‘Jo & Jo’ Movie Review, Slightly Funny and Struggles to Leave an Impact

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The entire movie gets a similar treatment to some light web series, but not every attempt at a joke lands effectively.

The entire movie gets a similar treatment to some light web series, but not every attempt at a joke lands effectively.

You either have to be super confident to create a plot from nothing, or really run out of ideas to write almost an entire movie around a love letter and the confusions that ensue. Beyond the sibling rivalry story, much of the events of Jojo are built around this anonymous love letter, which is addressed only to Jo, which makes Jomon (Mathew Thomas) and his older sister Jomol (Nikhila Vimal) suspect each other of being the recipient.

But the letter is only the last reason for their fight. Staying inside the house for most of the time during lockdown, the two have been at each other’s throats over one topic or the other. Jomol constantly raises her voice about the unequal treatment they receive from their parents, with her being put in charge of household chores and making him do everything for him by others. Rookie director Arun. D. Jose, who co-wrote the screenplay with Raveesh Nath, treats much of his outbursts as mere reasons for more jokes, except near the end.

The entire movie gets a similar treatment to some light web series, but not every attempt at a joke lands effectively. For his escapades outside the house, which mostly consist of fishing in a nearby stream, Jomon has his friends Manoj Sundaran (Naslen) and Eby (Melvin) for company, both of whom manage to inject energy and the humor essential in the debates. But even though Jomon and his friends spend time outdoors, having fun and getting into trouble, Jomol spends a lot of his time indoors… but not by choice.

Jojo

Director: Arun D Jose

Cast: Nikhila Vimal, Mathew Thomas, Naslen K. Gafoor and Johny Antony

For a film that had so many promising tangents, the script is limited to the love letter and the attempts of Jo and her friends to track down the man who allegedly wrote the anonymous letter to the sister. After a while, Jomon’s obsession with the letter doesn’t make sense, especially for a youngster who has so many things around him to distract himself. The image of the younger brother who controls the morals of his sister also does not correspond to his behavior until then.

Attempts towards the climax to earn progressive brownie points seem half-hearted, especially since some movies with progressive messages are mocked in one of the dialogues above! Jomol’s genuine anger at being “prepared” for marriage from an early age could have had much more impact if the storyline hadn’t trivialized her concerns earlier.

Jojo has a few laugh-out-loud moments, but they’re treated as stand-alone skits, as the movie as a whole doesn’t create any impact.

Jo & Jo is in theaters now.

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