Broody heroes with a tragic past are not an unfamiliar trope in action, gangster movies. The hero is a criminal but someone defined by his circumstances. In Joshiy's 'Antony', Antony Anthrapper (Joju George) too, is the kind of man who takes the violent route to navigate his way through life.
'Antony' following the stereotype of a broken boy turning goon is one of the drawbacks of this Joshiy directorial, though the makers have tried to add a whiff of freshness by including an unusual relationship in the picture.
While many action dramas opt to explore romantic relationships, 'Antony' dwells on a goon's fatherly relationship with the daughter of the man he killed. Kalyani Priyadarshan plays Ann Maria whose father Xavier is killed by Antony. With the intervention of a sensible church priest, played by Chemban Vinod, Antony takes up the responsibility of the young girl.
Kalyani brings Ann Maria to life with her portrayal of an equally broody and strong character who is unafraid of beating up the kids in her college when they try to mess up with her. The ego clashes between Antony and Ann make up most of the story, though the film at heart, is a vengeance-ridden action drama.
Joju, who has proved he is perfect playing layered characters, excels again with his portrayal of Antony. Vijayaraghavan, an influential figure in the village and Antony's life, also plays his role well. Nyla Usha has less to do, compared to her role in Joshiy's earlier work 'Porinju Mariam Jose', but she is in her element in the film. Asha Sharath is beautiful and elegant as Ann Maria's mother.
The first half of the film is focused on establishing the plot and introducing the many characters in the movie. Though the film does progress quite smoothly, writer Rajesh Varma and director Joshiy's efforts to focus on all the characters individually affect the filmmaking.
This element stretches the film, making the narrative tiresome after some point. Some of the situations also seem forced, rather than organic. Like when, Ann Maria finally addresses Antony as 'Pappa'. However, the performances of the actors overcome these shortcomings and manage to offer viewers a decent viewing experience.