The script of Joseph is written by Shahi Kabir who is an actual police officer. Narrated as an investigation thriller, this movie from Padmakumar will be definitely a relief for those who loved his initial works as the film has an evident presence of craft when compared to his tacky outings in the recent past. With a sensational Joju George effortlessly slipping into the title character, Joseph is almost that example of how social preaches should be.
Joseph is a retired police officer. He has an impeccable ability to find the criminals very quickly (almost a Desi Sherlock). The police job has affected his personal life and he lives the life of a divorcee. The plot takes a twist when Joseph’s ex-wife dies in a road accident. How Joseph’s investigative mind senses foul plays in that and what eventually unfolds is what Padmakumar trying to show us through Joseph.
There is an element of social preach here which I am not going to reveal as it might act as a spoiler. I wasn’t a big fan of movies like Nirnayakam or even last week’s Oru Kuprasidha Payyan as most of them lacked the quality of being subtle. Even though Joseph discretely has moments that lacked subtlety, what’s good about the film is that it is primarily a thriller and then a social message vehicle. Before the interval, there is a portion about the past of Joseph which sort of looks irrelevant, but ultimately when you look at the way the movie approaches the character, those sufferings makes sense. The second half is partially emotional and mostly exciting.
Joju George is the biggest plus of this movie. I had a feeling watching the promos that the movie might end up giving him a monotonous gray character. But to my surprise, the character had layers and depth and Joju George delivers a truly fabulous performance. His body language and eyes shifted from being that investigative mind and vulnerable father figure with ease. Irshad, James Elia, and Sudhy Koppa play the roles of the close friends of Joseph and they were all convincing. Aathmiya as the wife was disappointing. Dileesh Pothan as the understanding Peter was really good. Malavika Menon was there in a cameo like role.
Like I already said, this movie sort of reinstated my faith in Padmakumar and went on to prove that with good scripts he can actually do the job in a much interesting way. He wasn’t trying to over explain stuff and the fact that the scriptwriter is a police officer gives the movie a feel different from the usual police movies one see. Shahi Kabir manages to keep intrigue in the writing and he also infuses the personal life aspect of police officers smoothly into the content. The film isn’t a totally unpredictable thriller, but the sense of realness with which it approaches those predictable moments showed quality. Some moments of clichés are there which reminded me that Padmakumar still has some of his usual tricks. The cinematography was impressive as it played with the light to maintain the gray shade of the theme. And edits were equally good in making things engaging for the viewer. The music was on the average side whereas the background score was convincing.
Joseph is an engaging investigative thriller that’s more towards the real side and has a feel of an authentic thriller. It is not flawless. But Joju George and the grounded feel of the script makes this movie definitely a watchable experience.
Joseph is not flawless. But Joju George and the grounded feel of the script makes this movie definitely a watchable experience.