Joji : The Gospel of Jaison


Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

I’m not a theologian and this verse has nothing to do with the movie as such but for some reason this is the first thought that came to my mind when the end credits of Joji rolled. Much has been said about the film now. Personally I felt that Dileesh Pothan’s style was severely cramped by the pandemic and I’m not entirely sure if this is indeed the movie that he wanted to make, visually at least. He has indeed improvised, like only a Malayali can. I do not intend to digress here and coming back to the verse, the most simplistic of interpretations of the movie is that it’s ultimately about inheritance and here the one who is chosen in the end is the meekest by nature and in his actions. He is in fact lower than Joji in the food chain of Panachel family, so to speak. Joji might be the slacker and the proverbial prodigal son but even he is more enterprising in his own twisted ways, in comparison to Jaison, in fact even Popy beats Jaison here. At one point Jaison submits to Joji too. But he is the most pragmatic member of the family who has a semblance of a normal life amongst the three sons.

Jomon doesn’t give two hoots about the society, Joji thinks that he is a victim of the social situation around him but Jaison is all about conformity. He takes care not to cross anyone and is desperate to keep the family affairs afloat. He is the picture that an average Malayali paints of himself day in day out when he ventures out of his home. The only time he stands up for himself is when he realises the threat to the core of his very existence and here too it’s a smart sense of survival that guides him, and he relies on members of the society with whom he has a better working relationship than his siblings.

But what’s perplexing is that it’s Jaison who actually sets off the chain of events that changes the fate of the family, albeit unknowingly if you ask me. The only time Bincy weeps in the movie is when she listens to her husband telling her in a broken voice about the insult he suffers from his own father. Bincy vents and this time it’s Joji who is at the receiving end. She explodes in Joji’s face and that sets the ball rolling. Joji confronts Kuttappan and let’s just say that it didn’t end well for anyone, except for Jaison and Bincy. Joji does what he does for Bincy and Jaison as much as for himself and someone who’s supposed to be the sociopath criminal of the lot breaks emotionally when he is disowned by them. I might be overreaching here but in Maheshinte Prathikaram too we see a similar chain of events that changes the fate of the characters. Dileesh Pothan and Shyam Pushkaran have a thing for the butterfly effect I guess.

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