The film begins with a gay in butterfly shirt on riding on a scooter to meet a local gangster to take revenge, in a local club there are gangs ganged up for drinking where one gang is dressed in distinctive attire- we see a Jesus lending cigarette. That’s our protagonist Pepe (Anthony Varghese) – the story then shifts to his point-of-view and the entire film is one hell of black comical ride. The film is not just about Angamaly but prominently of the various characters (the director introduces 86 actors), there is a gangster eating Python meat, there is a young woman who wants to attend the wedding for booze, there are seamless gang-fights, there is a man embracing a tree while making a bomb so as to save his face if it goes off, lot of food ranging from vegetarian to non-vegetarian curries and then there is the pork meat business. With a lot of violence!

After Gangs of Wasseypur, this is one film which takes us through an in-depth journey with violence dwelling in the humor. In one scene, a dead man’s body won’t go inside the coffin so the guys who chop the pork meat break his bones as the man’s mistress is crying while his wife is calm- well, those guys are reported to the Police station. The film is 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 up pork meat business and the happenings around it.

The film’s script by actor Chemban Vinod Jose is rooted in the daily routine and captures the essence of the characters very well (he also has an interesting cameo of less than 10 seconds). 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 an excellent manner. It’s a seen and been there story but the Director has managed to freshly imagine it; most interesting Screenplay seen in the recent times.

In Premam, Nivin Pauly ends up baking red velvet cupcakes while here Anthony Varghese ends with pigs slaughtering. Even Anthony (gives a power packed performance) has three romance- but they are not epic. In one scene, Anthony is with his girlfriend romancing while a man enters and starts barking on the phone. The mood is broken. While it may also remind you of Dulquer Salmaan’s Kammatipaadam (2016)as the characters were raw and rustic there. 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 unforgettable part is not the stars promoting the film or the critical acclaim it has got but the 11-minute climax shot in one single shot. 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 was facing the satisfaction of a thrilling and entertaining experience. Spirit of Angamaly is totally ignited!

Language: Malayalam
Release: 3 March, 2017
Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery
Rating: 4/5

Copyright ©2017 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.


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