Joji vs macbeth


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Have you seen the movie ‘Joji’ yet?

I watched it and was awestruck.

Did you know that ‘Joji’ was inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’?

Well, today 23rd of April is the Word English Language Day, the date traditionally observed as the date of birth and death of the world’s greatest dramatist. So I thought, why not remember Shakespeare through Joji?

Through this blog post, I will attempt to compare ‘Joji’ with its inspiration ‘Macbeth’. Let’s see how this modern movie weighs up against Shakespeare’s plays.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, let me warn you of the many spoilers ahead.

Table of Content


Joji is a 2021 Malayalam crime drama, Dileesh Pothan directorial, Syam Pushkaran’s story, and Fahadh Faasil in the lead role. The movie is centered on a wealthy family and the greed and power struggle that comes with it.

Macbeth on the other hand is dated to be performed way back in 1606. The tragedy of Macbeth is the dramatization of the psychological effects of corroding selfish power hunger.

Character mapping

Let’s see which characters in Joji and how they resemble the actual characters in Macbeth.

A little caveat to remind you that this is a very subjective take and may not be in line with the actual case. Now that that is out of the way, shall we begin?

Joji Panachel – Macbeth

We can unanimously say Joji is the Macbeth.

Should I even bother to explain why?

He is the one that becomes consumed by greed and power who went on to kill his own family for it. As the movie progresses, everything Joji did to secure himself snarls him and eventually brings him down just like Macbeth.

The only difference is that Macbeth before his downfall was a brave warrior and respected person whereas Joji was considered to be hopeless by all

Kuttappan Panachel – King Duncan of Scotland

Again, a straightforward one. Kuttappan was the epicenter of the Panachel family and he was the focal point of all the wealth and power, just like a king.

Just like Macbeth needed to Murder King Duncan to attain power, it was Kuttappan who Joji needed to murder to attain all the wealth.

Macbeth murdered him with the help of Lady Macbeth.

Speaking of Lady Macbeth, let’s get to the next one.

Bincy – Lady Macbeth

Bincy is the character in Joji who plays a character who is similar to Lady Macbeth.

Where Bincy differs from Lady Macbeth is, Bincy isn’t directly involved in Kuttappan’s death. But in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is the one who compels and initiates everything to make Macbeth kill Dungan. Bincy on the other hand is a mere witness in Joji.

Despite all that, she was the one who other than Joji’s hoped for the death of Kuttappan and even let Kuttappan die even though she could save him.

You could find Bincy acting in favor of Joji.

It is these tiny resembles that make Bincy the Lady Macbeth.

Dr. Felix – Three witches

This is the part where things start to look like chalk and cheese.

You might wonder how on earth does Dr. Felix resembles the wicked three witches?

Well, if you think about it. Dr. Felix was the one who kept repeating that Kuttappan can’t be saved and who surely fueled the greed in Joji by calling in a Millionaire. He was the one who was in charge of wealth distribution.

Though he is not the cause of the incidents in the movie. He, like the witches, was the catalyst that facilitated the events that created the story of Macbeth.

Jomon Panachel – Banquo

This is a minor resemblance.

In the play Macbeth, Macbeth didn’t stop at Duncan he went on to kill Banquo and his son was also a threat to his kingship.

You can find a similar case in Joji with Jomon as well.

After the death of Kuttappan, Jomon got some suspicion with Joji and Joji realized Jomon was a threat to Joji much like Banquo was to Macbeth.



In the outskirts of Kottayam in Kerala lived a wealthy family named Panachil. This family had all its power vested in the family head, Panachil Kuttappan. Kuttappan has three children, Jomon an alcoholic divorcee who has a son named Poppy, Jaison, has a wife named Bincy who runs the business, and the youngest being Joji an engineering college dropout. Greed and power collude Panachil family when Kuttappan had a stroke, which ended in a bloodbath.


After being victorious in a war, the Scottish general named Macbeth was returning to his kingdom when he received a prophecy from a trio of witches that he will become the king of Scotland. Filled with greed, Macbeth will kill the king to be named the new king and soon realizes the there are more threats to his throne than he had expected. After the endless slaying, he realizes that his kingship is still in danger and becomes paranoiac. His enemies finally defeat Macbeth and end his tyranny.


Act 1 – Macbeth filled with greed

In the play, this is the part where the three witches approach Macbeth and prophesy that Macbeth will be the king of Scotland and this is the act where Macbeth becomes gobbles by greed.

When comparing with Joji, you can trace a similar path. The movie after establishing its characters went right into the stroke of Kuttappan, which was the triggering incident that sparked the greed in Joji as well.

Act 2 – Death of Duncan

This is the part where Macbeth with the help of Lady Macbeth kills Duncan to become the King of Scotland.

Similarly, if you look at the movie Joji, you could find the recovery of Kuttappan and the conflict between Kuttappan and Joji which leads to Joji killing Kuttappan.

Act 3 – Killing Banquo

Though Macbeth became the King, he was unease by the prophecies of the witches regarding Banquo that his decedents will rule Scotland after Macbeth. To stop Banquo’s decedents from taking the throne, Macbeth decided to kill Banquo and his son. While his son escaped, Macbeth’s men murdered Banquo.

Similar incidents can be seen in Joji as well. After the death of Kuttappan. Joji heard the rumor that someone saw him doing a victory walk while Bincy was crying out the death of Kuttapan. This created paranoia in Joji and brought out the manic in him. All this leads to the murder of Jomon by the hands of Joji like Banquo.

Act 4 – Macbeth out of control

Macbeth again reached out for the witches to see the future and gets some false hopes and some more targets to kill. This was when the Tyranny of Macbeth became out of control and unbearable.

Joji as well created a fallacious story about the death of Jomon in which he was innocent by blaming it on someone else. Much like Macbeth getting false hope from the witches. This was the point where Joji got his false hope that he could get away with this murder as well, like the first one.

Act 5 – Macbeth dies.

Lady Macbeth descanted into madness and finally kills herself. Macbeth saw the downfall of himself when he realized his enemies corned him.

Even in the end, Macbeth still fought for power and didn’t give up. But in the end, his enemies defeated and murdered Macbeth.

Joji also realizes that the truth is coming out, and there is nothing he can do about it. Even when his last resort failed, instead of surrendering to the police, Joji kills himself. Joji widening his eyes when asked to confess his crime in the last scene is also an example.


In a single sentence, I would say, Joji is a beautifully crafted well-rounded movie. I loved the movie. The direction, the story, the casting, the acting, and uh that music, so good.

Despite being inspired by Shakespeare’s dramatic play Macbeth, the movie has its originality from its subtlety and Keralite content.

There is nothing much to tick pick about this movie. A genuinely wonderful movie overall.


A good watch for all and must watch for people who enjoy internal conflicts than external ones.

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