Movies like Thanneer Mathan Dinangal are highly fragile in terms of plot. They can either be a TMD or can become a Pathrosinte Padappukal. Jo and Jo, directed by Arun D Jose, is a movie that tries to explore a similar space and manages to come out as a surprisingly entertaining film. By the time the film reached its interval block, I felt they struggled to create something interesting. But when you look back at the whole movie in totality, you will realize they have managed to create a pretty smart comedy out of a wafer-thin idea.
As the title suggests, the story is about Jomon and Jomol. Two siblings who can’t stand one another. The story is set in the time of lockdown. Jomon roams around the village with his friends Manoj and Aby. At the same time, Jomol was stuck at home taking tuition for the kids in the neighborhood. When a love letter addressed to “Jo” arrives at their home, the story takes an interesting turn. The speculations made by both the siblings and the hilarious outcomes of it are what we get to see in Jo and Jo.
The rivalry between siblings in a middle-class family is something that is easily relatable to almost all of us. Arun D Jose and his co-writer Raveesh Nath use that relatable space to create humor that looks organic rather than gimmicky. The first half of the movie is almost like a stretched-out Karikku episode. It’s funny because of the performances and the situations, but the plot development is pretty sluggish. Jomon and his friends’ confusion and major adventures are getting explored in the second half. The disjoint feel you got for the sequences in the first half is not there in the second half, and the laugh-out-loud moments’ frequency increases in the last quarter of the movie. They managed to achieve all that without really trying to do anything nonsensical for the sake of comedy.
Mathew Thomas as Jomon is really fun to watch as the sneaky character with a fragile ego. His expressions are kind of repetitive, but here that works. Nikhila Vimal as Jomol delivered the most charming performance for me. It was definitely a fun character. But there are instances in the movie where she lashes out at people with genuine anger, and it was actually refreshing to see her in that avatar. Naslen was able to bring some variations to the character of Manoj, despite it being a typical Naslen character. Melvin G Babu as the earth Aby was also hilarious. Sminu Sijo gets a great chance to perform a memorable character, and Johny Antony is less comical and more charming as the father of the title characters.
Movies that are built around slim ideas are often victims of overdoing. Arun D Jose knows where to draw the line. The bucket chicken sequence is a disjoint comedy track from the main plot. But he gives it a smooth entry and ends it before it becomes a mess. Even the Sreejith Ravi scene is not really contributing much to the movie. But since the humor is never becoming annoying, these scenes somewhat helps the movie in establishing the “uselessness” of the gang. The ripple effect events in the last half an hour of the movie are hilarious. Most of the characters and character quirks that looked pointless initially are given some interesting purpose towards the end.
If you have enjoyed the smartness of a comedy like Thanneer Mathan Dinangal, I would say Jo and Jo will be able to satisfy you as a viewer. They were able to give a good structure to a simple conflict in a dysfunctional family. Jo and Jo is a relatable comedy that works as a stressbuster popcorn entertainer.
They were able to give a good structure to a simple conflict in a dysfunctional family. Jo and Jo is a relatable comedy that works as a stressbuster popcorn entertainer.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended