Updated: Apr 18, 2021
*Spoilers on the movie Joji
A little late to the party.. but nevertheless, I have wanted to write a review for a Fahad Faasil movie for a long time and I'm so glad it's finally happening for such a great one.
First off, let me confess I'm OBSESSED with Fahad Faasil, so the review might sound a little biased but really, even someone who doesn't like Fahad Faasil can't find anything wrong with "Joji"!
Joji doesn't actually need reviews, but let me just do it for my satisfaction :)
Before watching Joji, I had heard it's a Shakespearean spin off, so I was really looking forward to watching it. Because, hello, it's a Shakespearean tragedy! What could ever go wrong?
Well there are some Shakespearean spin offs that have actually really gone wrong.
"Haider" is one of them that just didn't work for me. Although Shahid Kapoor did a commendable job in it!
Coming to Joji. It's an adaptation of the historically controversial Macbeth. Macbeth didn't age well for its depiction of Lady Macbeth in bad light.
It was an extremely intelligent move to eliminate Lady Macbeth altogether and give shades of that character to Unnimaya Prasad who acts as Fahad’s sister in law Bincy in Joji. This actor is beyond excellence. She has no strong hard hitting scenes but with her subtlety, she has excelled in this movie. Her quiet demeanor but still strong and will powered character portrayal was simply exquisite! An absolute favorite scene was when she tells Joji to wear a mask and come out to meet the mourners who have joined them at the father’s funeral. Such brilliant storytelling to convey that man is literally now wearing a mask outside of his room! In isolation, he is what he is, but once outside, you mask yourself to present yourself as a likeable character of the society.
And this was the beauty of Joji, not being a clear adaptation but having layers of Macbeth and the lead character did not over power the story at all. All the supporting characters were characterized beautifully and in depth and the acting prowess of a lot of actors shone in the movie.
For example I had no idea Baburaj was such a good actor!
The other supporting characters were great too.
Talking about Fahad Faasil's acting in any movie is now superfluous. But this one is a career best! Joji is definitely a milestone that will be acclaimed and celebrated for a long long time!
A character with negative shades is a "Fahad speciality" and to still package it and present it differently each time is pure brilliance. Both Fahad Faasil and Dileesh Pothen have proven it time and again that when they come together, it’s bound to be a masterpiece and Joji was no exception.
The character Joji has been given so many shades that it hits us different from the usual charade of the lead character being a victim of his circumstances.
His circumstance and helplessness is not what wins our hearts, it’s how much we relate to the character actually. Fighting for acceptance and freedom from an authoritative patriarchal figure is like almost every person of our generation’s story. The character shown weak and then pushed to take eccentric measures owing to the mental pressure and inferiority complex in him is brilliantly shown. Both the director and actor need to be equally credited for this. How the constant battle with the society for one’s self esteem takes a toll on the mental health of a person is finally aptly portrayed.
Joji is like Macbeth, power hungry but unlike him, Joji isn’t a strong man and that’s where we relate to the character.
Shyam Pushkaran, the writer, has brilliantly adapted the political tragedy to a patriarchal broken family and made it into something that Malayali audiences can relate to and love.
I loved the scene where Joji says “The society has f*cked me. Society has killed me. Arrest them”. How true this stands for each one of us who have fought for our identity in patriarchal families across generations in different parts of the world. On the contrary, it also shows how since time immemorial, man has blamed society and circumstances and gotten out of his own shortcomings.
Kerala is one of the states with highest literacy and Joji has taken the risk to expose the deep set patriarchy that still exists there.
I loved Joji and so will you. Macbeth or no Macbeth, Joji is one of us. Joji exists in us and comes out when we are pushed to our limits. The circumstances aren’t, but society is the culprit. Jojis grow organically around us and we simply can’t do anything about it!
Joji is a must watch!