“Have you heard any of my stories?” In the beginning of the movie we hear Hari asking this to his friends, more than once. A scriptwriter in desperate need of a career break. That is Hari. Our protagonist.
The movie is all about the happenings that occur between five cinema loving friends in a night at an apartment. They are all aspiring film artists but other than Hari, everyone else now works in some other job due to various reasons. Hari don’t want to do what they are doing to their passion. But Hari is demoralised and embarrassed by his friends as being unimaginative and untalented. He is in that frustrating condition of getting mocked and struggling. Hari starts narrating his stories to his friends while they are drinking. He asks his friends to give attention to his stories.
“There was a teacher who made fun of me
by asking me if my name is Hari or Harijan”
Revelations and Realities
The stories Hari narrates to his friends changes the tone of the film from a friends-drama to a psycho-thriller. Hari lets out all of his repressed anger over being ridiculed for his writing, his appearance, and his caste. He represents many things. Not only the aspiring writers or directors but many more. This is where the writer – director Jithin Issac Thomas wins. His script is sharp. The way Jithin included various movies, poems, filmmakers into the conversation is clever. Eg. When Hari talks about the unknown obstacles he is facing, one of his friends asks him if he have seen the movie ‘Pariyerum Perumal’. Politics comes naturally into the plot, and it is filled with pointed connotations.
Unveiling the Dark Layers in ‘Attention Please
Later in the movie, Hari mentions Mari Selvaraj’s ‘Pariyerum Perumal’ and asks his friends if such things are happening in Kerala. Then he tells a story about a teacher from his school who made fun of him by asking him if his name ‘Hari’ or ‘Harijan’! It’s riveting, and intense. Jithin creates an atmosphere that is so connectable and all the actors look very relatable. We feel as if we have seen them. Together they makes us feel like we are there. “Attention Please” is a fantastic watch because of all these factors. One of the wonderful things about this movie is that it appears as one thing, but it’s about something else.
“Even my friends uses my caste as a swear word”
Like in Parthiban’s ‘Oththa Seruppu Size 7’, here also sound effects and design are used in extreme proportion to give life to the stories Hari narrates. Brilliantly done. Cinematography and lighting wonderfully accentuate the atmosphere.
‘Attention Please’ depends largely on the lead actor’s performance, and it is anchored by the great performance of Vishnu Govindhan. He equally frightens you and makes you feel sympathy for him. The brilliantly written script and Vishnu’s performance takes you to the edge of the seat. Good performance by Anand Manmadhan and Sreejith Babu as well. Other actors does not have much things to do other than reacting to Vishnu’s dialogues.
Jithin Issac Thomas’ ‘Attention Please’ is a compelling thriller of unique elements and is currently available on Netflix.
Cinephile. Learning the art of filmmaking. Script Writer of Amutha (Tamil) and Pattaapakal (Malayalam). Filmmaker.