Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Remo Roy, Rojo Thomas, Renji Wilson, K.G. Simon, B.A. Aloor

Director: Christo Tomy

Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case Movie Review Out ( Photo Credit – IMDb )

What’s Good: The documentary skillfully navigates through each murder, crafting well-framed scenes that subtly portray the family’s turmoil. Heartfelt statements from family members establish a subtle yet essential emotional connection with viewers.

What’s Bad: The condensed format, unusual for true-crime shows, limits the exploration of minute details in a case spanning 14 years, leaving viewers with lingering questions. The documentary falls short in delving deep into Jolly’s psyche, lacking authentic narratives from her early life in Kattappana.

Loo Break: Given the compact runtime, avoiding bathroom breaks is advisable to grasp the case’s intricacies fully. The narrative unfolds quickly, and missing even a short segment might lead to confusion.

Watch or Not?: For true crime enthusiasts and those unfamiliar with the extensive coverage of the case in 2019, ‘Curry & Cyanide’ provides a concise yet riveting overview. However, viewers seeking a more in-depth exploration may find satisfaction in alternative formats, such as Spotify’s podcast series, ‘Death, Lies & Cyanides.’

Language: Malayalam

Available On: Theatrical release

Runtime: 1h 38m


User Rating:

‘Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case’ unravels a haunting true crime story set against the backdrop of Koodathayi, a picturesque town in Kerala, India. Over 14 years, six family members, including a two-year-old, meet tragic ends in a series of alleged poisoning murders. The accused is an unassuming middle-aged woman named Jolly Joseph, accused of causing the deaths of her in-laws, her first husband, the wife of her second husband, and his younger daughter.

Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case Movie Review Out ( Photo Credit – YouTube )

Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case Movie Review: Script Analysis

Shalini Ushadevi’s script for ‘Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case adeptly captures the intricacies of the chilling narrative, providing a systematic analysis of the events that unfolded over 14 years. The script navigates through each murder with precision, carefully crafting well-framed scenes that subtly portray the family’s turmoil. Ushadevi’s writing skillfully weaves the perspectives of key figures, including retired cop KG Simon, Jolly’s son Remo, Jolly’s sister-in-law Renji Wilson, and other family members, enhancing the viewer’s understanding of the case.

However, the script leaves room for improvement in exploring the psychological depths of Jolly’s character. While it highlights her proficiency in deception, exemplified by her forging degree certificates, there is a yearning for more authentic narratives, particularly from her early life in Kattappana. A more in-depth exploration of Jolly’s psyche could have added layers to the report, providing a deeper understanding of her motives and the underlying causes of her criminal inclinations.

Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case Movie Review: Star Performance

Renji, portrayed as the true hero in ‘Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case,’ delivers a standout performance that resonates throughout the documentary. Her unwavering resilience, pursuit of justice, and expression of genuine emotions, including tear-filled eyes, shine through, making her a compelling and relatable figure for the audience. Renji’s portrayal adds a layer of emotional depth to the narrative, especially as she takes on the responsibility of protecting her brother’s children and seeks justice despite facing resistance. Her teary-eyed recollections of the horrific times, coupled with a palpable sense of contentment in saving her brother’s children from further suffering, make Renji a central and impactful presence in the documentary.

Remo, Jolly’s elder son, also contributes significantly. His portrayal adds a dimension of strength and resilience to the narrative, showcasing how he remains steadfast during unimaginably tough times. In the later stages of the documentary, Remo notably shifts from referring to Jolly as ‘amma’ (Malayalam word for mom) to using ‘Ningal’ or ‘bhakti.’ Initially, he addressed her as ‘amma.’ This change in Remo’s choice of address offers a unique perspective, providing a poignant glimpse into the complex dynamics within the family. His ability to stand firm and support his aunt, Renji, highlights the enduring familial bonds despite the tragic circumstances.

Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case Movie Review Out ( Photo Credit – YouTube )

Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case Movie Review: Direction, Music

Helmed by National Award winner Christo Tomy, the direction of ‘Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case’ stands out for its skillful framing and portrayal of the complex narrative. Tomy adeptly navigates through each murder, capturing the family’s turmoil with precision. Noteworthy are the frames that subtly depict the unsettling darkness within the Ponnamattam family, even when showcasing the lush greenery of Idukki, Jolly’s hometown. This intentional contrast creates an atmosphere of unease, complementing the gravity of the true-crime narrative. Tomy’s choice to condense the documentary into a feature-film duration of just 1.30 hours, while unusual for the genre, adds a sense of urgency and impact to the storytelling, even though it leaves some lingering questions in the minds of viewers due to the case’s extensive 14 years span.

Tushar Lall’s music score in ‘Curry & Cyanide’ plays a crucial role in maintaining the documentary’s sensitive treatment of the subject matter. Lall’s compositions convey a sense of emotional depth that complements the gravity of the true-crime narrative. The peripheral presence of the score enhances the overall viewing experience, subtly underscoring key moments without overshadowing the storytelling. This nuanced approach to the music aligns well with the documentary’s focus on presenting the facts and emotional impact of the Jolly Joseph case without sensationalism.

Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case Movie Review: The Last Word

Curry & Cyanide offers a gripping glimpse into the Jolly Joseph case, skillfully navigating the complex narrative within a compact runtime. While it excels in portraying the family’s pain and the investigative process, it falls short in providing a comprehensive exploration of Jolly’s psyche. Viewers seeking a detailed examination may turn to alternative formats, but this documentary is a compelling watch for a concise overview.

Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case Trailer

Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case releases on December 22, 2023.

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