'Half the times when siblings wrestle it's an excuse to hug each other,' Arun D Jose's debut directorial 'Jo and Jo,' starring Naslen, Nikhila Vimal and Mathew Thomas, starts with this line.
The sibling drama, which is an entertaining and often honest portrayal of the teenage frustration, fun and friendship during the lockdown days -- through the life of the brother-sister duo Jo and Jo -- makes one wish that they keep squabbling with each other on-screen.
Well, that’s when you get the biggest belly laughs. It also opens the doors of your own childhood memories or even ease some pain.
Jomol (Nikhila Vimal) and her younger brother Jomon (Mathew Thomas) have a Tom and Jerry-like equation, and often have simmering feuds going on. Things take an amusing turn when they start suspecting each other of something 'fishy' and a police case gets added to the colourfully messy picture.
Those who have siblings, and a childhood dotted with some spars and scars laced with memories, might feel the film is lined up with episodes from their own mini biopic.
But the film also casually yet effectively touches on multiple issues, like how parents treat boys and girls differently and how women toil in our families putting their dreams on the backburner.
It is also about teenage hormones that run wild, troubling parents who struggle dealing with new-age tantrums, whether it is a lockdown or not.
Often, you feel the raging hormones dripping down the screen as the brother-sister duels, doubts and dilemmas are presented convincingly in the story.
The film can also be a good two hours ten minutes well-spent if what you are looking for is an entertainer with sibling rivalry at its centre.
There are enough witty dialogues, pranks, situational humour and more to make you chortle away to glory, on and off.
Viewers would also feel some genuine emotional honesty underpinning the comic madness of the story.
All the actors, be it Naslen, Mathew, Nikhila, Johny Antony, Sminu Joy or those doing the supporting characters, have given their all to the wonderfully relatable everyday characters.
It’s great fun whenever Mathew and Nikhila butt heads and insults fly thick and fast.
Even the minutest of the expressions are well-executed by this talented bunch to pull one deep into the proceedings on screen.
The director and writers, too, deserve credit for presenting it all sensing the pulse of the current generation, right.
The songs are well-placed in the narrative without stretching the story or boring the audience.
Those looking for a youthful entertainer can pick this movie as their weekend watch without a second thought.