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Antony movie review - Joju George, Kalyani Priyadarshan flex their muscles in typical Joshiy film

Joju George lends his character of Antony gravitas, so much that you can't help but imagine what if a younger Suresh Gopi had played the role

Antony movie review - Joju George, Kalyani Priyadarshan flex their muscles in typical Joshiy film
A still from Antony

Last Updated: 02.26 PM, Dec 01, 2023


Antony story: After Antony, a loner with a history of violence, accidentally ends up killing the father of college student Ann Maria, who is equally aggressive. A series of shocking incidents lead to the parish priest asking him to protect her for a few months. The presence of each other in their lives reform their violent ways, till a forgotten foe resurfaces.


Antony review: Unlike most of the filmmakers who had peaked in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and are still active today, director Joshiy keeps finding a way of reinventing himself despite, never quite straying away from the action entertainer genre. In his latest movie Antony, featuring Joju George and Kalyani Priyadarshan, the filmmaker stays true to his style but also in a way, schools a lot of the current crop of filmmakers on how to make an entertaining film with the right amount of action, heroism, emotion and relationship drama. 

The central characters in the movie - Antony and Ann Maria - are bonded by the fact that they have no one else. This also becomes the reason for their aggresive nature in a way. But the action in Antony is just an excuse to explore the backstories of these characters as well as give them a heroic presence, complete with Jakes Bejoy’s thumping music.

A still from Antony
A still from Antony

Much like Joshiy’s previous films, the movie is set in a high-range town called Avaran City where Antony, a wealthy ruffian with a heart of gold, and his gang help solve the issues. Naturally, the number of enemies increase. But with Antony being a loner and having nothing to lose, he goes all out to ensure justice is served. One such incident, however, goes too far, as he ends up accidentally killing a man - Ann Maria’s father. How, after a series of shocking incidents, Ann ends up under the care and protection of Antony and the changes this brings in both their lives form the plot. 

What Joshiy often does best is to weave emotions and relationship elements within a revenge story. Be it Lelam, Vazhunnor, Paappan or Antony, that template has remained the same. But surprisingly, the storytelling and technical facets of the film has helped his movies also strike a chord with the changing audience. Antony is not a film that is full of surprises, but it has enough in it - especially in the brisk first half where Antony and Ann Maria have to adjust with the new circumstances - to keep the audience hooked. Antony’s frequent visits to the college to answer for Ann’s violence is entertaining but its writer, Rajesh Sharma, doesn't pose any other setting apart from this - wearing out its welcome fast.

A still from Antony
A still from Antony

Joshiy’s knack of unearthing the larger-than-life heroes in actors never seem to get old either. With Antony, he has also unleashed that side of Joju, and gives the audience glimpses of an unlikely actor who could emerge as Malayalam’s next ‘mass’ hero after Mohanlal, Mammootty and Suresh Gopi; a title so many young and experienced actors have been vying with each other for in the past few years. 

Joju handles his role with ease and also lends his character gravitas, so much that you can't help but imagine what if a younger Suresh Gopi had played the role because of the whole Joshiy template. Kalyani too gets to explore a different side of her and does well in the part. But you do feel that she is more of a supporting character in the movie, where most of the narrative is focused on Antony.

The film's story does slip into the predictable route in the second half when an old foe resurfaces. But this time, the filmmaker, who seems to be well aware of his failings when he sticks true to his template, makes the final action sequences curt. The lack of a powerful antagonist is another grouse as the danger that Antony and Ann Maria faces never seem to be great enough to threaten them, considering what they are capable of.

A still from Antony
A still from Antony

The editing of the movie by Shyam Sasidharan also helps in overcoming the actors’ shortcomings during the action scenes. The subplots with Vijayaraghavan and Nyla Usha also adds an element of freshness to the story, which has a few good songs and a pleasing cinematography by Renadive.

Antony verdict: This Joju George and Kalyani Priyadarshan-starrer follows the typical Joshiy-film template, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It has enough fresh elements to keep the audience hooked to the relationship between Antony and Ann Maria, even when the rest is predictable.


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