As life flits by, remorse sets in, and the new array of alternatives that one is left with, hardly make any sense.
I would say this is a film that gains fantastic momentum in the latter half, with a highly realistic, unexaggerated love tale that draws you right in. Sarayu and Satheesh keep the dramatics at bay (expect on an odd occasion when he offers her a flower and proposes), and go about the business of being in love all again, with an exactitude that is impressive.
The contrast between the two stories works excellently well, precisely because one is marred with immaturity and the other is liberally doused in mellowness. You cannot simply miss the spark in the writing, and at least a couple of sequences stand out from the rest.
In one such scene, Sarayu talks of the inevitability of falling in love, and then the helplessness that accompanies it through a brilliant analogy with a stray dog that has let its head into an earthen pot. In another, Jayasree (Lena) waxes eloquently on the gender issues that very much exist in the media realms, just as it is a reality in several others.
However, Sreebala’s first ever directorial venture isn’t without its share of blemishes. For one, it does not convincingly let its younger pair fall in love as it does the older couple. Even as we are told that Roopesh and Kabani are inseparably in love with each other, one wonders when it had all transpired! And, there is an epilogue of sorts that goes on as the titles roll up at the end, which sound at once needless and totally unwarranted.
In fact I was all the more disappointed since I was tremendously impressed with the way it had all ended – just as in real life – with an add on message that life simply repeats itself. Which is why I would pretend that I hadn’t been witness to the epilogue bit.
Here is the third heroine that I am writing about this week, who has left a mark with a striking acting debut, and Nikhila Vimal looks like she is here to stay. It’s refreshing to see Dileep in a role that lets him be anything but the comic self that he has over the years restricted himself to. Suhasini and Sasi Kumar make a lovely pair, and Lena is simply wow in a short, but significant role.
The sensitivity that Sreebala displays in handling the theme at hand, makes ‘Love 24 x 7’ and honest film, that is warm, tender and heartfelt. It has an old-fashioned sweetness to it, that lets its characters ingratiate themselves into your heart.
2.8 out of 5 (Fairly Good)