'John Luther' review: Jayasurya puts up an impressive show in Abhijit Joseph's dark thriller

A still of Jayasurya in 'John Luther'. Photo: YouTube
A still of Jayasurya in 'John Luther'. Photo: YouTube

In Jayasuryas earlier outings, we had seen the actor in his emotional best -- an alcoholic struggling in life, a speech-impaired RJ and a successful footballer who loses the struggle to depression.

However, in Abhijith Joseph's 'John Luther', he does not exhibit much of these emotions but focuses on being a tough cop determined to do his job at hand.

The movie, set largely in the foothills of Munnar, begins with a bang, wasting no time telling the audience that the movie will be packed with suspense. It follows a bus navigating a hairpin curve which is forced to stop midway when the driver and passengers hear an unexpected sound, resembling a tyre burst. However, the scene turns dark when the passengers find a dead body on top of the vehicle.

We are soon informed there were two people involved in the accident, which led to one person falling on the bus. The other person, however, goes missing. Circle inspector John Luther( Jayasurya), who is investigating a political murder bid in the area, takes charge of the case. The inspector begins tracking each clue, leading him on a wild goose chase in the initial scenes.

He soon starts to pick up pieces, when a series of other man-missing cases start piling up under his jurisdiction. Deepak Parambol as police inspector Felix, is also involved in the investigation.

However, by this time, the script begins to falter as the director tries to include a lot of plots into one main narrative. It is a challenge for a debutant and Abhjith has to be appreciated for trying, but his attempt to helm an investigative thriller on a big canvas seems to be a burden on himself and the viewers. If the movie had begun with a bang, it wastes a lot of time trying to find closure, resulting in a lag, despite a decent number of twists and turns.

The subject is not fresh and does not stand out as man-missing cases and serial murders have become fodder for Malayalam cinema a lot of times in the recent past. However, it attains some novelty when John Luther becomes partially deaf due to an incident during the investigation. How he manages to solve the case despite his disability is interesting to watch.

Jayasurya has not failed to impress, but his usual magic seems to be missing in the movie, which requires him to have a tougher demeanour. His expressions are, however, spot-on. Deepak Parambol gets the chance to improve his range as he does a good job as a police inspector. As John Luther's father, Siddique does a brilliant job. Though Dhrishya Raghunadh (John's sister) and Athmeeya Rajesh (John's wife) have little to do they deliver their roles convincingly. The background score is effective though it tends to be jarring at times.

Apart from some loopholes and a story which may sound repetitive, heading to the theatres to watch the movie won't seem like a bad idea.

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