Janamaithri, the new movie from Friday Film House falls under the absurd comedy genre. A genre the production house has attempted before through the Midhun Manuel Thomas franchise Aadu. I dragged that film into this review to give you an idea about the kind of comedy in this film. I am someone who has seen that initial clumsy cut of Aadu (FDFS) which never came out in the digital format. Janamaithri’s first half is the first version of Aadu and the second half is the tidier version of Aadu. If you are open to the idea of absurd comedy, then this John Manthrickal movie is a passable entertainer.
So a rural police station is our movie’s backdrop. The CI of the area plans to do something innovative to celebrate Janamaithri din. And the idea that got approved was called “A Tea for A Life”. The plan was to give tea to those people who were driving in the night so that they won’t doze off. The seemingly well-intended plan, unfortunately, gives the police force all sorts of trouble and the movie Janamaithri is showing us all that.
The titles portion of the movie is very interesting and it is shown with a voice-over that talks about the journey of the film from paper to shooting phase. And in that bit, Midhun Manuel Thomas recommends John Manthrickal’s story to Vijay Babu and he says it’s somewhat like Aadu. At the end of Janamaithri, the feeling one will have is somewhat of watching a beta version of Aadu. The eccentricity and absurdity are in that zone. Like I already said, the first half of the movie is somewhat desperate to be absurd. There is a forced feel to the way they are setting up the plot. But the confusion comedy zone of the movie starts working in the second half and towards the end, we have frequent moments of humor which reminded me of some of the small gems in the ’80s and ’90s that are now considered as stress busters.
Indrans was fun to watch as a slightly less eccentric and somewhat naïve police officer Shibu. Sabumon was my favorite in the lot who showed great timing in delivering humor. Saiju Kurup was initially making his character too much of a caricature but after a point, he picked the tempo. Same was the case with Vijay Babu as well; initially, he was being over expressive, but as the film progressed he managed to find the correct level of wackiness. Manikandan Pattambi, Kalabhavan Prajod, Aneesh G Gopal, Unni Dev, Sruthy Jayan, Irshad, etc are the other prominent names in the cast.
This is John Manthrickal’s first film as a director and he has previously collaborated with Midhun Manuel Thomas as a writer. Even in the visual treatment of the movie one can sense the mood of a Midhun Manuel Thomas film. The style is way too similar. In fact, there is a character-based background score for the Indrans character SI KT Shibu. The plan is to make a situational comedy with interconnected subplots. The margin for error in this kind of comedy is very minimal and we can clearly sense the movie overdoing its humor in some areas. The small runtime and the humor towards the climax have helped the movie very much in being a watchable experience. Technical aspects like the cinematography, edits, music, etc are on the okay side.
Janamaithri is a watchable comedy. If you are an ardent fan of the kind of humor Aadu offers, then this logic free ride will be surely enjoyable for you. I found this as a watchable passable comedy with nothing particularly great about it.
Janamaithri is a watchable comedy. If you are an ardent fan of the kind of humor Aadu offers, then this logic free ride will be surely enjoyable for you.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended