Directed by: Tharun Venkituswamy Saravanan
Written by: Tharun Venkituswamy Saravanan
A young man thrives on the idea of reaching his full potential without needing to sleep every night and waste a third of his life, but how long will he be able to keep the momentum going?
JOJO (2021) is a short Indian mockumentary, performed in the English language, and presents an unnamed protagonist (Rishi) who appears to embody an emerging culture in which ambitious individuals believe that productivity is the key to success. The film is an Adrain Tomine comic adaptation and was shot in the 4:3 academy aspect ratio using crisp black and white photography.
The film succeeds on all levels with its entertaining mockumentary format and showcases tongue in cheek, quirky humour with its identifiable and relatable protagonist. Beginning with the mundane task of making a cup of coffee, the short immediately hits the ground running with Rishi directly addressing viewers as he muses on how we humans squander our potential away by wasting one third of our lives on sleeping.
Director and writer Tharun exhibits great talent behind the camera with a tight and snappy script, making the dialogue heavy short feel justified with its intriguing subject matter and perfect delivery by the lead. There are constant well timed jokes, with a personal favourite involving a quick sketch imagining how people would act if they had never seen a mattress before.
The framing choice of a tighter frame is inviting and feels justified as opposed to style over substance, as our protagonist always speaks directly to us and we are invited into an intimate showcasing of his thought processes. Although he is clearly presented to not be taken too seriously, Rishi’s charismatic performance makes him likeable and relatable with his pursuits to stay away to work. Some drastic measures he takes are taking a freezing cold shower and listening to heavy metal music and downing endless cups of coffee; attempts to stay awake many viewers can probably relate to. The film even manages to sneak in a cheeky little Friends reference and pay off, feeling packed full of good content despite only running for over eight minutes.
JOJO is a thoroughly entertaining short mockumentary, with contagious tongue in cheek humour, smart direction and an engaging performance from its lead – highly recommended viewing for a good giggle.
JOJO (2021) Short Film: