Watch Matchbox

"A story from Hamara Kozhikode"
  • 2017
  • 2 hr 16 min
  • 5.4  (161)

Matchbox is a 2017 Indian Malayalam-language romantic comedy film directed by Sivaram Mony, crafted to appeal to a youthful audience with its engaging storytelling and relatable characters. Starring Roshan Mathew, Vishak Nair, Drishya Raghunath, and an ensemble of other talented actors, the film is a colorful and vibrant tale of love, friendship, and the trials and tribulations of young adulthood.

Set against the backdrop of contemporary Kerala, the film introduces us to Ambu (Roshan Mathew), a young man who is the very embodiment of the average Joe – endearing, slightly clumsy, and very much waiting for life to present him with an opportunity to shine. He leads a life that's monotonous but comfortable, surrounded by a close-knit group of friends who add color and chaos to his everyday existences, such as the irrepressible Gopan (Vishak Nair). Gopan is Ambu's best friend, and the duo shares an almost brotherly bond, tackling life's ups and downs together with a smile and plenty of wisecracks.

However, Ambu's life is turned upside down when he stumbles upon the free-spirited and fiercely independent Drishya (Drishya Raghunath). Drishya's entry into Ambu's life is like a breath of fresh air, challenging him to step out of his comfort zone and pursue dreams he had almost forgotten. She is like a puzzle that Ambu cannot help but try to solve, captivated by her unique perspective on life and her refusal to conform to societal norms.

The chemistry between the leads is palpable, as they portray the innocence and excitement of new love, which is further heightened by the palpable chemistry between Ambu and Drishya. Their relationship unfolds in a series of encounters that are as awkward and tumultuous as they are sweet and genuine. Matchbox explores their evolving relationship with a blend of humor, heart, and the occasional bout of melodrama, which is standard fare in Indian cinema.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its representation of the world through young eyes, with all its confusions, doubts, and delightful discoveries. The dialogue is snappy and often humorous, resonating with the language and concerns of young adults. The vibrant cinematography captures the lush landscapes of Kerala and the colorful aspects of urban life, creating an atmospheric setting for the story’s unfolding.

A prominent theme throughout the film is the friendship among Ambu, Gopan, and their wider circle of friends. It’s a portrayal of camaraderie that feels genuine and affectionate; these are friends who tease each other mercilessly but will stand by one another’s side in a heartbeat. The dynamic among the group is a major aspect of the narrative, adding both levity and emotional depth to the film. As the group navigates various obstacles, the strength of their friendship is tested and ultimately solidified.

The soundtrack of Matchbox is another highlight. It features a score and songs that are lively and aptly reflect the youthful spirit of the movie. The music punctuates the narrative, providing a melodic backdrop to Ambu's journey and helping to convey the characters’ inner emotions without overtly stating them.

Matchbox also taps into the familial thread that is so integral to Indian culture, showing how familial expectations and traditional values can both comfort and constrain. Ambu's interactions with his family provide insight into his character and upbringing, offering a contrast to the more liberating influences of his friendships and romantic entanglements. It shows an authentic representation of the push and pull between tradition and modernity, a recurrent theme in many young Indians' lives.

In the directorial hands of Sivaram Mony, Matchbox takes what could have been a formulaic tale and infuses it with sincerity and a sense of realism that resonates with its audience. The film doesn’t shy away from touching upon life's less-than-perfect moments, allowing its characters to stumble, falter, and grow in a manner that’s both amusing and touching.

While it might adhere to certain tropes of the genre, Matchbox isn't just a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. It is an insightful exploration of young love, the exhilaration of chasing dreams, and the beauty of enduring friendships. The movie is a sweet reminder of the buoyancy of youth and the sometimes convoluted, often rewarding path to finding one's place in the world.

For those looking for a light-hearted, feel-good movie that captures the essence of young adult experiences in contemporary India, Matchbox is a charming option. It’s a film filled with witty banter, likeable characters, and a narrative that celebrates the small, significant moments that define the journey of growth and self-discovery.

Matchbox doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    2 hr 16 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.4  (161)