How often do you see a top-billed director, known for making high-octane crime-thrillers, break his image and craft a movie about life? Just life. In all its ordinariness, uncertainty, and simplicity. Without any twists or frills. Jeethu Joseph, the director who pushed boundaries and made waves with Drishyam and Memories, has done just that with Life Of Josutty.
This film belongs to a genre Joseph has never tried before. The narrative flows like a gentle stream – calmly and smoothly. No character or situation sticks out. Jeethu Joseph’s camera zooms into the life of Jose Kutty (a very natural Dileep), a simple villager from the lush-green, picturesque Idukki village.
And thanks to Joseph’s masterful direction, the story of an ordinary man’s life becomes extraordinary.
Jose Kutty’s childhood revolves around the village church, his simpleton friend Geevarghese (Noby), and his sweetheart Jessymol (Rachana Narayanankutty). Son of a pious couple, Joseph and Shoshamma, Jose Kutty grows up under the watchful eyes of his guardian angel. Literally. There’s a pair of Satanic eyes too, waiting to mislead little Jose Kutty. When little Jessy pecks him on his cheek, the angel panics and the devil rejoices. Thankfully, the angel-devil duo, who keep appearing throughout the movie, don’t get to control Jose Kutty’s life. They just react to his actions.
Life Of Josutty is unabashedly frank. The protagonist doesn’t impart moral lessons or go on a vengeance spree when he catches his wife on bed with another man.
He moves on. He lets the woman live her life.
Josutty’s best friend in New Zealand is a young woman, whose husband is gay. The film doesn’t crack any jokes on her life. She is depicted with respect and compassion. The narrative’s take on human emotions and desires is refreshing and laudable.
Jeethu Joseph is famous for his love for VFX. Life Of Josutty is no exception. Like Drishyam, Life Of Josutty begins with a lengthy sequence, blending a helicam shot with mediocre CG. There’s plenty of VFX, though none particularly outstanding. The movie is situated at Jose Kutty’s mountain hamlet. The camera uses a variety of top angle shots, working its magic with the beautiful landscape. When Jose Kutty moves to New Zealand, where his wife has settled, the camera frames becomes tighter. Just like his life, which has shrunk to a small space.
Jose Kutty’s father is a well-constructed character whose philosophy guides the son. Hareesh Peradi, a former theatre artist, brilliantly portrays the village farmer, capturing the subtle nuances of the character. Peradi rose to fame as the antagonist in the 2013 political-thriller Left Right Left. And his performance here, especially in the scene where Jose Kutty bids farewell to his family before leaving for New Zealand, is likely to be equally memorable. In fact, every artist in the film portrays their character with an effortless naturalism.
Life Of Josutty has no intention of causing an adrenaline rush. Unlike Drishyam and Memories, this one may not leave producers from other languages vying for its remake rights. But like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, this is a film that makes us reflect on this journey called life. And the obliviousness with which we arrive at the destination.
The Life Of Josutty Review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.