Tovino Thomas’ Dear Friend: A story on friendship and misused trust

Tovino Thomas in Dear Friend

Story: Vinod, Arjun, Jannath, Sajith and Sham are close friends who stay together in Bengaluru. Their life is interspersed with pranks, parties and more and it’s all things fun, until one of them decides ‘enough is enough’, out of the blue.

Review: Are those of us who trust people for their face value naive nitwits? And in a world in which people are increasingly itinerant, how do you judge people right for their character? Vineeth Kumar directorial ‘Dear Friend,’ that stars Tovino Thomas, Darshana Rajendran, Arjun Lal, Basil Joseph and Arjun Radhakrishnan in main roles, leave such a few unsettling questions in your mind once you exit the theatre.

The story centres around a group of Malayali friends working in Bengaluru. They know how to enjoy their youth, and life is mostly about celebration and making memories. Vinod (Tovino Thomas) is one among them and is quite a sweetheart, though he can be quite petulant too at times. While Jannath (Darshana) is a psychologist, the rest of them – Arjun, Sajith and Sham – are techies who are planning a start-up together. Things take a new turn for the group one morning, something that they never expected.

The first half is interspersed with the many fun events of the group and paints a picture of the equations among them. At times one even wonders whether it’s just all about ‘how fun it is to have caring friends who know to make memories.’ But after the intermission, we remain on tenterhooks mostly, yearning to uncover the mystery twist the story took towards the beginning of the second half. You see the same fun group worried and working hard to uncover certain truths, and there is definitely some entertainment watching that, while you remain puzzled on whether to trust your own instincts or not. All the actors in the film are talented enough to help us stay invested in the storyline throughout its length and breadth. It calls for no extra-special performances but some pitch-perfect portrayals, and the artistes have given what it requires.

At the same time, the film need not come across as a fun watch for all, thanks to the disconcerting questions it triggers within one’s mind. Yes, one can brush them off saying ‘these are one-off cases’ but who knows for real? ‘Dear Friend’ might probably help the real gullible ones among us, encouraging to be a bit alert for our own safety.

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