“What is love for you?”, asks an interviewer and comes the reply, “Something that cannot be described but can only be felt.” While Mythili said so, Neena says, “Love is love, as simple as that!”
The definition of love may change for each individual depending on the situation and behavioural patterns. The latest Malayalam anthology movie on Manorama Max, titled Something something like love, treads six love stories. The stories varying in terms of age and gender portray a magical connection between two people in six breezy chapters.
Meera (Nilja K Baby) and Vivek (Hakkim Shahjahan) begin the opening chapter with a casual conversation about their work. Though both are settled within their family territories, both find a sort of relief as they get together. The duo chooses each other to weave a facade and bond during their stressful work hours. The 26-minute story is engrossing enough with subtle performance from the lead pair. The climax, which comes smoothly, is one that is well thought out.
Nenjukkul peythidum aa mazhai
This teenage romance is nothing entirely out of the ordinary but has got its own style of narration. The adolescent love between Sera (Nazlin Salim) and Amal (Rahul RMR) is steered gently. Although the scenes are as predictable as in every other young romance tales, the 28-minute story offers happy vibes throughout. While the narrative is from a female perspective, a bit more depth could have made the characters all the more interesting. For instance, Sera is someone who doesn't want to fall in love but ultimately she does, but we never know why she falls for a guy like Amal. It is the girly talks between Sera and her friend, played by Amina Nijam, that add to the authenticity.
Endings and beginnings
Every beginning has an ending and all endings herald a new beginning. This is perhaps the cue for the 29-minute short film that showcases the troubled married life of Sana (Raveena) and Aadhil (Sanju Sanichen). While the two claim that there is a good rapport between them as friends, things aren't working well as a couple. The plot which begins with a gloomy tone could have been crispier. Though the narrative carries a 'done and dusted' appeal, the film offers neat performances from the stars with no sermon to preach.
An old young love story
Similar to the lines of Sudha Kongara’s Ilamai Idho Idho from Putham Puthu Kalaai, the 19-minute 'An old young love story' is a warm story of two old people who get married and find love in each other. Unlike in the Jayaram and Urvashi starrer which began with an already established love, here C Narayanan and Archana Menon as Balu and Bhanu take their own time and space to find the perfect love. In a scene where Bhanu questions Balu for ignoring her before his friend, the focus is on the cold gaze of society over old-age love. There is a warmth as you watch the elderly seeking companionship and this one is as easy-breezy watch as the earlier teenage romance.
25 days of love
This is another refreshing story in this anthology which explores a casual relationship between two people over a brief period. While Mythili, aka Medha, (Raveena) is a well-known writer, Tejus (Sidharth Varma) is an architect by profession and an avid reader. Tejus loves Mythili's writings and falls for her when he meets her in person. There is a natural progression to how the characters fall for each other. Sans cliched dialogues or juicy romance, the characterisation tugs at your heartstrings. Though 45-minute long, with a delightful performance, the film has a breezy ending too that puts a smile on your face.
Love is Love
The 29-minute film is indeed a welcome development in Mollywood. In an industry which boasts of films like Padmarajan's Deshadanakkili Karayarilla, this one does a good job of normalising a queer love story. Without delving into the many societal issues, the film majorly deals with the emotions of two female protagonists respecting each other's feelings. The film has a similar plot as in the episode 'She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not' in Netflix's recent anthology Feels Like Ishq and stays true to the essence of the theme.
To sum up, Something Something Like Love, directed by Shahabas CA and written by Parvathy Madhu, is about experiencing the little shades of love in everyday life. The cinematography by Nithin Shekhar and Arun Gopinath is refreshing with varied colour tones in each chapters. The scenes inside a car deserve a special mention. And on top of it, the music by Bipin Ashok comes convincingly etched out in the free flow of narrative.
The film is a step in the right direction where all the shorts can be treated as stand-alone films under a common header. Given the many anthology tales coming in of late, Something Something Like Love should be watched for its honest attempt.
(Something Something Like Love is available on Manorama Max.)