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JOSEPH (Malayalam/2018) - A unique, emotional crime thriller featuring a rock-solid, terrific performance that stays with you along with the scary mystery. (Movies To See Before You Die / Suspense)

23 Feb, 2020 | Movie Reviews / 2018 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi) / Movies To See Before You Die / Suspense

Crime thrillers normally win over the audience with their exciting execution and suspense that gets revealed with some unexpected twists and turns towards the end. The feature is right there in this impressive crime thriller revealing a scary mystery. But what makes JOSPEH a unique crime thriller is its emotional execution, brilliant characterisation and an outstanding lead performance that stays with you for long post watching the film.
Directed by M.Padmakumar, JOSEPH has an admirable subtleness, which actually differentiates it with any other crime thriller to be specific. Padmakumar builds a distinctive ambience throughout the film that keeps growing on the viewers with every new sequence post a calm yet impactful beginning. And this intensity in direction gets a highly appreciable support from writing, cinematography, editing and music department resulting in a classy as well as a heartfelt, touching presentation.
But what remains above all is the brilliance in the lead performance by Joju George who just kills it on the screen and is simply impeccable in his aged make-up making an instant connect with the viewers through his piercing eyes. The amazing dead blank look of George says a lot, representing a sea of love, guilt, grief and loneliness hidden inside. George truly rules or dominates the film with his flawless act and the supporting cast compliments him beautifully including his close associates and the women in her life, though they don’t get much to do in the film.
JOSEPH is an investigative thriller revolving around the police officials but it’s not about the procedure followed by the police. George does the entire investigations on his own and just the first sequence presenting him as the local Sherlock Holmes impresses right away creating a perfect atmosphere for the narration.
The film has its limitations of stretched sequences and more than required songs that could have been avoided. But these shortcomings never disturb the engrossing proceedings (due to some well composed tracks) and you don’t even think about it going with the flow. Moreover, it’s the emotional quotient of the script that really touches your heart and then the revelation makes it even deeper leaving a disturbing impact.
To be honest, it’s this emotional feature of the film, that forces me to include it in my MOVIES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE list as I don’t recall witnessing such well-conceived sequences between the first and second husband of a woman ever before in a film (post her sudden death). And its indeed commendable how the writer and director conceptualised this awkward relationship on screen in such a lovable manner.
This particular merit of the film also made me think that how DEATH and an elaborate, calm sequence around death of a character has entirely vanished from our mainstream Hindi Cinema since last decade, mainly because here cinema is now just considered as a synonym of the term ‘entertainment’ and nothing else.
Coming back to JOSEPH, watch it not only as an outstanding thriller, but also as a poignant, sensitive film, featuring an incredible performance by Joju George who deservingly won the Kerala State Film Award and a special mention in the National Awards 2018
George will probably haunt you for hours or may be days after the end credits start rolling playing the soothing notes.
Directed By M. Padmakumar
Written By Shahi Kabir
Music By Ranjin Raj  / Editing : Kiran Das
Starring : Joju George, Irshad, Athmiya, Dileesh Pothan, Johny Antony, Sudhi Koppa, Madhuri Braganza and Malvika Menon. 

(Note :
At the time of writing the article, the film could be seen at Amazon Prime Video for a subscription)

Tags : Joseph (Malayalam) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Malayalam Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Must Watch Indian Regional Language Gems, Films Not To Be Missed, Well Made Suspense Crime Thriller in Indian Cinema
23 Feb 2020 / Comments ( 8 )

Thanks a lot Sir for the review of this mesmerizing movie...the concept, acting, music and ofcourse the actors are superb. The emotions depicted in the movie are authentic. As if one could identfy what's our purpose for which we can die.....kudos to all the creative brains who made this possible. 

Bobby Sing

The pleasure is really mine Nazia and you rightly catched the basic essence of the film talking about DEATH.
Keep Visiting and Writing in,


I was so lucky to watch this movie in a theatre in 2018 and as you mentioned,Joju George nailed it brilliantly.His mannerisms and the deadpan expressions of a brilliant at work individual but whose personal life has become colourless, lifted the movie to great heights.Some songs and the picturisations were just majestic giving a soothing feel deep inside you.The direction is flawless and shows the creative brilliance of the malayalam film industry, towering above the insipid and mediocre chest thumping,hero worshipping so called mainstream Indi cinema. 

Bobby Sing

Thats right Roby and thanks for sharing your views on the movie here.
Keep visiting and writing in.

Shakil Warsi

Simply captivating thriller، that too without senseless fight sequences۔your review is as honest as always ۔۔thanks for suggesting me this film۔

Bobby Sing

This is really a gem of a thriller.
Thanks for watching it too.

Keep visiting and writing in.

Avik Mitra

There are movies and then there are stories getting unfolded in front of our eyes. 
"eye" se yaad aaya - watch this movie for J George's silent expressions.

I would also echo that it's not the thriller elements but the emotional quotient that makes it so special.

Bobby Sing

Thanks for writing in Avik.
Glad to know that you loved the emotional quotient in it too.

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