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MatchBox  ( U ) (2017)  (Malayalam)
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MatchBox Review

Matchbox is a poor imitation of all the modern romcoms that took moviegoers by storm.
1.6 out of 5 (Poor, A Few Good Parts) MatchBox NOWRUNNING REVIEW | Vighnesh Menon
Rating:  1.6/5
Nowrunning Critics: 1.6/5 | Users: 1.5/5
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Malayalam cinema and Indian cinema at large have had a problematic history with romcoms. The stories are almost always dominated by one perspective; of course, the male perspective if you were wondering.

It is only fair for viewers to expect to see both sides of a fictional romantic relationship so they can invest in their adventure/misadventure. Here, until the final few minutes, we have no clue what the girl(Drishya Raghunath as Nidhi) is going through while the boy(Roshan Mathew as Ambu) gets to whine about everything and anything related to his romance. 

But perhaps points of view don't matter if the material is strong, right? Unfortunately, this love story has no depth. It falls right into the convenience of love-at-first-sight and stalking. Exchange a few glances and the two are suddenly in love. So easy. This is after giving the heroine the benefit of the doubt, since all we can read about her character is that she has a pretty face. Period. Heck, even Facebook Live has a role to play in deciding the fate of the lovers, and that's saying something. Lastly, when the hero is referring to himself in third person during pivotal romantic moments, you know you are in for some agonizing cringe. 

For a film like Matchbox, which never gives a hint of bringing anything new to the table, its lazy drama virtually evolves as its identity after a point. Lacking ambition and smartness, the makers simply romanticize whatever constitutes Malayalam pop culture, so to speak, to make the film look cool. So, there are several nods to Communism, secularism and all that jazz, or, in a nutshell, the Thattathin Marayathu-brand of love. 

It also goes a little too far as a copycat movie, latching onto amateur filmmakers' obsession for 'oners'/long takes. What Angamaly Diaries turned into a wonderful cinematic device earlier this year becomes a big joke here, conceived sans any imagination or purpose. Such a shameless rejection for originality makes Matchbox, at best, a weak rip-off of many trendsetters in Malayalam cinema. 

Alongside welcome supporting turns from Shammi Thilakan and Sharath, the chemistry between Roshan Mathew and Vishak Nair is the closest to a silver lining in Matchbox. Their partnership sprinkles some life into the movie, which is as silly as its title suggests. These actors deserve better. And the makers could enjoy a reality check, what with the failure to light this match.
Critic: Vighnesh Menon
 1.6 out of 5 (Poor, A Few Good Parts) 1.6 out of 5 (Poor, A Few Good Parts)  

0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good

Other Critic Reviews

1.50 Stars
By Kiran & Allen

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Rajoy Alfes  Super Reviewer
'Matchbox' has a silly storyline and a very poor screenplay. The first half was dumb, and the second half though it held some promise in the beginning, fell flat and sometimes was even ludicrous. Watch it only if you don't have anything else to do with your time and money.   MatchBox User Rating

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