Bangalore Days is a Malayalam language movie by Anjali Menon, which follows the lives of three cousins whose childhood dream was to live and enjoy life in Bangalore. Arjun, Kuttan and Divya, and their challenges are portrayed in the movie as they traverse their lives in Bangalore, a city full of opportunities, urban living, and cultural fusion. As their lives overlap in this bustling city of Bangalore, their experiences, ambitions, and aspirations in the city differ. The film cleverly explores their shifting identities and lives as well as how they have adapted to their environment by using architecture as a narrative component.

Kuttan’s Nostalgia and Traditional Kerala Architecture

An architectural review of Bangalore Days-Sheet1
traditional Kerala residence _©https://www.youtube.com

Kuttan’s purpose of relocating to Bangalore was to follow better opportunities in work. Kuttan’s yearning for his family home in Kerala is a beautiful reminder of a period when people lived simply, in close connection with one another, and with nature itself. The movie effectively places scenes to represent this strong nostalgia through architecture, spaces, activities, people, and even food. His family home is a traditional Kerala residence with spacious rooms, verandas, and open courtyards. With areas created to stimulate social interactions and outdoor activities, this architectural style encourages a lifestyle focused on family and community. 

The architecture of his home encourages a strong connection with nature and a slower, more reflective style of living with its wooden pillars, tiled roofs, and large open areas. Activities like farming, gardening, and outdoor gatherings are made possible by the surrounding green areas, filled with coconut trees and banana trees, lush vegetation, clear ponds, and agricultural areas. These spaces and activities are essential to the traditional way of life that Kuttan values. This yearning for his cultural roots makes it hard for him to transition to his new busy life in a closed apartment area, where the activities differ, people differ, and the way they interact also differ.

Transition to Urban Apartment Complex: A Lifestyle Shift for Kuttan

Kuttan and his mother’s lifestyle changed dramatically once they relocated to Bangalore and moved into an apartment complex. Their new flat is a small, contemporary space that is suited for urban living. The apartment complex’s architecture, with its high-rise buildings, small balconies, and shared amenities, represents a move from an individualistic and social lifestyle to one based on efficiency and practicality.

The large yards and gardens that were integral to traditional Kerala residences are absent in the apartment complex. The characters’ social dynamics and everyday activities are impacted by this shift. Rather than tending to a farm or garden or making use of the outdoors, members participate in more urban-focused activities like making use of the complex’s well-designed common spaces.

Kuttan’s mother, unlike Kuttan, adapts swiftly to these changes. While Kuttan longs for the traditional spaces of his home in Kerala, Kuttan’s mother finds the newfound freedom and privacy to be extremely freeing. She finds the community areas, societies, and friendships with other women in the apartment complex to be delightful. She indulges in modern living, with no responsibilities and better access to the world.

Das and Divya’s Bangalore Apartment

An architectural review of Bangalore Days-Sheet2
Das and Divya’s apartment _© https://www.youtube.com

Divya’s Bangalore apartment is the perfect example of a contemporary urban dwelling. It is a modern, rather minimalistic area that captures the goals and way of life of the city’s young professionals. The rooms’ neutral colour scheme, modern furniture, and practical decor all point to a move towards a lifestyle that is more centred on one’s work and independence. Additionally, Divya’s flat is a massive contrast to the traditional, large residences from her upbringing. The lack of a private yard or garden denotes a change from the easygoing, outdoor way of life she was used to. Rather, her new surroundings encourage a hectic, fast-paced lifestyle where social gatherings and alone time are frequently packed into smaller, yet well-designed areas. This is also a huge change in her life, as she moves from being a vibrant teenager to the responsible role of a wife. By highlighting Divya’s adaptability to the opportunities and challenges of urban life, the move to this contemporary living area emphasises efficiency and independence.

Although these architectural structures have advantages, there is also a possibility that individuals might move away from the community as a result of these lifestyles. Das is one instance of this. He hardly knows anyone on the same floor or in the same building as him, and he is detached from everyone in the building. However, being a naturally outgoing individual, Divya makes the effort to get to know every one of her neighbours and creates a dynamic environment for herself. Das leads a modest existence, but Divya adds colour to it throughout the film. Their lives become more bright and alive. Beginning with Divya’s multicoloured artwork on the large glass windows finally lets in some colourful light, acting as one of the beautiful aspects of Divya that Das notices. She also contributes to the flat, signifying how their surroundings are influenced by the personality of the residents. She adds more vibrant objects, plants, pictures, and sparkling accessories to this space as she spends more time in the apartment.

“Bangalore Days” employs architectural design to reflect the evolving goals and ways of life of its protagonists. The move to Bangalore’s urban apartment lifestyle emphasises the change from a nature-connected way of life to a more individualised, functional urban lifestyle. The film eloquently examines the difficulties and possibilities of adjusting to new surroundings through its architectural narrative, outlining the influence of architecture on our identities and way of life. “Bangalore Days” is a testament to the transforming potential of architectural environments, capturing the broader concepts of adaptability, evolution, and the pursuit of a meaningful, balanced existence in a world that is always changing.

References:

Bangalore days – ബാംഗ്ലൂർ ഡേയ്സ് Malayalam full movie | Dulquer Salmaan | Nazriya Nazim |TVNXT (2020) YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryjQJBguys0 (Accessed: 09 June 2024).