Director: Girish A.D.
Cast: Mathew Thomas, Anaswara Rajan, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Irshad, Nisha Sarang
How it is to be in love as Class XII students? The movie Thanneermathan Dinangal portrays that in a pleasant and realistic manner. It is a mix of love, envy, disappointment, classroom jokes and fights. Jaison (Mathew Thomas) is deeply in love with Keerthy (Anaswara Rajan), but it is not easy. As Jaison tries his best to win Keerthy’s heart, Ravi Padmanabhan (Vineeth Sreenivasan) enters the scene, complicating his love life.
Thanneermathan Dinangal is a journey through Jaison’s problems, which according to him put his life at stake.
Mathew Thomas, who forayed into films as Franki of Kumbalangi Nights, is fantastic as Jaison. He lives as Jaison, meticulously depicting each emotion on screen. With Anaswara joining him, the entire story turns cute and nostalgic to viewers. Anaswara, who debuted with Udhaharanam Sujatha, has given a neat and mature performance as Keerthy. Their love story could not have been this beautiful without Jaison’s friends who deliver a subtle performance. And, as the title suggests, Thanneermathan (watermelon) plays a crucial role in their story.
Director Girish A.D., who is known for his short films Vishudha Ambrose and Mukkuthi, has chosen his comfortable zone for his feature film debut. But, it is safe in his hands. The script is penned by Girish and Dinoy Paulose, who also acts in the movie as Jaison’s brother. They have brought different kinds of characters that one could possibly find in a Class XII classroom. Thanks to the writers for avoiding the cliché body shaming jokes that are usually used in teenage romcoms for comic purpose. The friends are flawed persons and tease each other sometimes, but they don’t take a dig at other person’s body, merely for humour.
Also, the writers have succeeded in pulling together elements of the movie that follows more of a non-linear narration. It weaves a few incidents of their two years on a thread, accompanied by good, sometimes humorous background score, songs and scenic visuals. A neat editing also helps in maintaining the flow. The dialogues are natural, and tickle our funny bones most of the times.
Vineeth Sreenivasan is hilarious as Ravi Padmanabhan. Though we can predict his fate and intention by the middle of second half, he is surely an integral element that keeps the plot lively. Vineeth has done justice to Ravi, who is different from his previous outings. Towards the end, the movie slightly changes its tone; it turns dramatic, disturbing the easy flow. It looks a tad silly. However, it quickly resumes the pace.
At a time when certain films portray teenage romance backed with absurd and sexist jokes, Thanneermathan Dinanagal is a juicy and breezy attempt. It wins in striking a chord with the audience through its realistic moves and dialgoues....