Cinema is always considered as a director’s product and Lijo Jose Pellissery’s latest film Amen in a sense strongly establishes that saying. By making the audience clap, Lijo takes a sweet revenge on those who refused to accept his talent at the beginning. With a making style that is unique and fresh in each frame, Amen manages to make us laugh and think.
Amen is a visually written simple emotional story of a village that is closely attached to its church and its musical culture. I don’t wish to reveal too much about the plot as it is hard to describe in a few sentences. A whole lot of characters are there in the village Kumarankkary. A priest who is trying to protect the upper class, a man who is leading a band troop which had an awesome past, a young man who is in search of confidence to marry the girl he loved and a young priest who comes to this village in the midst of all these are some of the key characters in this non typical comedy.
It is the charming and fresh treatment on a simple subject that makes Amen so special for viewers. On these days where our industry is still following cliché humor tracks in films, the makers have tried for something unique. The entire first half of the film is treated in a refreshingly humorous way and the second half is largely practical drama. All those disturbances in the second half smoothly fade away from our mind once that pleasant suspense gets revealed.
Performance wise, even though the film is projected as an Indrajith – Fahadh Faasil film there are a lot of characters in this film who are as important as these protagonists. While Indrajith pleases us as the charming new priest Vincent Vattoli, Fahadh also performs very well as the slightly nerd and shy Solomon. Joy Mathew delivers a really cool on screen appearance as the senior priest Fr. Ottaplackal. Kalabhavan Mani shines in his veteran avatar. Swathi is the perfect choice as Sosanna in terms of acting. Her dubbing could have been a bit more perfect. The dubbing issue is also there for the character of Makarand Deshpande but performance wise he was really impressive. Nandu, Rachana, Sudheer Karamana, Anil Murali, Sandra Thomas, Sunil Sugatha, Sasi Kalinga, Kulappulli Leela and many others are there in the movie as memorable village characters.
The power house of the film is indeed its technical crew. Leading from the front is the director who follows quite an unconventional style. Script is interesting and smoothly paced in the first half and a bit tight in the second half. The only portion I felt a bit disturbing was the competition sequence in the second half. Lijo could have captured it in a more indulging way so that the viewers can feel the difficulty in playing a Clarinet. Cinematography of Abinandhan Ramanujam stands out in this visual narration and the camera just doesn’t seem to have any rest. Long single shots, weird angles, ultra slow motions are all there in this package to make it a variety attempt. Edits are fine and the art section has done a great job. The retro makeup and costumes are also quite impressive. Back ground score suits the mood and the music of Prashanth Pillai is quite fresh and unique.
Overall, Amen is a must watch for all those who wants to see fresh approaches and smart making. I am giving 4/5 for this director’s film. May the bliss of this divine comedy evoke new thoughts and ideas in our film makers and help the industry to achieve greater levels of creativity. Amen!
Amen is a must watch for all those who wants to see fresh approaches and smart making.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended