Categories: Malaylam

Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case Review

A glimpse into the challenging terrain of documenting a true crime story, especially when the legal proceedings are ongoing. Christo Tomy directs this exploration of the Koodathayi Murders, a chilling saga in Kerala where Jolly Joseph stands accused of murdering six family members, including her husband.

Spanning the years from 2002 to 2016, the documentary unfolds with the alleged murder of Jolly’s mother-in-law, Annamma Joseph. It traces the evolution of Jolly’s relationship with her late husband, Roy Thomas, leading to marriage, and endeavors to fathom the motives behind each crime through testimonials from family, investigators, and researchers. While the information presented is largely known to the public, a systematic analysis attempts to provide deeper insights into the perplexing nature of such heinous acts. Yet, the success of this endeavor remains a question.

Delving into the case, the documentary inadvertently sheds light on numerous loopholes, leaving viewers pondering the absence of certain post-mortems, the lack of suspicion toward Jolly over a decade, and her true motivations.

Shalini Ushadevi’s writing, coupled with the well-sequenced events and poignant family statements, establishes a subtle emotional connection with the audience. Tushar Lall’s score adds a layer of respectability, maintaining a delicate balance that complements the documentary’s sensitive treatment.

The carefully framed shots, especially those capturing the internal turmoil within the family, showcase thoughtful cinematography. The documentary navigates each murder with precision, maintaining a sense of darkness even amidst the lush greenery of Idukki, Jolly’s hometown. This visual juxtaposition not only instills a pervasive sense of unease befitting such a horrific case but also provides insights into Jolly’s perception of her home as a restrictive space, as suggested by the documentary.

Despite its relatively short duration, the documentary falls short of offering fresh perspectives to those well-acquainted with the extensive media coverage of the case in 2019. While commendable in its emotional resonance and technical execution, “Curry & Cyanide” leaves viewers with lingering questions, mirroring the unresolved mysteries within the Jolly Joseph case.”

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