Synopsis: A boy and girl who are friends since college fall in love. But, can they stay together?
Review: It’s always a pleasant surprise when a small film manages to punch above its weight. This refreshing little romance does this in an impressive manner, even while ticking all the genre indispensables. The film revolves around an ordinary boy and a girl, Shiva (KG) and Athulya (Athulya). He is happy-go-lucky and romantic, she is driven and practical. He lives in Coimbatore with his friends, she lives in Pollachi with her mother and sister. But they have been friends since college days, and meet up often. Gradually, they fall in love with each other.
But once the blush of romance fades, everyday realities — the inconvenience of a long-distance relationship (even if it is just 40-odd kilometres), money (Shiva is mostly short of cash) — and circumstances — a colleague, Karthik (Aneeruth) proposes to Athulya — drive a wedge in this relationship and threaten to break the lovers apart.
The filmmaking is a bit rough around the edges (the first few minutes are student film-like) and the actors are somewhat raw (though both KG, with his boyish looks, and Athulya, with her expressive eyes, look the part), but there is genuineness here and the writing is sharp, with lines that are both light-hearted and perceptive (“Pudicha vela kooda pudicha sambalam illana pudikama poyidum”). And the characters are all very much relatable. For all his faults, Shiva comes across a sensible chap who wants to make the romance work. He even takes up a job that he isn’t interested in to keep his girlfriend happy. And Athulya, remarkably, is a strong female character. She wants to make it in this world on her own. When her job (as a reporter) requires her to have a vehicle, she decides to learn how to ride a motorbike by herself (initially). Even Karthik is, thankfully, not painted as a villain, but as a decent guy who has expressed his feelings for the heroine.
This is also a film that acts as an antidote to all the misogynist stuff that we see in our films. Shiva’s friend (played by the director himself) does spout dialogues that depict girls as bloodsuckers, but the director balances these with witty counters by the heroine. In one scene, Athulya remarks, “Ponnungala thittina dhaana ippo ellaam kaiyya thatturanga”, and we feel that she couldn’t have put it better. Small touches like the reason behind Athulya’s attachment to her bike or Shiva’s relationship with his friends help us to emotionally get attached to their characters. This is also why we badly want them to get together once the threat of a breakup begins to looms large.