Rojin Thomas who was one among the directors of Philips and The Monkey Pen write and direct Jo and The Boy, a film that has a thought provoking subject and told with lot of importance for music and visuals. There is some element of positive energy in the film as the plot tell us to go for the limits to achieve our childhood dreams.
On the downside, we have a film that preaches too much and also after the second half, the plot runs out of steam to put a full stop to the proceedings.
Each one of us have aspirations, passion and dreams when all of us were young. Some of us think the unthinkable and realise our goals and dreams while some others fade out achieving nothing.
Jo and The Boy belong to one such Joan Mary John played by Manju Warrier who had a dream and to achieve that, she quits her teaching job and become an animator in the field of animation and film making. How this is achieved and with whose help and support she complete the biggest aim of her life is what is shown in the film.
So we have a lively and colorful first half that gets a bit torturous and indigestible towards the final stages. Screenplay should have been reworked to give a normal feel in the final one hour or so.
The transformation of the boy Chriz to an overnight celebrity and his actions thereafter was too much to ask for and looked too melodramatic and artificial. Also, how the change in mood happened to the boy and how his relationship with Jo went to a stage of beyond control was told in an unconvincing fashion.
Manju Warrier who is in her second innings had the bulk of the screen presence as she is there in almost every frame as the title character of Jo. It was a good effort that sometimes looked a bit over too. Sanoop Santhosh did his part but as I said, his swing in the moods was taking a toll on the boy who was till that moment doing a fine job.
Lalu Alex, Kala Renjini, Pearly Maney, Rekha, Kiran and Sunil Sugadha are part of the supporting casts. By the by what was Sudheer Karamana doing as the leader of a “dreaded” quotation gang. Well his transformation was funny in the way it was done.
Rejin and his team has given maximum care in the visual aspects. Rich and colorful frames along with the beauty of the locale where the film was shot gave an eye candy experience for the audience. Also the animation team has done a cool job to give the film a fillip.
Jo and The Boy is projected as a musical film but did too much of songs cast a bad shadow on the overall outcome is the next question. The answer is to an extent yes as each time some sort of positives and success happen to the leading lady and her team we have a lengthy song appearing to boost the success party and to convey the same.
What this did was extending the overall duration and also slowing down the flow of the plot. At one hundred and fifty six minutes, Jo and The Boy is too lengthy. Background score was good while the camera work was excellent.
Overall, there are takeaways for everyone of us from a movie like this. At the same time, the momentum with which the film was progressing could not be sustained till the very end leaving one watching it only partially satisfied. The film is watchable for its technical side and also for the visual richness. My rating is two and a half out of five.
Rating – 2.5 / 5
Reviewed by chandra mohan gopinath