Joseph Review: totally engaging even with the flaws
Joseph from M Padmakumar could well be the beginning of the second innings of the director who was going through a bad patch in his career. The investigative thriller written by Shahi Kabir is a peculiarly gripping take on a topic that needs societal attention. With the central actor Joju George delivering a performance that is easily his career best, this thriller is totally engaging even with the flaws.
A retired police officer Joseph is our main protagonist. Because of the nature of his job his wife at one point left him and he is also haunted by the demise of his young daughter. The undisciplined life of Joseph was going on aimlessly until his ex-wife dies in an accident. The seemingly normal accident looked suspicious to Joseph who is an expert in identifying foul plays in crimes. The movie basically is about that investigation of Joseph and what all happens to him in that process.
In the end, Joseph is a social preaching cinema that makes us aware of a particular thing in society. Last week Oru Kuprasidha Payyan had a similar approach and even VK Prakash’s Nirnayakam also had the same agenda. While such films were primarily a message-oriented cinema, Joseph differs from them by being a movie that is a thriller first then a preach. It definitely has moments where the subtleness is not at all smooth, but the gripping narrative covers up such flaws. The movie sheds life on the personal traumas of official police officers and the good thing was that it added up to the plot neatly in the end.
The movie’s pillar is undeniably Joju George who gives life to the hardness and vulnerabilities of the character Joseph. The experienced actor who has mainly been doing character roles gets a meaty character when he became a hero and he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands and delivered an extremely memorable performance. Irshad, James Elia, and Sudhy Koppa are the actors who performed the roles of the close friends of Joseph. Dileesh Pothan was really good. Athmiya was a letdown.
If you are someone who had felt that Padmakumar has lost his touch seeing his last few movies, well much like me you will also feel surprised seeing Joseph. Shahi Kabir who is a police officer helps Padmakumar with the script in being less typical. There is a gripping feel to the script written by Shahi Kabir and it is not the usual flashy cut aided grip. The script also empathizes with the life of police officers and it never looked deliberate. Even in predictable twist moments, the depiction had a sense of realness which makes the movie an interesting one. The clichés were there for sure, but it was minimal in totality. The cinematography was impressive and the cuts were even more interesting. Music was okay while the background score was perfect.
Joseph will keep you interested in its agenda. It has a sense of realness and the thriller shade is also pretty impressive. With Joju George sinking his teeth into the character transformation, Joseph will never be a total let down for anyone.
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