So we were on a much deserved break yesterday which is why you saw no new reviews. But come today(Monday), we are back with a couple of leftovers from the weekend and two of the films which I was really excited about. And both are Malayalam films which do make me curious every single time. First up I finished the Malayalam film Jan-E-Man streaming on Sunnxt. Another one of those Malayalam films which had a theatrical release last year and I had heard many good things about it. Also, there were a dozen recommendations in our Youtube channel to watch and review this film. So here we go! Is Jan-E-Man worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Jan-E-Man follows the story a loner who visits India to plan for his birthday until things take a turn when the man next to his friend’s house dies. The story is a dark comedy veiled as an emotional ride. And it is quite unique in its storytelling. We have earlier witnessed comedies revolving around death but this gives a contrasting picture between two households with entirely different emotions at a given time. The screenplay moves at a leisurely pace but it is filled with dollops of dark humour. Right from the time the party is planned, you are introduced to so many characters having different traits that you do expect a roller coaster ride here. The sudden death of the neighbour definitely escalates things but I was amazed to see how real the drama was. It is honestly tough to put it in words, but the drama keeps switching genres from drama to comedy. So each time there is an emotional sequence shown, it is quickly backed up by comedy in the most seamless fashion. And the comedy works like a dream here. It ranges feom dark to goofy to situational but it had me laughing on more occasions than one. But at its heart lies honesty and sincerity but truly blossoms towards the end in a heartwarming final act which is philosophical yet does enough to tug the strings of your heart while leaving you with a smile on your face. Overall, a well written screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are witty and quite hilarious but there are quieter poignant moments too where the drama actually flourishes. The music is good and the BGM is apt as well. The cinenatography is wonderful and nicely captures some of the frames. Director Chidambaram deserves a standing applause for a brilliant job done. Not only does he manage to keep things real but he is also able to extract humour thereby managing to hold your attention throughout.
The performances are excellent here by the ensemble. Prapti Elizabeth as Ammu looks pretty and does a charming job. Gilu Joseph as Saramma has her moments to shine. Ganapathi aa Dr. Faizal is wonderfully restrained and quite an affable character as he get to know towards the end. Siddharth Menon as Ratheesh is hilarious here. Balu Varghese as Monichan is brilliant in a wonderfully layered character. Arjun Asokan as Sambath has amazing screen presence and does a commendable job. Lal aa Kochu Kunj is heartwarming in an equally heartwarming role. Basil Joseph(who had earlier directed the super hero film Minnal Murali) as Joymon is absolutely fantastic. He makes you sympathize with his character while also immersing yourself in his eccentricity. The favourite character of mine here and wonderfully pulled off.
Janeman is uniquely dark and hilarious and probably one of the best comedies which I have witnessed recently. Available on Sunnxt and Highly Recommended.