Spotlight on Bangalore

Director's Take

Spotlight on Bangalore

Bangalore could well be the metonym for the aspirations of countless young people. While not eulogising the virtues of the City blindly, director Anjali Menon’s Malayalam film ‘Bangalore Days’ is arguably one of the best depictions of this city in recent times.

 Making waves at the box office, the narrative revolves around three cousins who chase their dreams to Bangalore. At one layer, the film represents the dreams of many, while on the other, it tells their story. Anjali says, “Bangalore has always been one of my favourite cities. During my school and college days, I would think, ‘someday I am going to rock there’.” While that didn’t happen, her film did bring her back. 

“The film is young and energetic and captures the spirit of the time. It is also about the concept of Bangalore, about the experiences of coming out of home for the first time and embracing life outside the familiar,” she says. 

She did not leave the location to chance to tell her story. It was a deliberate choice. The urban splendour has been captured through versatile shots. But she says that the City has changed over the years. “I was perplexed when I came here to shoot. It had changed.” 

One of the houses that they shot included one in Cox Town, with its quaint old world feel. “But we couldn’t find more such places. In some of the houses, one half was modern and the other old,” she remembers, “But it was wonderful shooting here. We did all our shoots early in the morning to avoid the traffic.”  

“Like most cities, Bangalore has opportunities in terms of a career. More than the infrastructure facilities, there is tolerance. People from other states and those with a foreign background are all living together,” she adds, while pointing out the  ‘barricade of propriety’ back in Kerala. 

   For those who don’t understand the language though, there are subtitles. “The content of the film is such that anybody can relate to it,” she explains. It was one big picnic that she never wanted to end. 

“I met such wonderful people here. For instance, one day, we shot at Cafe 42, which is in Indiranagar. I just called the owner and asked him ‘can I come over to shoot?’ and he said ‘no problem’. We literally barged into the place and shot there,” she laughs. 

   The character played by Dulquer Salmaan is that of a motocross rider. The film, therefore, captures motocross practice locations at the Big Rock Motopark, the motocross training centre. “It was shot in Kolar and the place is run by CS Santosh, a national motocross champion. “The riders too made it happen,” she adds.

Anjali, who was a student of the London Film School and is known for such films as ‘Happy Journey’, Manjadikkuru and ‘Ustaad Hotel’, is also a busy mom. “I love what I am doing. 

At the home front, I have a supportive family. They are the main source of my strength. I know when I come back home, irrespective of what happens to the film, that is my space.” 

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