While watching the movie Guppy, the film reviewer in me could sense minor errors in conceiving certain scenes and important twists. But that last five minutes or so in Guppy was so emotionally moving and thus the characters in the movie stayed in my head. Debutante Johnpaul George’s Guppy is fresh because of the premise it has chosen and may be this is the first movie after Maheshinte Prathikaram, in which you sort of get a deep connection with the locality and the characters in it.
Guppy aka Michael is this young boy living in the seaside. He has a paralyzed mother. He is working with his relative in a small tea stall near a school and he has been farming Guppy fishes in the nearby drainage. The movie deals with the events that happen after the arrival of a civil engineer to that place for the construction of a bridge. The changes that happen in the life of many people there get narrated in this movie.
Guppy is more like telling us the tale of a place. The central protagonist may be a driving factor and ultimately the movie is lingering around his life, but still there are these characters in this movie with clear identity. The first attraction of course is the backdrop of this movie. From the first scene itself director is trying to show us that world of Guppy. And the movie slowly goes in to its conflict zone that pertains with ego clashes of two individuals. And it is not like the typical hero vs villain fight. At the end of everything both of them are somewhat in the same phase of loss, loneliness and hope. I don’t know how many of the audience would dig in to such equations of characters in the movie, Guppy did make me explore it that way and it was a greatly satisfying experience.
Master Chethan has done a fabulous work in this movie as the title protagonist. The portrayal had that realness you expect in such a self made boy. The one scene in the climax where he holds back his tears was a topnotch one. Tovino has taken up a really demanding character and it is so nice to see the growth in him as a quality actor. Sreenivasan performs nicely as the orthodox and concerned Muslim man. Dileesh Pothan and Sudheer Karamana were really good. Rohini did a moving performance as the adorable mother of Guppy. There are several other characters in this movie played by actors like Alenciar Lay, K L Antony, Devi Ajith, and many more and the good thing is that each character stays in your mind. The casting was spot on.
Johnpaul George in his first outing as director has done a really impressive take on a tale that isn’t following a formula. The movie isn’t preachy. The characters are real, their outbursts are genuine and they all have this flaws and highs. As I mentioned in the beginning, there were areas that had small imperfections when it comes to convincing the audience about some of the things, but I sort of ended up forgiving all that when I saw the climax of the film which sort of puts the hero and villain in the same journey. Screenplay is elaborate and it doesn’t look unnecessarily lengthy when you sort of track back the whole story. The elaborate screenplay helps the movie in making the audience familiarize with the locations of the movie. The movie is shot in the same location where Mariyam Mukku was shot and the DOP Gireesh Gangadharan has done a really impressive job in visualizing the drama. Some of the shots did made strong statements without any dialogues. The edits were good. Loved the songs (especially the last one) and the background music was also great. The art work was also quite catchy.
Guppy invites you to its plot and shows you its world. The characters, their dilemmas, the streets, that auto rickshaw etc. stays with you for some strange reasons. Guppy has got its heart in the right place.
Rating : 4/5
Guppy invites you to its plot and shows you its world. The characters, their dilemmas, the streets, that auto rickshaw etc. stays with you for some strange reasons.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended