The stretched second half and the lack of a convincing presentation of an ambitious backdrop puts the latest Manju Warrier starrer Jo and the boy in an unimpressive zone. Not to be ignored is the sheer pleasure of seeing the glimpses of the Summer in Bethlehem like Manju, but with a too cheesy plot that fails to transcend its thought to inspire to all section of audience, Jo and the boy is an okay film for kids and not so okay for the elders.
Joan is this single 30 year old animator who aspires about making a character to whom the audience can communicate with. This passion from childhood finally comes to a scenario where a boy who came to her home becomes an inspiration for her to create a character named Cris. The film basically shows us the creation of this character and how everything changes in the lives of these individuals once the character was made.
It deals about a subject which a majority of the normal audience aren’t that familiar about; character animation. Yes, the kind of stuff we see in channels like Cartoon Network. Familiarizing the back end process of such an industry without losing the hardships is a tough task and may be because of that, director and writer Rojin Thomas has completely left that part of Joan’s professional life. The problem of not having a strong base at such areas is that when they talk stuff like an animation character made at a hill station by 10+ people becoming a talked about character (even BBC comes to cover its event), it looks ridiculous on screen. The second half goes on and on with melodrama and ego clashes and it should have been reduced or removed.
As I said, you get to see that bubbly side of Manju Warrier which was partially there in Rani Padmini. It was a nice and tidy performance from her side. Sanoop Santhosh was okay in the role of Cris. Lalu Alex makes a come back to his stereo typed role (the cool dad). Pearly, Kalaranjini, Kiran, Rekha and a few more are there in the long list of actors.
Rojin Thomas follows the same colour pallet and background score pattern of Phillips and the Monkey pen to create that same feel. But unlike Monkey pen, the theme this time is ambitious and it demanded an elaborate and convincing presentation. The whole second half of the film requires a rewriting. The musical feel becomes too excessive at times. Cinematography is similar to that glossy pattern of Monkey pen. Edits needed a little more sharpening. Music isn’t that catchy and the orchestration is similar to Rojin’s first film. Visual effects and the animation side were kind of neat.
On the whole Jo and the boy fails to be satisfying. The plot needs a more convincing rendering. The smart Manju Warrier and some discrete moments of humour are the only tasty spots of this cinema.
The smart Manju Warrier and some discrete moments of humour are the only tasty spots of Jo and the Boy.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended