From Romeo and Juliet to Preetham and Nandini (of Mungaru Male fame) we have seen millions of couple fall, rise and die in love. So, a love story in a movie is no surprise. But what makes a movie different and watchable is the emotional quotient and the connect it has with viewers.
Darling Krishna’s Love Mocktail gets this connect right as he takes a slice out of a common man's life. The movie takes off with a middle-aged Adi (Darling Krishna) driving to the coastal region and rescuing a woman on the way. She accompanies him through the journey where he opens up about his love, life and an array of emotions he has been through over the last few years.
Adi (played by a teenager who looks very similar to Darling Krishna) has a major crush on his classmate (Reema). But like most boys, he is hesitant to approach her. But his antics like caring for her and dreaming of a future with her keep him busy. Once the bubble is burst, Adi wakes up to reality and gets into an engineering college where he meets Jo (Amruta Iyengar) who comes from a well-to-do family. Though her love is true, she has her own doubts about his ability to take care of her and provide the lifestyle she deserves. But this doesn’t keep them away from enjoying and living in the moment. After engineering, he joins an IT company and promises to fulfil her desires. But Jo, who is under pressure from her parents to marry a well-off guy, breaks up with Adi. Heartbroken, Adi meets Nidhi (Milana Nagraj), an IT employee and a down-to-earth woman, who enjoys the simple things in life. What follows is another interesting tale.
Urban love stories are what the youth look for in romcoms these days. Ideal couple goals, a dream wedding, a cutesy love story and a bundle of emotions - Love Mocktail has it all. The music and cinematography enhance this usual love story which comes with a touch of reality. There are several takeaways from the movie - teens dreaming about marrying their school crush, pressure from parents to study in candlelight, cash/currency-strapped college days, waiting for hours to get back 100 free SMS (pre-Internet era), friends who stand by like rocks in tough times, the strong bond a husband and wife share, happy moments, and more. All these small elements of life, shown through a rose-tint, put a smile on one’s face.
The movie, by and large, connects to the urban teens and youth and remains true to its genre - a romance saga. Throughout the movie, like most people, Adi looks for love. When he finds Nidhi, he is satisfied. But when she leaves him, he doesn’t look for love anymore. He has now leant to live with the bittersweet memory and all the love she has filled him with. This whole concept, freshly refurbished, stands out in the movie.
Darling Krishna has managed both acting and direction with responsibility. He has got casting, music and the storyline right; he has made the right choices. The locations too have contributed to bringing the story alive. His performance is up to the mark, especially as a doting husband. Amruta Iyengar shows promise and potential. Milana Nagaraj has a refreshing character and plays her part well. Milana must continue to pick roles like these that bring the best out of her. A few VIPs have played a guest role in the movie, including Vijeth Suvarna, a well-known biker and restaurateur.
Raghu Dixit’s music and Sri Crazy Minds’ cinematography are the biggest highlights. Raghu has inserted the right notes in every scene and the songs too bring out the feel-good factor. 'Love you Chinna' and 'Neene Yendigu' linger even after coming out of the theatre. Sri’s camera deserves special mention for showing the greenery and coastal Karnataka like never before.
Love Mocktail, served ahead of Valentine’s Day, is a pleasant romantic experience for the weekend.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.