June (2019) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


There is a mature balance that Khabeer strikes in ‘June’ that is also its most redeeming feature, and he lures us into a world that we have lived in all the while. He then sits us down and tells us a tale that we have probably lived ourselves. It’s a bittersweet story that gets us nodding in no time, it’s the month of June, and it rains.


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Ahammed Khabeer’s ‘June’ shines the spotlight on a young girl on the brink of adulthood, as she warily makes the final crossover and treads onto the swarming highway that is life. A notable directorial debut that announces the arrival of some real talent in screen writing as well (Ahammed Khabeer, Jeevan Baby Mathew  & Libin Varghese), ‘June’ gives teen cinema a fresh face that is rejuvenating to the core.

June (Rejisha Vijayan) has her eyes stuck on a fresher boy with a video camera in his hands, on the first day of her plus two course and is overjoyed when she realizes that he is going to be her classmate for the next two years. Noel (Sarjano Khalid) – as his name turns out to be – starts off with a stammer in the self introduction session that follows, but as the two years swiftly fly by, the two discover what it means to be in love.

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It’s a merry bunch that Khabeer comes up with, to occupy the benches of the higher secondary commerce batch of 2006 – a jovial crowd of youngsters, led by an amicable Maya Miss (Sruthy Jayan). There is the A-Su-Ra trio (Sanju KS, Akhil Manoj & Harisankar) to start with, followed by Mottachi (Vaishnavi Venugopal), the arm wrestling champ, Fida (Raveena Nair) who dreams of making it as a model someday and Sreelekshmi (Sruthy Suresh) who would have really liked a Harry Potter lookalike in the class, just to mention a few.

Back home, June has an accommodating family and even shares an occasional beer or two with her dad (Joju George), while her mom  (Aswathy Menon) isn’t exactly ecstatic about her jocular ways. A bit too concerned about her daughter perhaps, she literally fawns over her, pulling her skirt a bit further down and her socks a bit further up to cover up the bare legs that June had futilely hoped to flaunt.

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The fleeting sense of memory that takes you back to those school and college days, as you watch June reshuffle and sort out the puzzle cards of her life, is what comes as a bonus in this film. It is also a young girl’s struggle to finally be a woman, despite her own lovelorn self, and to live with the dreams and decisions that she has chosen for her life.

This is a long journey that spans almost a decade, and when June lands in Mumbai, hoping to rediscover and reconnect to the one man who makes her heart beat, she has her buoyancy intact. There are also heart burns in store, as she soon discovers and not one to be bogged down, she heads back home, where more events and experiences  lie in wait.

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There is an adorable bit that involves June running into Anand (Arjun Ashokan), a former wooer and the owner of a toothy smile specifically designed for her, whom she had missed out while in school. Years later, Anand has joined the police force, and is as keyed up and positive as ever, when he spots a second chance with her.

We have had enough and more  of that drivel where anyone who is spurned in love has a sloppy, single dimensional sob story to tell, and spends the rest of their lives, miserably haranguing about how unjust love and life have been, and how the seemingly perfect one that they had fallen for had eventually emerged as an insensitive, self-centred slob.

Which is why I loved the climax of ‘June’, as rose-petalled a finale as it might seem to be, for it dwells on the innate human instinct and ability to let go, to forgive and forget, and start afresh, as difficult as it might seem at a point. It also applauds the choices that we get to make as individuals, and with Khabeer hitting almost all the right spots here, we are left with no villains – only heroes all around.

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There is an extraordinary emotional candour in Rejisha’s performance that makes ‘June’ the kind of poignant experience that it is. Her astounding transformation from an unsure adolescent sporting uncomfortable dental braces to a poised youngster who is convinced as to what she wants, is simply spectacular.  The tremendous conviction with which the male leads – Arjun Ashokan and Sarjano Khalid – play their roles cannot be missed. And there is also a team of young actors, all of whom are outstandingly good in their respective roles, while veteran actors as Joju and Aswathy lend staunch support. Jithin Stanislaus’ cinematography is delightfully graceful, while Ifthi’s musical score is exceptionally easy on the ears.

There is a mature balance that Khabeer strikes in ‘June’ that is also its most redeeming feature, and he lures us into a world that we have lived in all the while. He then sits us down and tells us a tale that we have probably lived ourselves. It’s a bittersweet story that gets us nodding in no time, it’s the month of June, and it rains.

NB: The mandatory warnings displayed at the bottom corner of the screen have been a deterrent in cinematic appreciation all the while, but now they have started questioning your common sense as well. For instance, in a scene where June’s mom rebukes and hits her for lying, bunking class and staying out late with friends – probably like any anxious parent would – up springs the cautionary note that ‘violence against women is punishable under law’. Some weird logic, indeed.


Verdict: Breezy Watch


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