What was fascinating about Jithin Issac Thomas’s last work in the Sony LIV original Freedom Fight was how he blended craft and politics to create a movie that makes an impact on you as a viewer. When it comes to his new release, Attention Please, which was completed before the Freedom Fight segment, Jithin yet again shows his grip over the craft. This single-location thriller that relies heavily on the performances on screen is an absorbing blend of intriguing ingredients.
The movie shows the events that happen in an apartment shared by five friends. They are all movie aspirants. But apart from Hari, a struggling writer, everyone else is doing some other job to pay the bills. Hari is in that frustrated state of mind where he is constantly discouraged and humiliated by his fellow roommates. What we see in Attention Please is a series of unforeseen events that happened in that apartment when Hari narrated his stories while they were having some drinks.
Just like Pra. Thoo. Mu., Jithin’s segment in Freedom Fight, Attention Please too, focuses on being political without any softening. In fact, at one point, Jithin mocks people’s hesitation in talking confidently about the caste-based political reality. The caste politics that is getting discussed in Attention Please is a layer that drives the story forward. There is a thick peripheral layer to this movie with the attire of a gripping situational thriller. From a humorous conversational drama, Jithin shifts the movie’s tone gradually into a psycho thriller scenario. The organic placement of the politics within a thriller’s framework makes Attention Please an exciting experiment.
The situational thriller nature of the movie depends on the performers significantly, and the performance of Vishnu Govindan is terrific in this movie. As Hari, he has the job of narrating the story captivatingly, and at a later stage, we see him strongly expressing his frustrations. Vishnu was able to pull it off brilliantly. Anand Manmadhan and Sreejith Babu play the roles of the friends who humiliate Hari, and their portrayal of those characters looks very convincing. Jobin Paul, Jicky Paul, and Athira Kallingal mostly react to the situation.
What is excellent about Jithin Issac Thomas’s filmmaking sensibility is how adamant he is about having craft along with politics in his content. Every story narrated by Hari has a dark shade which somewhere represents the various traumas through which he has gone through or seen. In that ambiguous climax scene, Jithin shows us the level of casual casteism in our daily life. The cinematography opts for a brightly lit backdrop when Hari is getting cornered, and the scenes shift to a darker space when he starts to dominate. At the peak of Hari’s psychopathic behavior, Himal Mohan opts for the conventional ghostly lighting. The sound design and background score have a significant role in keeping things in an exciting space for the viewers.
Attention Please is an indie experiment that utilizes its minimal setting to the full extent to deliver a movie that looks thought-provoking and gripping simultaneously. With the stellar performance of Vishnu Govindan helping the film in staying in that intense zone, Attention Please offers that space to read the movie in various ways through its nuanced presentation.
With the stellar performance of Vishnu Govindan helping the film in staying in that intense zone, Attention Please offers that space to read the movie in various ways through its nuanced presentation
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended