Watching this film I kept wondering what kind of one-liner the director would have given to convince the producers. When you think about it, the concept of Thanneer Mathan Dinangal is so simple that it can work only on the screen. But that is where the magic in this film lies. What looks so simple is brought to life in a stunning manner. Director Girish A.D. who also co-wrote the film makes the film work on a technical as well as emotional level.
There is something here for everyone to connect with irrespective of your age. All of us would have felt some version of what these characters feel. Thanneer Mathan Dinangal is further proof of Malayalam cinema’s ability to find magic in the ordinary. I kept thinking how this kind of a film would have worked in Tamil or Telugu. And to it’s credit I couldn’t see it working as well as it did here. Mathew Thomas who stole our hearts in Kumbalangi Nights is back to show that he can own the screen as an actor. He is perfectly at home as the somewhat cocky, shy and learning to deal with life teenager Jaison. Anaswara Rajan as Keerthi is dignified and etched in a substantial manner. Sure, we get to see most of her from Jaison’s point of view but she is still a fully formed character.
Thanneer Mathan Dinangal is also full of another Malayalam cinema trademark. Characters who appear for only a scene or two have something to say and are very often scene-stealing. This fleshes out the universe that the film exists in. The incidents that happen in this classroom could happen anywhere yet it feels unique to this place. That is a major victory for the film.
Ultimately, this is the kind of film that is guaranteed to make you forgot your worries for a brief while. I had heard good things about the film before seeing it but I was genuinely blown away by the quality on display. A special mention has to be made about the dialogues that brim with life and are full of jokes. These funny quips are not used for the sake of it but it grows and flows organically. Thanneer Mathan Dinangal will take you back to a simpler time. It will put a smile on your face whether you are in school or not. This is the magic of cinema – it captures a specific time yet it allows itself to be timeless. Go watch this if you want a good laugh.
Until next time, bye.