Friday, March 3, 2017

അങ്കമാലി ഡയറീസ് (Angamaly Diaries) (2017)

Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery
Writer: Chemban Vinod Jose
DoP: Girish Gangadharan
Cast: Antony Varghese includes among the 86 debutants who absolutely rocked

Angamaly Diaries tell the tale of sort of a low level gang from their childhood to their late twenties. You really don't associate a sophisticated underworld with a town like Angamaly and Lijo sticks to the basics as he depicts the incidents from their lives which chiefly revolves around Pork farming business. I was not aware that Angamaly was famous for its pork and it is apparently big business there.

Angamaly is the meeting place of two of the busiest roads in Kerala as the NH 47 meets Main Central road (MC). It is also the place where the first multiplex of Kerala was established. Only in Kerala you would find a multiplex inside a State Transport bus terminal complex. Even though it is just 35 Kms from my hometown, I am not too familiar with it because Kerala is such that you will have around 6 biggish towns in a 30 KM radius with their own identities, based on the way LJP portrays Angamaly.

This is the film which follows up LJP's big budget disaster Double Barrel . Unlike most people, I very much enjoyed Double Barrel while I disliked, Amen, his only commercially successful film so far. Double Barrel is very good and could have been great if he had cut around 20-30 minutes from it. The fact that he is making a film featuring an all debut cast might have blessingly reined him a bit as it is cut to right length at 132 minutes. It is filled with delightful humour and second half of the film revolves around an incident which happens at the interval point.

What is unique about the film is the relationship between its so called heroes and villains. They give it and take it in a professional manner without too much personal vendetta coming into it. It is nothing personal, purely business. Since we're unfamiliar with such a treatment in our films, there is a constant sense of dread amidst all the humour which aids the film. LJP had also told that the treatment he is going for in the film requires unfamiliar faces as he didn't want the audience to have any preconceived notions about how they might behave. I totally understand now what he meant by that. Performances from the entire cast is just magnificent and it is the villains who ultimately steal the show.

You expect top notch quality on the technical front from an LJP film and he delivers on that unsurprisingly enough. Prashant Pillai's music is rawness at its best and BGM is stylish for all the set-pieces. Film's climax features a 11 minute single shot sequence featuring, apparently, around 1000 people. It is breathtaking but I wish I was not informed of it ahead of the release by the makers themselves. I can't really find any faults with the film and can't wait to watch it again. It should do well at the box office as there were claps both at the interval point and when it finished.

Rating: 5/5