Dear Friend movie starring Tovino, Darshana, Basil, Arjun Lal, Arjun Radhakrishnan and Sanchana explores a different and often ignored theme of friendship. Some audiences were, in fact, disappointed with the climax of the movie. Others were bored with the entire movie itself. But it worked completely fine with a small category of audience. Why, is it so? Though it comes under the mystery genre, Dear Friend revealed answers to many mysterious questions and confusions about the idea of friendship for me.
So, let me probe more into this area.
The three categories
Let me specify the three categories of audiences whose experience of the movie was distinctive.
The Luckiest One
The first category falls under the luckiest ones for they have experienced genuine friendships for the majority of their life. They might have one or a set of close friends since childhood. That might be their cousins, neighbours or school/college/work friends. They have some great people to trust and rely on throughout their life except for a limited amount.
The Self-centered One
Before you reprimand, I’d like you to imagine some situations. There are people who share a great bond with classmates or other acquaintances while in school or college. But once the course is finished, you will lose touch over a concise period. Even after your frequent efforts and initiatives to keep in touch, they might not be interested in continuing the friendship. For them, it is just a “temporary relationship” that exists for the sake of time. It has no future and it is not meant to carry over something that has met its expiration.
The I-Know-What-This-Feels-Like One
The third category is the people who took this movie to heart. They have considered and still consider friendship to be one of the most important relationships in their life. For them, a best friend is important like a parent-child, sibling or life partner relationship. “Friends Turned Family” is their motto. If I am not wrong, they might also have faced some backlashes in friendships too.
Also Read: Types of Friendships portrayed in Malayalam movies
What is the meaning of friendship?
This question was ringing in my head when the movie ended. The above three categories of people are mostly likely to answer this question in three different senses. So what exactly is friendship and how do you define it? Moreover, how do you define what it is worth in your life?
Some of you might have healthy and long friendships in life. What makes you special from the others? Was it a by-chance occurrence or did you try the hard way to chase a well-made and popular personality to make them your friend? I know these are a substantial amount of questions but they are never ending and rhetorical at times too.
A friend stands by you, supports you in dire need, motivates you and simply leaves you one day?! Is that exactly how a friendship should work?
Also read: How Malayalam Popular Culture Views Female Friendships
So, I took the shortcut and asked about the meaning of friendship to the know it. And this is what Wiki said:
“Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people. It is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an “acquaintance” or an “association”, such as a classmate, neighbour, coworker, or colleague.
Even though Wiki isn’t a reliable source, their meaning of friendship makes so much sense, right?
What is real friendship?
Do you have that tendency of calling everyone who falls beyond the category of “relation definitions” a friend? Then you must definitely think about this question. Be it a colleague or classmate, there is always something different about people that makes likeable. But more than similarities, some tend to hold special places with their personality and behaviour.
Vinod in Dear Friend is a charismatic young man who became a team worker, partnering with his friend on a new business venture. He helped another friend lend him money to complete a house construction. He recently rejected a proposal advance and still kept Amrutha’s friendship. He also supported his two best friends, Jannat and Arjun, in their marriage. In everyone’s eyes, he was a perfect gentleman and friend.
Also Read: Friendzone: Revisiting & Smashing Some Common Tropes
Then where did he go wrong? Or did they go wrong? It is all about one’s perspective. But there is definitely more to friendship than just the perfect “Vinod Vibes”. That is why the climax was accepted with much bewilderment.
Friendship does not just denote being supportive or understanding. It is not just about being together, always partying, playing or touring. Like in any other relationship, it also comes with the three pillars of strength, trust and respect. In the movie Dear Friend, Vinod does appear like a nice person and is a shining star to his friends. Things turn out to be adverse when they find out more about him after his disappearance.
Do you remember a similar scenario from the movie 3 Idiots Farhan and Raju search for their long-lost college best friend Rancho? And in the turn of the events, they find his entire identity was fake, but they understand him and finally reunite. Do you still think our Vinod was also a poor “Phunsukh Wangdu” in disguise? Then, my friend (leave the Wiki explanation for now), you are innocent as a dove. Because there wasn’t any genuineness in Vinod’s story like Rancho’s. Ghosting by friends is not new. And as an unpopular opinion, a friendship breakup hurts just like any other. Any relationship becomes meaningful if there is truth and cohort affection between people. Think of all are the Ranchos and Vinods in your life. And if you are lucky enough, you can find some Rajus and Jannats too.
I know the meaning of real friendship cannot be confined to just an article. Take your time and contemplate what exactly good friendship means for you. Do you have a different opinion or is there more to add? Do let us know in the comments.
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