Some films arrive without much of a flutter. You indifferently walk into the theatre to see those, wondering what's in store for you, and several slack releases in the recent past have taken their toll on you. And then something happens, that takes you by surprise. And once again, you remind yourself to expect the unexpected, the next Friday. Boban Samuel's 'Janapriyan' is one such film.
If you think of the story that Boban Samuel tells on screen, I would admit there is nothing much to crow about. But the way in which it is told, at least during the first hour of the film, is one that shows flashes of an admirable filmmaking aptitude. Equally appreciable is Boban's choice of his leading actor. Folks, Jayasurya rocks in Janapriyan.
The young actor plays Priyadarshan, a village simpleton, who is overjoyed on being temporarily appointed at the Taluk Office on a leave vacancy. The officer who has gone on leave is Vaishakhan (Manoj K Jayan), who is busy pursuing his dreams of turning a film director some day. Priyan merges into the city landscape in no time, and its busy inhabitants find his ways amusing. And for the first time in his life, he falls in love.
Somehow I was reminded of Jayaraj's 'Loud Speaker', while watching this film. Of course, there aren't any similarities between the two films, except that both the protagonists are non-stop chatters. Both of them also radiate an innate goodness that makes you reach out to them. As Priyan himself reveals at a particular point in the film, it's when the viewer feels that he is part of the world that he sees on screen, that he truly starts enjoying the film.
Perhaps more than everything else, this film needs to be valued for the collective efforts of a few individuals who have genuinely tried hard to visualize a simple story in an interesting manner. These efforts have indeed paid off, and that's why 'Janapriyan' is a far cry from any number of those films, that have everything going for it except for the resolute will to make a film that's worth a watch.
How I wish, after that hilarious half-time break, the rhythm of the film was maintained till the end. Unfortunately, it slackens after the initial hour, and steadily slows down to a very mediocre climax. This would have been acceptable, had it been for another film, but for'Janapriyan', that starts off in a splendid fashion, this deceleration is disappointing.
Jayasurya is incredibly charming as 'Janapriyan', and brings in a natural adorability to the character that he plays. His dialogue delivery is near perfect, and his pleasant looks complement the character even further. This is one of the best films I have seen him in, till date, the actor's determination to pitch in that extra bit of effort into everything that he does, deserves a special mention here. Bhama and Manoj K Jayan, along with Jagathy Sreekumar lend ample support.
'Janapriyan' is worth your time, for all the small charms and smiles that it has in store. I loved this film for what it is, but I wish I could have loved it even more.