Janamaithri Malayalam Movie ReviewFeature Film
Written by John Manthrickal, who also makes his debut as director, 'Janamaithri' is crafted in a milieu of comedy of errors. A couple of interesting telephonic conversations in the background of the title cards give the hints about it in the beginning. It makes you prepare for some impending nonsensical events that begin in Kochi and culminate in Kannur. John's approach as a writer and director is noticeable as there is an underlying wit in the concept. The script is co-written by James Sebastian.
The tale begins by narrating the life of Samyukthan (Saiju Kurup), a sales manager, who always incurs the ire of his boss as he fails to meet the sales target of the CCTV selling company. The incidents related his life are funny and raises hopes about the upcoming events. The initial parts of the movie throw light on the concise screenplay and a talented director's efficiency in execution. When the tale enters into the lives of police officers, the firm grip in the treatment starts to dwindle gradually.
The entry of Shibu. K.T (Indrans), a timid and sympathetic police officer, along with his subordinates like Ashraf (Sabumon), and Lawrence (Manikandan Pattambi), triggers interesting moments of slapstick comedy. In a bid to create a new image about the department, police officers start the initiative of providing refreshments like tea and biscuits for drivers at night to keep them awake at wheels.
One night, when Samyukthan is coming from Kochi in his car, the vehicle is pulled over by the police and they offer him black tea and biscuits as per their new initiative. Forced by the amicable behaviour of the cops, Samyukthan guzzles the tea and eats the biscuits unwillingly. This causes problems to his stomach.
The characters uphold the trait of caricature, and in the process, the chasm between fun and farce appears as tenuous wholly. A police officer accompanying a man to help him find a restroom on road at midnight is a source of fun here. But relying heavily on scatological humour clearly pulls the plug on the smart proceedings the film has till that stage. The slapstick comedy works out in certain parts while the incidents have a steady consecutive connection.
'Janamaithri' is clearly intended for slapstick comedy while showcasing the absurdities by a group of cops as well as other characters. It shows how an initiative by 'people-friendly' police goes haywire. The mission of generating innocuous fun works out well when you deliberately overlook logic and reality. Saiju Kurup perfectly fits the bill as he effortlessly portrays the anxiety of a private firm employee and the confusions of a bachelor.
Raphael, played by Vijay Babu, appears as a suave and clever fellow, who can extricate from any difficult situations compared to his dim-witted siblings. Vijay Babu could bring a difference to the character with a touch of humour and subtle body language. The act of police officer Shibu and his colleagues when they find Raphael's car is hard to digest even though the purpose is to generate comedy. Shaan Rahman has given an apt background score that flows well with the narration. Vishnu Narayanan's cinematography is also worth mentioning.