WHAT A MOVIE! Highly stylized ‘Angamaly Diaries’, directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery and written by Chemban Vinod Jose, is a truly remarkable film, not only for its energetic, ultra-contemporary camera work, but also for its seemingly flawless, perfect script. ‘Angamaly Diaries’ is that rare film where the visual style fits the material perfectly.
To write the plot summery here is difficult. To put it in a simple way it is ‘many characters in strange situations’. ‘Angamaly Diaries’ tells the story of few gangs and their life at ‘the city of Angamaly’. You see the flaws of these men played out in an almost fatalistic nature. Not only are the characters in ‘Angamaly Diaries’ absolutely fascinating, and endearing, but also convincingly acted by groups of young actors. What to be mentioned specially about this film is the fresh script-writing and the odd humor. While the picture’s main focus is on a group of friends, the broader story concerns over two different groups of criminals in Angamaly, whose paths cross more than once.
The fresh actors provide great, believable acting performances with great authenticity despite having no prior experience. Tito Wilson as u-clamp Rajan and Sarath Kumar as Appani Ravi deserves few minutes of applauds. Then there is our hero Antony Varghese as Vincent Pepe who never makes us feel as if we have not seen him on screen prior to this film. In terms of casting, ‘Angamaly Diaries’ is another ‘Kammattipaadam’ – picture perfect. Let it be Kichu Tellus or Vineeth Vishwam or Sinoj Varghese or Ullas Jose Chemban or Anson Antony, or the beautiful Reshma Rajan, everybody looks so authentic and so ‘near-to-us’. It is hard to pick the best actor, yes it’s impossible to pick one and this film has quite a few characters.
The most influential factor behind the power of this film was the presence of silent emotional situations. There is a wide shot of ‘u clamp Rajan’ and ‘Appani Ravi’ standing near the front door of their house for few seconds in silence, just after ‘Appani Ravi’s conflict with his brother in law. There are more than few powerful scenes like this including the ultimate classic breathtaking eleven minute shot with over 1000 junior artists and this includes over five minutes of action choreography!!! Oh My God. That was awesome.
The editing and cinematography is very frantic, which makes you feel like you are on the streets of the ‘Angamaly’, and the direction is flawless, seamlessly blending many elements of the story. Everything about ‘Angamaly Diaries’ is pretty much fantastic. The director tells the story with a very down to earth attitude and, at times, with a wonderful sense of humor. Who is the director!
The director of this film must be a very big fan of filmmaking. His name is Lijo Jose Pellissery. This is not his first film, he has already given ‘one of my favorites’ – the raw-tension-filled ‘City of God’ (Malayalam), and the crazy-good-funny-boom-boom ‘Amen’. His latest, the ‘Angamaly Diaries’ is a movie filmed with so much thought and effort. It’s a real gem of modern filmmaking. Lijo uses the camera build moments of tension using the visual to take us inside the emotions of the characters. Unlike most films of this genre, Lijo Jose Pellissery was able to present the daily struggles of surviving rather than showcasing a false sense of glamour.
It is more like a crossover between the ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Kammattipaadam’ and ‘Aaranya Kandam’. ‘Angamaly Diaries’ is a film for good movie fans just in search of two hours of a bloody good movie. Easily will end up as the best films of the year. If you haven’t seen it, watch it! It’ll blow you away. Can’t recommend it enough.
Cinephile. Learning the art of filmmaking. Script Writer. Director.