There is an ongoing debate about whether there is a notion among people that only realistic cinema is considered as good cinema as almost all the well-accepted movies followed that treatment in the recent past. Even though you can’t call Porinju Mariam Jose as a novel idea, one of the main takeaways for me after watching this movie was that the typical dramatic style can still engage you if there are layers to the story. Coming from master director Joshiy, Porinju Mariam Jose is an engaging display of interesting characters in a predictable straight forward story.
Three friends Porinju, Mariam and Jose are our main protagonists. Porinju loved Mariam and Mariam knew it. But the relationship never culminated in anything due to the disagreement of Mariam’s father towards the relationship. Jose was always the mediator between the two and he was loved immensely by the two. The movie Porinju Mariyam Jose is actually about one incident that happened in the life of the three which totally disturbed the rhythm of their lives.
Even though it is basic revenge, there is an effort on the screenplay level to make the characters memorable and deep. The film ultimately wants to show us the emotion that the thought of revenge will only give sorrows to everyone. Even the antagonist is in a bewildering situation of sadness when he realizes the level of commitment of the hero towards the climax. The effort is to build those characters and atmosphere through its elaborate runtime and the typical feel of the script gets reduced considerably due to the performances of the key cast members and also a surprisingly updated approach of Joshiy.
Joju George has a grand screen presence to make us feel that Kattalan Porinju is someone who shouldn’t be messed with. The good thing is that he isn’t reduced to a single-dimensional macho guy. There are scenes of Porinju expressing his love for Mariya, his outbursts and suppressed emotions when he faces loses in life, etc. And all these definitely make it a character that demanded Joju George to perform as an actor. Nyla Usha was actually the one I was a bit doubtful about the performance when I saw the trailer. And to my surprise, she raised to the level of irreverence Porinju and Jose had when she played Mariam on screen. Chemban Vinod Jose’s Jose is a character that looks very much in the comfort zone of the actor and he was pretty good in that role. Vijayaraghavan delivered a memorable performance. Rahul Madhav has overdone the character given to him and it was funny to see his fans go from “Yay!” to “What the hell” within a matter of seconds when his introduction happened in the movie. Sudhy Koppa and TG Ravi deserve a mention for their performance.
As someone who was highly disappointed with the kind of movies Joshiy has done in the recent past, the updated nature in the visual treatment of the movie made me happy. Porinju Mariyam Jose isn’t a movie where you can say the making reduced the content. It was actually the making that gave a sense of depth to the plain narrative. The rawness of some of the scenes, when mixed with the filmy dialogues, manages to recreate the vintage vibe of watching a Joshiy movie. For an audience who has seen something like an Angamaly Diaries that shifted the gears in terms of storytelling, a predictable movie like Porinju Mariyam Jose may not feel like a captivating idea. Like I already said, the visual language of the movie has a key role in creating that revenge mood and Ajay David Kachappilly’s cinematography was effective. Jakes Bejoy has done a really good job with the background score. Set in the mid-’80s, the production design of the movie was also impressive.
A veteran director like Joshiy adapting to the changing cinematic grammar and seeing the solid performances of its lead actors are the pluses of Porinju Mariam Jose. With a script that isn’t trying to be innovative in terms of narrative patterns, Porinju Mariam Jose is a watchable engaging Joshiy movie.
A veteran director like Joshiy adapting to the changing cinematic grammar and seeing the solid performances of its lead actors are the pluses of Porinju Mariam Jose.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended