The opening sequence of ‘Love Today’ is a long One Plus phone ad, but it blends with the biggest theme of the film, so the blatant product placement wasn’t as awkward. Pradeep Ranganathan is the director, writer and lead character in this 2022 flick which follows the story of the couple Uthaman Pradeep and Niktiha Shastri (Ivana) who are challenged to swap their phones for 24 hours by her father. That’s his only condition to agree to their marriage. Will the phone swap lead to new revelations or will the lovers retain their trust in each other?
Sathyaraj as Nikitha’s strict lawyer dad Venu Shastri gets a more dramatic entry than the hero himself, and deservedly so… since he is the instigator of chaos in lover’s paradise. Radhika Sarathkumar plays Uthaman Pradeep’s mother, who is tired of him being on the phone and hilariously schools him around the house. Pradeep Ranganathan is quirky as the flawed boyfriend, with a motley crew of guy friends who are there to help in out in troubled times. His performance reminded me of Dhanush, although Pradeep isn’t as larger-than-life and has a more relatable persona. Ivana as his girlfriend delivers a decent performance but her character could’ve needed more development. Among the few things the script gets right is the desperate ways in which guys try to get a girl’s attention and how social media can be an absolute hellhole.
‘Love Today’ has a fantastic crowd-pleasing kind of entertaining first half, but what starts off as a zany fun film, gets unnecessarily serious in the second half. Both Pradeep and Nikitha discover things on the other’s phone that angers them, but the script defends some of Pradeep’s clearly creepy behavior by introducing creepier dudes. Basically, viewers are told in not so subtle terms “yeah, this guy is cheap, but there are men out there who are way worse”.
If younger viewers can see this as a farcical comedy and not take any inspiration off it, ‘Love Today’ is an entertaining film, but the second half is too prolonged. Comedian Yogi Babu has a significant cameo as a dentist who is engaged to Pradeep’s older sister Divya (Raveena Ravi). While the secondary couple’s sub-plot is funny, things get soppy and preachy towards the climax. Had the movie been twenty minutes shorter, with the drama toned down, I would’ve gone for a higher rating.
It’s a 6.5/10 from me. Stream it on Netflix.
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