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HomeOther CountriesMalaysia'Love Today': witty romcom that is thought-provoking - Free Malaysia Today

'Love Today': witty romcom that is thought-provoking – Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: If you and your partner have an honest and trusting relationship, you wouldn’t think twice about surrendering your handphone to him or her, right? Or is the very idea too preposterous to even consider?
Yet this is the situation a loving couple find themselves in when the girl’s father declares that he will only consent to their marriage if the two swapped handphones for a full 24 hours.
After the initial feelings of shock and outrage, the two nervously agree to make the swap, hoping that their love for each other can withstand this challenge. After all, there are no secrets between them, right?
Well, the theatrics that unfold in Tamil film ‘Love Today’ will get you thinking hard about the degree of trust you and your significant other have for each other and whether some things, being too trivial to matter in the larger scheme of things, are best kept under wraps to save the integrity of the relationship.
Director Pradeep Ranganathan, who also makes his acting debut in the film as the lead character Pradeep, sweeps the audience up in the tensions and chaos that ensue between him and Nikitha, played by Ivana, as a direct result of the handphone swap.
Seeing the ugly side of someone you love 
Just as it is never a good idea to read someone’s diary, it’s equally dangerous to snoop around your partner’s social media accounts for past lovers, current acquaintances of the opposite sex and online flirtations, no matter how innocent.
The movie explores these issues, and while retaining its sense of wit – it is a romcom after all – there are enough emotionally-charged scenes when the two, livid that certain truths have been exposed or misconstrued, go at each other relentlessly, fuelled, by their insecurities and pride.
The wide array of emotions – from deep love to intense hatred – are excellently portrayed by both actors, and the audience will find themselves swept up in the betrayal and conflicted as to who to root for.
Clearly, the lovebirds have some tough questions to answer about their future together and how they now view themselves not only as individuals but as a couple, and the value they place on their privacy.
Was the whole exercise an unrealistic demand by a domineering father secretly hoping for a disastrous outcome? Must two people in a relationship know every single detail about each other’s life? Don’t some things deserve to be kept private? And are careless flirtations truly despicable when neither party acts on it?
Male-dominated lens
While the movie poses these questions, some not-so-acceptable aspects of Indian life are brought to the fore – particularly male superiority and female submission.
Despite Nikitha being an educated, working woman and therefore financially independent, she still submits to her father’s will without even the slightest objection – a common trait in the portrayal of women particularly in Tamil movies. Is it a question of respect for one’s elders or the superiority of a man over a woman, no matter what her station in life?
Nikitha is also portrayed as having ‘betrayed’ her current lover simply because she keeps in touch with her former boyfriends, and occasionally chats with random men on Instagram.
Meanwhile, Pradeep ‘misadventures’ with other women are pretty much swept under the carpet, highlighting the gender inequality that largely persists in Indian society.
So, will the lovebirds kiss and make up? Or will they go their separate ways, learn from this recent life lesson and become wiser, more mature individuals because of it?
There’s only one way to find out… so switch off your handphones and keep your eyes peeled to the screen for a simple romcom that asks some tough questions.

‘Love Today’ is currently streaming on Netflix.
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