For much of its running time, Friendship feels like a checklist of movies set in a college. We get a scene involving raging, a fight between seniors and juniors, a celebration song inside the campus, a couple of classroom scenes where the professor is made fun of, a scene in a hostel of boys watching porn, a sporting event (here, it is a cricket match, which is a no-brainer given that Harbhajan Singh plays the lead), a bike ride, sentimental dialogues on friendship… you name it, and it is here! The principal players are a group of mechanical engineering students (a robotic Harbhajan, a typical Sathish and co) and the new girl, Anita (Losliya, overly expressive), who has joined their class.
Now, Anita is the kind of character who we get to see only in our films. She is that fearless newbie who tells her seniors that she expected them to rag her better, that great sport who doesn’t mind her picture being morphed and called a call girl, that person who makes friends with everyone, and that annoying character who is chirpier than a bird. Wait, if you think ‘loosu ponnu’, let’s tell you that she is way more than that. She is a loosu ponnu with cancer! And just when you think you might not be able to adequately feel sorry for her, she also ends up getting gang-raped and murdered!
And suddenly, from an ordinary campus drama, we are dropped into a middling courtroom drama involving innocent girls, lustful rich men (insert Pollachi sex scandal references), corrupt cops, crooked cops, arrogant politicians (the late Venkat Subha plays a minister) and amoral lawyers (an effective MS Bhaskar). We also have a lawyer/vigilante, played by Arjun, who is solid in the role, even though it is hard to shake off the irony of the #MeToo-accused actor arguing for the safety of women. In the end, we are told that “women are our responsibility” and shown a classroom that is in mourning. And we leave the theatre hardly being affected by neither the film, which is so generic, nor the performances, which are, at best, functional.
******A generic campus movie and a middling courtroom drama****
OPEN RATING : 2.5/5