Joji Review – Joji is a Malayalam dark crime drama released in 2021. The story revolves around a family of brothers where everything seems to go fine from the outside but internally greed lurks around. How a simple amazon order triggers the chain of events that would bring out the worst in people is what Joji is all about. Joji is a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Joji is Dileesh Pothan’s third outing with Fahad Faasil after Maheshinte Prathikaram and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum. One could notice the signature style of Dileesh Pothan’s world that captures the essence of reality as it is. This one may not be pleasing to anyone and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are people who dislike this movie.
Dileesh has taken time to introduce the characters and the surrounding of the story visually without explicit words. A courier delivery person riding through a small town and then through rubber plantations to reach Joji’s house, the empty dining table in a big house filled with members, each of them not looking into the eyes while talking, absence of any house help for a such a big wealthy family and many more such visuals tell you a lot about the family.
Fahaad’s performance as Joji is brilliant. He has lost a lot of weight for this character. He is the son that his muscular father is not very proud about. He treats him like a trash as he is just a boy in a blanket, for he feels solace is confining himself to his closed room (Joji’s palace) wrapped in a blanket. He tries hard to impress the family that he has a seat at the table by doing horse trading but none of them takes him seriously.
The only person in the house on whom he can exercise some control is the son of his eldest brother. The other person in the house, who treats him equally is his sister-in-law ( wife of his second brother ). When the father of the family meets with an unexpected accident that puts him in mortal danger, the dark side of the family turns up. It’s not just the family the film also brings out the selfish nature that is everywhere. His father’s friend asks the son to get the liquor bottle from his father’s case while his father is still unconscious. The priest is obsessed with the latest gadgets. The people spreading rumors around the mishap in a wealthy family,
The only sequence that happens outside of the estate is few shots at the hospital. Otherwise, the entire movie happens within the estate. For the most part of the movie, there is no background score but at key moments the symphony kicks in elevating the impact of the scene to a different level.
High Points: Direction of the movie, performance of Fahad Faasil, background score, visuals.
Low Points: Its a slow burner and is very dark. It may note suite the taste of general audience.
Overall Joji is an excellent film that stays very true to its genre. Once you get connected to the world, you would feel you have lived with the family for 90 odd minutes. If you love slow burner, crime dramas then don’t miss Joji.