As a concept Thanneer Mathan Dinangal is a really vague idea that sort of captures the entire essence of the plus-two life. But I was having a really good time watching it, subconsciously wondering how smartly they carved a movie out of a simple structure. Thanneer Mathan Dinangal was a hilarious ride with a lot of relatable characters. The script that manages to put us in the middle of the action is indeed the hero here and Girish A D lived up to the expectations generated by his short films.
A young boy named Jaison is our main character. When he came to the new school for plus two, he had so much of attitude and wasn’t a liked character among friends. But he gradually got accepted by all. His love life during that plus-two period and how the arrival of a Malayalam teacher named Ravi Padmanabhan causes issues in that life is what Thanneer Mathan Dinangal showing us.
The rawness with which the movie presents the characters and the humor that comes naturally due to that is what makes this movie so lively. Towards the climax, there is a really absurd sequence where our young hero stops a bus and the scenes that came after that created mad laughter among the audience. If you observe it closely, you can realize that Thanneer Mathan Dinangal is not depending on a conventional start middle end structure. From Ravi Padmanabhan to the problems in the romance, the conflicts in the movie were constantly shifting. But the fact that it was all set in the same backdrop makes it a story about the life of a guy during his schooling days. For a while, I thought they might have a Shammi like interpretation for the eccentric cool character played by Vineeth Sreenivasan, but the plans of the makers were simplistic and practical. The movie actually managed to give a legitimate reason for the rift between the student and the teacher.
Mathew Thomas has got an extremely different character from Kumbalangi Nights. Jaison doesn’t have that level headed composure of Franky and the naivety was portrayed very effectively by the young guy. Anaswara Rajan was also equally effortless in being Keerthy. The dynamic they both shared on screen was quite charming and I think everyone can sense that in the already released Jaathikkathottam song. When I saw the trailer I had a feeling that Vineeth Sreenivasan was a misfit as his portrayal looked a bit too gimmicky. But that level of unnatural excitement was needed as the movie looks at him through the eyes of Jaison. Naslen who played the role of that student who went from Science to Humanities was hilarious with his dialogue delivery and timing. The two major friends played by Franko and Vyshak also had a crackling grace on screen. Irshad, Nisha Sarang, Shabareesh, etc are there playing character roles. I really liked the performance of Dinoy Paulose, the co-writer of the movie, who played the role of Jaison’s brother.
The beauty of this film was in the way it establishes each of the characters. By the end of the movie, we have a complete picture of Jaison and his relationship with the family. His behavior is odd and the movie very subtly tells us why. The equation we see on screen between characters is extremely real and somewhere we will all connect with it. The short film scripts by Girish AD also had that quality of exploring the nuances of characters rather than telling a structured story. Here also we are seeing that detailed exploration of a single character named Jaison. We are in a way laughing at Jaison for his immaturity and we are also somewhat reliving the past. The songs are really catchy. The cuts kept the pace and the visuals maintained the warmth and funny feel of the movie.
Thanneer Mathan Dinangal is nostalgic, hilarious and thoroughly engaging. At a time when movies like Oru Adaar Love and Chunkzz are trying to call themselves entertainers, Thanneer Mathan Dinangal proves that you don’t need to create an unreal illusion to create entertaining engaging stories. It’s a joyful fun film with a lot of freshness.
Thanneer Mathan Dinangal is nostalgic, hilarious and thoroughly engaging. It’s a joyful fun film with a lot of freshness.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended