John Paul Vaathil Thurakkunnu Malayalam Movie
Plotting is a huge concern in films as 'John Paul Vaathil Thurakkunnu', that bank on the thriller element to keep up the verve. And when it falls apart like it does in the Chadrahasan directed film, the inconsistencies puff out through out, all apparent.
John Paul (Deepak) who agrees to be a bone marrow donor to help Dr. Suma's (Sruthi Menon) daughter live, lands up at his friend Venkiti's (Nirmal) place. He is coaxed by Venkiti to attend a job interview at the place where the latter works, and it turns out that his boss Manoj Mathen (Sudip Joshi) has an old axe to grind with John. One thing leads to the next and before long John Paul is left with a couple of drinks inside and a revolver outside, gun shots are fired and a man is killed.
Based on a short story, 'John Paul Vaathil Thurakkunnu' feels long even at the one hundred and eighteen minutes of running time that the film has. Initially, it looks and sounds pretty confusing, and once the events start adding up to each other, it feels that 'John Paul Vaathil Thurakkunnu' could have made an impressive short film instead of a full length feature.
Mathen decides to take John out on a night drive into the forest and tries to scare the living daylights out of him. John isn't scared, since he says he had applied to the army once. The jeep gets stuck and Mathen is thrown into the ravine, and John is left gaping into it as the Interval card comes up. What is disappointing is the amateurish way in which the entire sequence has been shot.
It so happens that Mathen has quite a few skeleton stacked away in his closet, and after a life changing experience, he notices the halo around John Paul's head. The latter is fast made out to be a saint, who wouldn't smoke or have a drink, forget alone having sex with a stranger woman.
But there is very little in the film that supports this avatar of John Paul otherwise. Without doubt, he looks like a man without vices, but that's as far as it gets. Hence when the climactic enthronement ensues, you wonder if you had missed out on something that had transformed John Paul into the angel that he purportedly is.
There are instances when the entire scene looks staged, like the one in which Dr. Suma enters the hospital room after John Paul has been operated on. The surgeon (Rajesh Hebbar) who has been sleeping on the couch gets up wearily as the frame showcases a handful of cigarette stubs that had been dropped on the floor. The doc adds that he had been smoking a lot since he was tense, making us wonder how many docs would actually do something like that - smoking beside a patient who had been battling for life a few hours back.
Of the performances, Deepak steals the entire show and displays an impressive elan throughout. Sruthi Menon is remarkably good as well as the frustrated mom who would stop at nothing to see to it that her sick daughter is saved. Sudip Joshy goes a bit overboard with his performance as the loner Mathen, while Rajesh Hebbar in almost a cameo flies way above the top.
'John Paul Vaathil Thurakkunnu' comes across as a group of scattered scenes bound loosely by a fragile narrative. Some doors, they say, are best left closed.