"It's easy to deal with numbers, but emotions are complicated," says Jude, the protagonist in Hey Jude directed by Shyamaprasad. Yes, the saga of a super intelligent Anglo-Indian youth Jude (Nivin Pauly) who battles Asperger syndrome and the world around him, is a bit complicated. The film that promised a lot through its trailers and video songs keeps the hopes alive during the early moments.
It's a tale surrounding an Anglo-Indian family based in Kochi but having its roots in Goa. The narrative chugs off on a hilarious note, with some scintillating comic sequences. Though there is nothing that depicts the culture of an Anglo-Indian family, the exchanges between the members sound realistic and comical. The plots make optimum use of the prospects of fun provided by tantrums thrown by an uncompromising and out-of-the-ordinary youth in a family and the reactions of others.
Dominic (Siddique), who runs an antiques shop in Kochi, is obsessed with money. He dismisses Jude's antics just as irritating idiosyncrasies as his wife Maria (Neena Kurup) and daughter Andrea (Apoorva Bose). There is cliche again where a distant relative of Dominic in Goa expires leaving the whole behemoth of a fortune in his name. Dominic and family, except Andrea, soon move to Goa to deal with the legal procedures of inheritance. The humor quotient reaches its pinnacle with the cameo appearance of Aju Verghese, a hitchhiker on his way to Mangalore.
Dominic is a happy man in Goa with his new property but what worries him now is a nutty renter Sebastian (Vijay Menon) and his maverick daughter Crystal (Trisha) who are occupying the outhouse of the bungalow. And, the whole drama uncoils there. Thereof, the narrative snails ahead rather expansively, without touching you one bit. The sequences of the small music troupe and their activities are naively crafted. The initial vitality tapers to naught as the story progresses. A bland and non-coherent script and several loose ends mar the course further. Few surprises later, the narrative winds up haphazardly.
The plot takes you briskly through to the middle of the tale. But thereafter, it becomes your responsibility to carry it forward. And you will manage it for sure.
However, Shyamaprasad deserves a loud round of applause for etching the characters so perfectly. Nivin Pauly is pitch perfect as Jude who struggles to deal with his psychological condition and the world around him. What makes him an actor of merit among the young crop of performers is his tight-rope walk as a person who is mentally 'unusual' but not abnormal. What defines his class is his evolution as Jude and his final act displaying a subtle transformation. He falters nowhere during the whole course from start to finish.
The film which is lacking depth, is watchable for the performance of actors, the romance of the oddball pair which gets close to intense at places, the soulful music by Rahul Raj, Ouseppachan, M Jayachandran and Gopi Sunder and the pristine environs of Goa coast and Fort Kochi captured in frames by Girish Gangadharan.