At its core, the thought behind Dear Friend from Vineeth Kumar is an extremely personal emotion that almost all of us might have gone through. It is about the pain one feels when one realizes that the space and importance they gave to someone doesn’t necessarily reciprocate. The movie aspires to create a lumping pain in the viewer’s mind. Even though we do feel for those characters, a shattering pain was somewhere missing in the making. Dear Friend is an appreciable attempt that couldn’t hit that emotional peak it wanted to clear.
The movie is about this gang of friends. Vinod, Arjun, Shyam, and Sajith. These four people are trying to launch a health-based app. Jannath is Arjun’s love interest, and she also is part of the gang. Things were going pretty smooth for the group until Vinod went missing and they all got questioned by the police. The investigation of these friends to know about their lost friend is what we see in Dear Friend.
Spoiler Alert! The character of Vinod is the mystery factor here. The audience and the characters are trying to figure out this “is he a good guy or a bad guy” dilemma. What everyone has experienced about this person is positive, but what they hear about him is negative. The idea is to place Vinod somewhere in that Kallan Prasad space so that the lack of clarity can make us somewhere think about his less discussed past. Judging Vinod for his attitude is tough, and at the same time, the pain of the friends becomes easily relatable.
Vineeth Kumar as a director keeps it real. I expected the movie to go after familiar conflicts in friendship films. But the writing and the making kept avoiding such paths. The bonding of the gang is shown through sequences that put a smile on our faces. Shyju Khalid presents a charming Bangalore in front of us, and the room sequences were captured to make us feel like someone sitting in that room. Deepu Joseph maintains intrigue in the narrative despite having a slow tempo. Justin Varghese’s background score also works for the movie’s emotional arc.
Tovino Thomas is immensely likable as Vinod in the movie’s first half. And that pleasant nature of the character really helps the film make that second-half dilemma strong. Darshana Rajendran as Jannath was wonderful. Arjun Radhakrishnan gets another memorable role after Pada. Arjun Lal, who has co-written this film along with Suhas and Sharfu, was good. Basil Joseph was funny for sure. But there are areas in the second half where his performance was really impressive. Sanchana Natarajan, Hakkim Shajahan, Rekha, and Jaffer Idukki are the other major names in the cast.
The presentation of the pain felt by the friends needed a little more intensity from a scripting point of view. The gut-wrenching pain in Arjun’s final question to Vinod wasn’t translated effectively to the screen. The writing somewhere couldn’t make us look at Vinod in an empathetic way. There are certain films that are so good that a particular flaw diminishing its glow disappoints you deeply; Dear Friend was one such experience.
There are certain films that are so good that a particular flaw diminishing its glow disappoints you deeply; Dear Friend was one such experience.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended