Director Pradeep Ranganathan on making his acting debut with upcoming release ‘Love Today’, which has music by Yuvan Shankar Raja
A young couple is forced to swap phones for the day in the movie Love Today. What happens next is a hilarious and heartbreaking series of incidents that make their lives miserable. How can one be sure their partner is the one for them? “Taking your time in love is okay. According to writer-director Pradeep Ranganathan, the goal is not to find the “right one,” but to realise that there isn’t one.
Pradeep, who gained notoriety for his debut film, Comali, which starred Jayam Ravi, has spoken out about love in all of its manifestations. He hopes to tell a story about love through a couple (played by Ivana and Pradeep himself) who exchange mobile phones to better understand each other in Love Today, his sophomore film, which will be released this week.
This will be a “good love story” that discusses contemporary love, according to Pradeep. But given that both love and film are constantly evolving, what exactly qualifies as a good love story? It’s simple, ah kedaikardhu manasula nikkadhu (What comes easily will not stay in the heart). A good love story, in Pradeep’s opinion, “shows two people overcoming all obstacles and sorting out their differences in order to be together,” he says.
Despite the fact that love changes over time, Pradeep asserts that its fundamental characteristics never change. Perhaps this is also the reason he agreeably detests the way modern social media users refer to anything retro as cringe and anyone who is sensitive and emotional as a “emoboi.” Paasam and nesam are now regarded as embarrassing. The same is true when I display a mother giving her child food while a musical track is playing in the background. Is that cringe-worthy? People only count on us to display emotion to a certain degree. Love, however, is an emotion, and emotions never change. I think people will start referring to this as a “cringe culture,” notes Pradeep.
Love Today is a modern-day romance, but because it is also the name of Vijay’s romantic drama from 1997, the title is a tribute to the nostalgia of old-school romance. “Yes, it fits the story, but it also works because it’s the name of a successful movie. Such publicity is necessary for a movie like this with few well-known actors, claims Pradeep. Not just the title, either. Despite this being Pradeep’s second film, he already seems to be certain of its purpose and its target audience. He insists with assurance that after the initial weeks, his movie will draw families to the theatres. “Because I am a very normal person, my calculations are as they are. I don’t belong to the elite crowd of spectators, who I estimate to be just 1%. I watch what the people around me, who make up 99 percent of the audience, like to watch, and I try to please them,” he claims.
This self-awareness that Pradeep possesses is also the reason he chose Yuvan Shankar Raja to compose the soundtrack. Pradeep, a fan of Yuvan’s ability to evoke strong feelings, vowed to bring back the “vintage Yuvan.” But it’s also crucial to see what this specific script requires. Yuvan has the ability to highlight both the pain and the purity of love. Pradeep needed to be clear about what he wanted in order to customise it to suit his needs. “I would give him the situation and a few suggestions; he would pick one and we would have a back-and-forth. How receptive he was to change surprised me.
Pradeep will also make his silver-screen debut as a hero this Friday when this movie opens in theatres. People have made derogatory remarks about my appearance all of my life, says Pradeep. They no longer have much of an impact on me and I feel numb. I am confident in who I am, and I think audiences will like what they see,” he asserts. His confidence as an actor is also a result of his extensive training. “Whenever I read a script aloud, I portray every character and speak to the entire audience. It’s become routine, and I enjoy watching their responses,” he says.
The filmmaker in Pradeep isn’t content just yet, despite having produced a comedy and a romantic comedy. I’m not interested in being stereotyped as a comedy director. I actually intended to make a sci-fi actioner after Comali, but circumstances forced me to make Love Today instead,” he says, adding that his upcoming movie, which has a major star attached to it, will be a change in genre for him.
He has performed fairly convincingly as an actor. Although he has a strong screen presence, he will need to put in a little more effort to handle emotional scenes. Ivana has done a nice job as Nikitha. Her performance leading up to the climax feels very natural. Despite having less screen time, Sathyaraj’s performance causes the screenplay to improve in the middle. He is just ideal and adds interest to the situation. The role of Pradeep’s mother is well suited to Radikaa Sarathkumar. Both Raveena Ravi and Akshaya Udayakumar, who play Ivana’s sister, gave their all. The background music by Yuvan Shankar Raja raises the tension as the scene nears its climax.
Overall, Love Today is a fun movie to watch and a great weekend activity.
Love Today movie review: 3.5/5