Star Cast: Darshana Rajendran, Basil Joseph, Aju Varghese, Azees Nedumangad, Sheethal Zackaria & ensemble.
Director: Vipin Das.
What’s Good: The attempt to slaughter misogyny and patriarchy through comedy and also maybe giving women an idea or two to give agency!
What’s Bad: The balance between the over-the-top imagination of an abusive relationship and the real world flickers and it is visible.
Loo Break: Strictly not when Darshana Rajendran and Basil Joseph are having the showdown. What a scene, WHAT A SCENE!
Watch or Not?: Malayalam cinema is years ahead of every other industry. This idea is so fresh and nicely executed that you must watch it.
Language: Malayalam (with subtitles).
Available On: Disney+ Hotstar.
Runtime: 143 Minutes.
A young girl Jaya (Darshana) with no agency in her own life at all is married to a man Rajesh (Basil) who feels entitled to every land he steps on. An abusive husband, he shows his true colors but that doesn’t mean Jaya won’t fight back. She does and kicks the ego of the collective in the gut.
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey Movie Review: Script Analysis
While Malayalam cinema is a gold mine of ideas and years ahead in making them real than all the other industries fighting to be commercial, it is not that there have been no vices involved. The commercial Malayalam space has been dominated by fictional men abusive in nature and justified by the writing. What is the silver lining is that the industry understands its mistakes and takes active steps to rectify them. Remember Fahadh Faasil from Kumbalangi Nights? Raymond- The Complete Man? Wasn’t that a parody enough?
Rises another. Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey is a risky subject because it isn’t a movie that fits into one single genre. It is about a girl who for the world is a pampered child, but actually a girl with no agency at all. She is traded, passed, and tossed like a possession by the patriarchal people in her life with no one bothered about her condition. So when she lands in an abusive marriage, she has no other option but to fight or die on that one violent night by being silent. The tone keeps shifting between over-the-top comedy and slice-of-life time and again, and it isn’t an easy thing to do.
Writers Vipin Das and Nashid Mohamed Famy decide to take the route where they build a story of micro-aggression and gaslighting of a woman leading to a day she finally decides to kick the man trying to make her feel small. There is a way to use absurdity, over the top approach, and a hyperbole version of redemption where they are work in your favour, and the team here definitely knows that. It slowly builds a narrative where Jaya is being manhandled where two even decided to hit her ending up shaking her consciousness and she revolts. The slow build to a crackling showdown is so wrecking and hilariously funny, you have to witness it.
The power dynamics of the movie are equally divided into the writing, direction, and acting. Nothing tries to overpower. It manages to make a point, laugh your guts out, but never at the abused but the abuser. There is so much brain in the comedy that it makes sure you never laugh at the wrongs but at the situation of the abuser when he has to taste his own medicine. This a classic example of how you can make a point while entertaining. One can compare it to Alia Bhatt’s Darlings, but the two are unique in their own way.
The only place where the movie flickers a bit is when it makes the transitions between the OTT tone to the real world where the families exist. You can see the shift and the glitch that it brings with it. That does bother you when it comes but the plot and the writing is strong enough to bring you back in.
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey Movie Review: Star Performance
Basil Joseph is a creative beast and there is no doubt. For a filmmaker who directed Minnal Murali, he is as natural an actor in Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey. At no point he let’s his mean gaze down because he is so convinced about being the man-child that you won’t see an actor playing the part, but they blend in. Ever time a punch lands on his face and he gets kicked you celebrate. It is his performance that makes you celebrate Jaya’s victory.
Talking of Jaya, Darshana Rajendran has to gave the most subtle emoting skills. She understands that the set up around her is absurd and over dramatic (for good), so she doesn’t overplay the part, rather she keeps it minimal and underplayed. You can see a nuanced actor trying to replicate the journey of a character and that too effortlessly.
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey Movie Review: Direction, Music
Vipin Das’ direction is clever. There is an art is building up a story to a blow that will move the audience. Not everyone can do it. He makes you laugh, feel the pain, and make his point while trying to keep them all separate. He also creates this world very visually with Bablu Aju, so there is no need for a dialogue or a voice-over that explains things.
Ankit Menon’s music is fresh and so experimental for a movie that is in itself unique that you will have to enjoy it. It much has been a task to find the ‘sur’ of this project and what they have created is so good.
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey Movie Review: The Last Word
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey is a perfect platter with everything in place and waiting for you to taste and appreciate it. Go in to have a unique experience.
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey Trailer
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey releases on 28th October, 2022.
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For more recommendations, read our Ammu Movie Review here.
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