UPDATED: April 7, 2021 17:35 IST
Power corrupts. So does greed. This is what Shakespeare’s Macbeth has taught those who read it. For others, their life must have taught them. Dileesh Pothan’s Joji is an adaptation of Macbeth. And who better than Fahadh Faasil to portray greed in his eyes?
Joji begins with Kuttappan PK Panachel (played by PN Sunny), who is physically active and a go-getter. The wealthy patriarch manages house expenses and his properties on his own and doesn’t trust his three sons with it. And for good reasons. His eldest son Jomon (Baburaj) is an impulsive person who took to alcohol after his divorce. He lives with his son Popy (Alister Alex). Kuttappan’s second son Jaison (Joji Mundakayam) is the softer one of the lot, who lives with his wife Bincy (Unnimaya Prasad). And his third son is Joji (Fahadh Faasil), for whom his dislike is pretty apparent.
When Kuttappan suffers from a stroke, it changes the entire family dynamics. Kuttapan cannot call the shots anymore, and that unleashes the beast in everyone.
Dileesh Pothan’s Joji shows the Panachel family members going about their daily chores. Eventually, we see them struggle to manage the house, especially after Kuttappan is left paralysed. This is when the quest for power engulfs the people, especially Joji.
In Kuttappan’s eyes, Joji is good for nothing. But, as the audience, we know that Joji is always up to something. His face doesn’t show it, but his eyes do. The family politics, Joji’s relationship with Bincy and his ways to gain power are what makes the film intriguing.
In many instances, it is almost like there’s nothing happening on screen. But, there is always something that goes in the background. Joji, Jomon and Jaison are equally greedy and want to take their father’s place. Even when Kuttapan is recovering, they always anticipate his death. Kuttapan realises it and does his best to recover. But, things change.
Fahadh Faasil and Unnimaya are excellent in this intriguing film. Their minute expressions tell us they’re not guilty of doing something they just did. And honestly, by now, everyone would have run out of praises for Fahadh Faasil’s acting. Even Joji Mundakayam, Baburaj and Alister Alex’s restrained performance convey a lot of meaning. In fact, it is their minimal expressions that make the story work.
Shyju Khalid’s cinematography and Justin Varghese’s music are major assets to a film like Joji. The violin score by Justin amps up the situation and lets us feel things that the characters feel.
Finally, Joji is a family drama that talks about amorality and how greed takes over a man. With a slow-paced screenplay and excellent performances, Joji is a winner.