‘Antony’ movie review: A template Joshiy film that’s pacy and offers value for money


Stills from ‘Antony’

Stills from ‘Antony’
| Photo Credit: @saregamamalayalam/YouTube

Antony is no Porinju Mariyam Jose. If you are stepping in to watch the former (also directed by Joshiy), expecting the fireworks of the latter, then don’t. This is very different, although it is a power-packed story. The presence of Joju George, Chemban Vinod Jose, Nyla Usha and Vijayaraghavan, who played pivotal roles in PMJ, could give rise to expectations of a similar film. It is not. It is not as ‘mass,’ but an average film that gives you your money’s worth of entertainment. 

Joju George is Antony Anthrapper, a businessman/ gangster with a heart of gold who picks up the cudgels in defence of the helpless. He lives in the fictional Avaran City, in Idukki; his godfather is the blind Avaran (Vijayaraghavan), after whom the city is named. Avaran once ran the city, as he tells his home nurse Maya, portrayed by Nyla Usha. Chemban Vinod is the priest at the local church, who is also something of a mediator in matters of the lives of those faithful. 

The film is about the happenings in Antony’s life, his brush with other gangsters, and what happens when Kalyani Priyadarshan’s character, Ann Maria, comes into his life and he is forced to become her guardian after her mother’s (Asha Sharath) death. Antony, incidentally, is the one who murdered Ann’s father Xavier (Tini Tom). Everything that happens to Antony circles back to Xavier’s murder. Along the way, we learn why Ann accepts his guardianship.

Antony is a typical Joshiy film; there is action, plenty of it, and emotions spread over two hours and twenty-odd minutes. But there are also points when it feels longer. It is sprinkled with what is colloquially referred to as ‘punch dialogues’ that has the audience erupt in applause and whistling. It is also reminiscent of films of the 1990s with its huge lineup of actors; unfortunately, most of them don’t have much to do. One can’t help but wonder what Jinu Joseph, Tini Tom and Appani Sarath are doing in such minuscule roles. 

Antony (Malayalam)

Director: Joshiy

Cast: Joju George, Chemban Vinod Jose, Vijayaraghavan, Nyla Usha, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Asha Sharath 

Storyline: What happens when a good-hearted gangster is forced to turn guardian to the daughter of the man he killed?

Runtime: 135 minutes

The script, by Rajesh Varma, is tailor-made for Joju, and he delivers. Joshiy has capitalised on the on-screen chemistry that Joju and Chemban share, which elicits some laughs. The home nurse Maya and Avran’s interactions are heartwarming, and the performances deserve praise, with each actor delivering their best within the format. 

Kalyani Priyadarshan is a revelation.; her performance as the MMA-trained, college-going kid prone to using her fists to settle disagreements is convincing. She is a delight as the tomboy and she does justice to the role within the space she has been given. The work she has put in, physically, shows as does her willingness to try new characters and roles. The progression of Antony and Ann Maria’s relationship, from having to tolerate each other, to her finally calling him “Appa” is both sweet and cringe-inducing in equal parts. At points where emotions seem to have been introduced as a reminder, it jars.

Interestingly none of the women characters is helpless. Each is a strong character, right from Asha Sharath’s Jessy to Nyla, Kalyani and Jewel Mary, who essays a teacher in Ann’s college. If Kalyani’s character is bashing up boys, Nyla’s Maya drives Avaran around the city in an old Mercedes and shares a drink with him and Antony. 

This is an action film, and as with most Indian commercial action films Antony also demands suspension of disbelief. But then, do we question Hollywood action films? Likewise, there is no space for questions such as why is everyone in the police force in cohorts with the bad guys? How do goons enter a college and bash up students? Haven’t they heard of forensics and fingerprints? Money can buy your way out of jail in Avaran City, which seems untouched by law. Set aside these niggling questions, and you are in for almost 135 minutes of entertainment. 

Antony is currently running in theatres



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