Our protagonist Pepe (Anthony Varghese) is dressed as Jesus being handed cigarette, it sets the mood for a hell of black humour subdued ride. The film isn’t about Angamaly but the people of Angamaly: there’s a gangster gulping Python meat, there’s a young woman wanting to attend a wedding just for booze, there are endless gang-fights, and a lot of food ranging from vegetarian to non-vegetarian curries; not to forget the pork meat business savoured with a lot of violence!
After Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Angamaly Diaries is a rare film which routes through the by-lanes of violence posed with humour. In a particular scene, a dead man’s body won’t fit inside the coffin so the pork chopping guys break his bones. On one side is the man’s mistress crying while on the another his calm and composed wife is calm – such sequences sprout black humour tickling the funny bone. It’s a rustic tale of the youth in Angamaly, a town in Kerala (India), revolving around six youngsters and mainly on a quintessential Mother’s loving child Pepe who open a pork meat business.
Scriptwriter Chemban Vinod Jose finds nuances rooted in the daily routine and captures the essence of the characters very well (he also has an interesting cameo). The script is raw, gripping, rustic, coming-of-age and humorous weaved in local dialect, food, music and culture. Director Lijo Jose Pellissery pulls off a brilliant entertainer with total conviction. The music by Prashant Pillai is thumping, it is local but it sprouts the action sequences. Not a conventional score but it lends an intense and quirky mood to the small town. There are lots of action sequences but they aren’t repetitive – executed in a quirky manner.In Premam, Nivin Pauly ends up baking red velvet cupcakes while here, Anthony Varghese ends with slaughtering pigs. While it may also remind you of Dulquer Salmaan’s Kammatipaadam (2016) as the characters were were raw and rustic too. Angamaly Diaries is the well-crafted film with an intriguing narrative and phenomenal Cinematography by Girish Gangadharan. He keeps the camera real in the sense that it captivates us into the character, which makes the newcomers more real.
With the love Angamaly Diaries has received from all over, the interesting part is not the stars promoting the film or the critical acclaim it has got but the 11-minute one shot climax. The climax gives an anticlimax while it is brilliantly executed like the Francis Ford Coppola-style amidst a religious procession. To sum up, it’s a brutally honest film with the technicalities of film-making used with love (sincerely) by bunch of youngsters.
As the pigs faced the knife all the time while I faced the satisfaction of a thrilling and entertaining experience. Spirit of Angamaly is totally ignited!
Release: 3 March, 2017
Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery
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