Language : Tamil.
Director : Darbuka Siva.
Writers : Darbuka Siva.
Cast : Kishen Das, Rahul Kannan, Sacchin Nachiappan, Varun Rajan, Harini Ramesh, Naren Vijay.
Genre : Drama
Streaming on Zee5.
Coming of age films are always fascinating. They instantly take you down memory lane and eventually leave you with a smile, or at times tears, by showcasing relatable incidents. Mudhal Nee Mudivum Nee, the directorial debut of Darbuka Siva, is a pleasing film that succeeds in evoking the above-mentioned emotions in its viewers.
MNMN is a film of two halves. The first half, set in the ’90s, traverses the high school life of a group of students and encompasses everything one would relate with that time and age; friendship, love, curiosities, ego, school, farewell, and more. The second half takes us through the reunion of these students after almost 10 years, and where each of them are, in terms of their life and relationships.
The biggest positive of MNMN is how the emotions are beautifully conveyed. Every character has its own set of arcs and while some of them are not satisfactorily fleshed out, you end up empathizing with most of them. The entire school portion is a winner with enough elements to evoke nostalgia among the audience. The 90’s setting and the innocence of the period are beautifully captured by Sujith Sarang. However, the second half is a mixed bag with events taking a while to develop, thus stretching the run-time. The tonal shift between the phases is quite jarring and the reunion portions needed better character dynamics to keep it engaging, which is only achieved towards the end. The final act, though impressive as an idea, doesn’t blend in organically with the proceedings and the makers could have tweaked the latter half to arrive at a more satisfying conclusion.
MNMN boasts of a wonderful cast dominated by debutants. From being the naive, confused, and fun-loving kids in the first half to the more mature and sophisticated adults in the reunion portions, the actors have put up a commendable performance. Each of them has managed to leave a mark with their portrayals.
Darbuka Siva makes an impressive debut here. His ambitions are clear and his talent is evident. The film also showcases his caliber as a writer, and is definitely a multi-talented artist to look out for. He also shines as a composer as the score plays a salient role in making MNMN a heartening affair.
Overall, even with flaws, Mudhal Nee Mudivum Nee is a cute little feel-good drama that is definite to leave you content at the end of its runtime. With good music, great performances, and some nostalgia-inducing moments, this film has got its heart in the right place.
Verdict – 4/7 stars.
Darbuka Siva’s directorial debut.