Friday, June 10, 2022

Jana Gana Muna

At first the story seemed confusing, a dead body picked up, then I thought I picked out a hero, then he did something very brutal.  Mobs were yelling and screaming and being beaten.  That was in the first half.  The case went to court opened up in different directions. Then one could see the cold relevance to events elsewhere in the world.  I am reminded of the January 6th hearing and how crowds were whipped to a frenzy.  Thus is my memory of "Jana Gana Mana" (2022).

Huge twists, but more importantly were the underlying social structure and the people who wanted to gain power against the common people.  Corruptions and manipulation with some surprising resistance. 

The plot is key.  You think you know what will happen and anticipate the twists, but until near the end it seems just like another courtroom drama.  It is hard to imagine the court room procedures are normal, but they serve to make a few points.  Apparently a sequel is in the works. 

The dialogue is Malayalam and available in other regional languages, but English is prominent in the court room.  Lately I have increased my Malayalam selections as many of them are outstanding.

One of my favorite type of films.  A surprise ending (with a hint for more to come) with a message.  The message is a local one (India with its peculiar social structure), but with global implications for human nature.

Dijo Jose Antony was the director in only his second film.  He has acted and been a playback singer.

Sharis Mohammed was the writer in only his fourth film.  His first was also the first for Dijo Jose Antony

Jakes Bejoy composed the music.  Had done "Forensic" (2020).

Sudeep Elamon was the cinematographer with nine film credits beforehand.

Sreejith Sarang was the editor.  Mostly worked in Tamil cinema.

Mammootty narrated the story.  He had trained and practicised as a lawyer.  He is a very prolific award winning actor with over 400 film credits.  His films include "Bhoothakkannadi" (1997), "Kerala Varma Pazhassirajua" (2009) "Karutha Pakshikal" (2006), "Varsham" (2014) "Pathemari" (2015) and my favorite movie seen in 2020, "Peranbu" (2018)

Prithviraj Sukumaran plays an activist lawyer.  He has been in mostly Malayalam films, but also Tamil, Telegu and Hindi.  While in his school performed in plays and debated.  He went to the University of Tasmania to study engineering, but got sidetracked with film roles.  Films include "Urumi:  the Warriors Who Wanted to Kill Vasco Da Gama" (2011), 'Koode" (2018),

Suraj Venjaramoodu played the police officer who you thought you knew, but he is more complicated than first impressions.  Has over 250 credits since 2002 including "Pulimurugan" (2016) and "Thundi Muthalum Driksakshiyum" (2017) and "Vikruthi" (2019) and "The Great Indian Kitchen" (2021)

Mamta Mohandas in flashbacks the dead teacher.  She has appeared in "Forensic" (2020).  She won a playback singer in 2006.

A film containing a lot of emotion.

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