After watching several cult films produced by new-gen filmmakers, it is indeed painful to watch cliched contents exhibited by those filmmakers with the ’90s style. Sathyan Anthikkad is one of them. Don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of Sathyan Anthikkkad’s work and few of my all time favorite Malayalam Films are his. However, one needs to evolve with time and in spite of showing progress in the 2000s, Sathyan Anthikkad is still stuck in 2010s. I watched Jomonte suvishenshangal with a lot of expectations. The director has the unique ability to present drama and comedy in a tasteful manner. It failed in this case.
Jomonte suvishenshangal, in a nutshell, follows the plot and style of Jacobinte swargarajyam, unintentionally of course. The movie has a super rich father and a family of four children who have good jobs and businesses. Amidst them, there is Jomon (Dulquer Salmaan) who has no seriousness or responsibility in life. He buys expensive stuff and lives in careless lifestyle. But then, we know that he is the ultimate savior of the family when in crisis. I-WAS-RIGHT!!! The movie has every tradition of Sathyan Anthikkad’s; silent montage, a gullible hero who matures later, a tough heroine who becomes the hero’s support, family, siblings who abandon, comic relief, satirical depiction of everyday life and dialogues which are as old as the ’90s.
The director’s intention is probably to make us hate Jomon for his lack of loyalty and responsibility. He does everything reckless, he gets caught for DUI, misses his sister’s wedding, he is a womanizer who “enjoys” his work in women’s section in bus, and drives the bus to entertain these women. Women, on the other hand, become his fan as he is handsome and charming. Jomon is caught by police for driving without a heavy vehicle license. His father and siblings are exasperated with his deeds. One day, his father Vincent (Mukesh) falls into financial crisis and Jomon steps in to solve it all because his other siblings only try to save themselves. Sathyan Anthikkad has shown this aspect in his previous films, siblings who do not show their faces during the crisis. That’s where Jacobinte Swargarajyam succeeded, the family stuck together against all odds while here, it is just Jomon and Vincent. A lot of plot points are stacked in just for the relief. Vincent’s brother in law (Innocent) is a corrupt politician who uses his wife for his personal needs. His further involvement is never shown and in a way, corruption is glorified through his character, though the director’s intention is to show the “true intentions” of the politicians in a satirical manner. Another drawback is the reduction of women as plot devices and ornaments. We have an ornament in the form of Catherine (Anupama Parameswaran) who was introduced like how Ayesha from thattathin marayathu was. Jomon is instantly attracted to her and after finding out that she is rich, his family helps him set a meeting with her. A woman’s life is still calculated based on her assets. Only then big fat dowry could be extracted. They become friends and then fall in love. Catherine at point says “I have no interest in the family business. I am doing work for my pocket money”, that’s when I had expectations from her. She is an independent woman who does not depend on her parents for money. I expected her to stick with Jomon and help him overcome the financial issues. But no, she is taken out of the equation after her mother makes her dramatic entrance. Jomon tearfully breaks up with her. He even salutes Catherine’s father for enduring such a bossy woman for the applause break. That’s it. The movie will remain unaffected if Catheriné wasn’t there at all. Why was she? Anupama’s image was used in most the film posters. When will this ornament tradition of Malayalam cinema stop? After Catherine’s departure, Vaidehi (Aishwarya Rajesh) steps in as the motivator and supporter of Jomon. This happens after Jomon plays the role of Aman Mathur in her life, inspires her to smile and live. I like how her character is developed. She is an independent woman who looks after her father. She builds her own house, helps Jomon in his business and sticks with him. Aishwarya Rajesh couldn’t act well enough to save the day but her simplicity is well executed. Dulquer Salmaan did a very good job in terms of performance. He is expressive and nailed in the scene where he is told about the bankruptcies and recessions. He has evolved a lot as an actor and the last three films (Charlie, Kali, and Kammattipadam) has shown diversity in terms of his acting range. Mukesh was struggling to step into the shoes of Renji Panicker’s version of a man in deep debt. The rest of cast were just resting. There are good facets, like the ordinary laborers who help in Jomon’s business and the way he paid them all back. His friend Mustafa’s reformation and their equation which goes well. The movie enhances a message, work hard and success will come to you. To achieve success, you have to get out of the comfort. Mustafa who spend a lot of time in the comfort zone, suffered a huge loss. But Jomon, after learning the value of life, achieved success.
The cinematography was only limited to mid shots and wide shots. The movie lacked the kind of gimmicks that new-gen filmmakers showed which takes in the ride. There is a good plot but had to face limitations. The major issue is the affinity for us to compare it with Jacobinte swargarajyam which was a masterpiece.Jomonte suvishenshangal is a one-time watch film. But you might like better.