If you are a follower of the “Once upon a time…” kind of storytelling, Lijo Jose Pellissery isn’t the kind of director who would please you entirely. His craft is in his peculiar way of narrating very simple stories and with Angamaly Diaries he once again invites you to a thoroughly engaging gangster flick set in the backdrop of Angamaly and I have to say that the film is made brilliantly.
Angamaly Diaries is narrated through the perspective of the main protagonist Vincent Peppe. He is a boy from a middle class Christian family in Angamaly. As he grew up his admiration was towards the local goons who ruled the city. He managed to form a team and as they grew up, the gang became more and more powerful. The film actually deals with the outcomes of particular rivalry with another gang and how the recurring conflicts ends in a shocking way.
Like how Lijo visualized the gangster life and the lower class lifestyle in City of God, here also he goes for a rooted unapologetic real way of approaching characters and their backdrops. The characters created by Chemban Vinod Jose are largely gray and Lijo with his long shots that has casual conversations succeeds in putting us in the middle of all these chaos. As a story, Angamaly Diaries isn’t making any bold political statements like the way Kammattipadam did, but the purpose of the movie isn’t precisely that and with the way Lijo Jose Pellissery narrates the whole story you just get immersed in the excitement of it.
Through its promos, Angamaly Diaries may have created the attire of a comedy film. To an extent it is humorous, but it is mainly because of the natural conversations and organic developments in the screenplay. The inner games of the gangster rivalry and thickness and thinness of the anger in those equations gets depicted very skillfully. Lijo has this obsession for long shots and this film also has many such takes. The team deserves a standing ovation for that 11 minutes long climax which is huge in terms of scale and highly complicated in terms of execution and the way that whole sequence ended was simply awesome. Girish Gangadharan’s cinematography was superb. Key incidents in the film have the key locations of Angamaly in the backdrop. Prashanth Pillai and Lijo have always created unconventional music and this time also you get to hear such fresh tunes along with quirky background scores. Cuts were also quite impressive.
The film has nearly 86 newcomers and I don’t even know the names of the actors who did important roles. Antony Varghese is a really fine talent and with the conventional good looks he has got, the guy surely has a great future. Every actor who portrayed the roles of Peppe’s gang members was also impressive. The freshness in the casting really helps the movie in being more real. Out of the 86, the one actor who delivered the best was without a doubt Sarath Kumar, who portrayed the role of Appani Ravi with impeccable fineness.
Lijo Jose Pellissery’s last outing was an experiment I couldn’t really enjoy. But with Angamaly Diaries he bounces back strongly and it was really a pleasure seeing a director’s movie on screen. Angamaly Diaries is a brilliantly crafted gangster flick.
With Angamaly Diaries he bounces back strongly and it was really a pleasure seeing a director’s movie on screen. Angamaly Diaries is a brilliantly crafted gangster flick.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended