Hey Jude is a Malayalam romantic tale that does not fit into the regular template of love stories. Directed by Shyamaprasad and based on a script written by Nirmal Sahadev and George Kanatt, Hey Jude carries a sensitive message on Asperger’s syndrome.
Jude (Nivin Pauly), a young software professional, loves crunching numbers and leaves his father speechless when he mentally multiplies two five digit numbers faster than his father’s calculator.
His other love is studying fishes. Jude can spend hours observing them. Finicky about his diet — he loves really crisp dosas and will not eat beans — Jude follows his eating schedule with a military regimen. There are times when child-like he stomps angrily into his room. At work his boss considers Jude an intelligent worker. Jude’s candid nature and honesty — traits not at all appreciated by his father, Dominique (Siddique) — is what makes him lovable.
Dominique manages an antique-goods store and has no scruples about telling his customers, “This is the only piece available in India. There might be another one in the London museum,” when actually he has several more of the said piece.
Jude’s mother Maria (Neena Kurup) is a homemaker, spending time in prayers. His younger sister, the street-smart Andrea, finds delight in making her brother the butt of jokes.
Following the demise of his aunt, Dominique arrives in Goa with Maria and Jude. And, the miser, who counts every penny, cannot contain his joy on learning that his aunt has bequeathed her property to him and Jude.
However, his happiness is short-lived after he learns about the tenant living in the outhouse — a retired psychiatrist Sebastian (Vijay Menon) and his daughter Crystal (Trisha). Dominique cannot evict them now since their rental lease expires only after two years. His problem is compounded further when he sees that Jude is spending more time at the Sebastian home and with Crystal.
The writing is fantastic. Every character is distinctly carved, with their own quirks. Crystal, who runs a café on the beaches of Goa, is an antithesis to Jude. A fun-loving party animal, this vocalist of a music band enjoys swimming, while the socially awkward Jude is petrified of water.
The actors completely own their roles — Nivin Pauly in Jude’s shoes has gained weight. His nerdy appearance with glasses, shirt buttoned to the top and that perpetual anxious look makes Jude real.
I loved Jude’s daily ritual of recording his diary into a video camera.
The scene between Jude and Crystal in an intimate moment is cute, with Jude running away when Crystal wants to kiss him. That was a class act by Pauly.
Trisha brings Crystal with an attitude that only she is capable of. If Siddique was the understanding father in Aadhi, his Dominique is a contrast. Vijay Menon’s Sebastian is a nice surprise. Neat humour is woven into the story, especially the scenes involving Dominique and his one-upmanship with Sebastian. Aju Verghese also entertains in a cameo role.
DOP Gangadharan takes viewers on a visually appealing journey from Kerala to Goa.
Drawing awareness to Asperger’s syndrome and bipolar disorder in the most sensitive manner without subjecting the characters to ridicule, Hey Jude is a fun ride and not a story of pity and melodrama — rather a story of self-discovery.
Don’t miss it
‘Hey Jude’ releases in the UAE on February 22.