Vinod, Shyam, Arjun, Sajith and Jannath are friends residing in Bengaluru. They live, eat and party together and share a beautiful bond. At times, they pull brutal pranks on their besties like that of making one wear a funny superhero costume on their birthday night and taking him to the pub. Will these pranks become serious or will it remain laugh it out loud?
Vineeth who made his debut as a director in 2015 through Ayal Najanalla has done an impeccable second attempt. Sharfu, Suhas and Arjun Lal has penned a soothing friendship story filled with nostalgia, idiosyncrasies, laughter, fear, anxiety, tears and camaraderie. Cinematographer Shyju Khalid has made it compelling through visuals which paint emotions even through moving camera angles. Deepu Joseph’s editing, Justin Varghese’s music, MR Rajakrishnan’s audiography, Mehar Hamsa’s costume design and Vikky and Kishan’s sound mixing add flavour to it. The sequential tone offered for the visuals by colourist Liju Prabhakar, plays an interesting role in the movie. The colour grading varies as per locations from Bengaluru to Mumbai and according to the mood of the movie.
Tovino Thomas showcases an impressive performance playing Vinod who could be part of one’s life as a friend who touches their souls and become an unforgettable human. The script offers equal space for every friend in the film and Arjun Radhakrishnan, Darshana Rajendran, Arjun Lal and Basil Joseph made the characters persuasive. Aye Auto fame Rekha who appears on Malayalam cinema after a while has rendered her role with ease.
There are films that have a concrete ending and also ones that have the potential to explore more and live on even after it is officially ended. Films such as Inception, Shutter Island, Raincoat, Udta Punjab and Piku are known for their open-ended plots. It’s natural for the audience who live in a spoonfed world to feel annoyed and offer mixed responses to Dear Friend. However, the film that is beautifully built on the intricacies of the myriad emotions that friendships would bring to one’s life, is definitely a contemporary, urban world. There would be a Vinod in everyone’s life and there would be urban loneliness even among the deepest friendships.
Dear Friend is for those who cherish intimate friendships as an important part of the fabric of their life. Letting go, giving space and accepting individuals the way they are are also part of bonding.
– Anjana George