Shaju Zacharias And Remo Joseph In ‘Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case,’ Explained


Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case is an ill-fated tale of how six people of the same family met their fateful end because they fell on the wrong side of a woman who apparently could go to any extreme to do what she desired. Once the case came to light, everybody was shocked, and from the media houses to the common people, everybody had their own theory about who could be the perpetrator. It was even more shocking for the people, as a housewife and mother of two, Jolly Joseph, was considered a prime suspect in the case, as nobody had ever heard or seen anything like that apart from the movies. Jolly just didn’t fit the bill, and people did have a hard time believing that she could be a serial killer, but as the evidence started coming to light, everybody realized that there were some serious issues with Jolly. So, let’s find out why Jolly committed the murders and if she was suffering from some kind of mental ailment.

What was Jolly’s motive for committing the murders?

Jolly had realized over a period of time that she could remove a person from her way, and nobody would get to know about it. After watching the documentary Curry and Cyanide, one thing that came to mind was that the murder of her mother-in-law was not the first illicit act she had committed. Maybe she wouldn’t have committed any serious offense, but I am very sure that she would have resorted to lies and deceit to have her way. Jolly killed Annamma because she was asking her to take a job, and she was very persistent about it. Jolly realized that if Annamma had a conversation with her father, then she would get to know that all her degrees were fake, and she didn’t hold a master’s in commerce. Just so that her idea of a perfect life didn’t get spoiled, she killed Annamma, and when she didn’t get caught by the authorities, her confidence got a boost. Her second victim was her father-in-law, Tom Joseph, who got suspicious about her actions, and he also got a bit uncomfortable with her closeness to M.S. Mathew. Also, Jolly knew that after Tom was killed, her husband would get his property, and then she would be able to manipulate him to transfer it all to her name. Jolly killed her husband because he, too, became suspicious about her, and he was not able to provide for her financially. Jolly was the kind of woman who looked out for her vested interests, regardless of what it cost her. So she killed her husband, too, and made it look like he committed suicide, as he was in a lot of financial debt. After three murders, it felt like Jolly was killing anyone at the slightest inconvenience. She went on to kill Matthew Manchadiyil, as he, too, got suspicious about their involvement in the deaths of his family members.

Did Shaju Conspire With Jolly? 

Shaju Zacharias, Roy’s cousin, was doing well for himself, and Jolly wanted to end up with him as she knew that her future would be secured. So she went on to kill his daughter, Alphine Shaju, and then his wife, Sili Sebastian, too. But a strange thing happened when the doctors advised Shaju to get the post mortem done for his wife as even they suspected foul play. Shaju didn’t believe it was necessary and then soon after that he got married to Jolly. I personally felt that Shaju had something to do with the murder and he was not as ignorant or innocent as he pretended to be. Though it’s merely a speculation and nothing had been proved in reality, it could have been possible that Shaju would have realized over a period of time that Jolly had something to do with the death of his wife and daughter, but his want to be with her could have made him hide that fact. It is also possible that Shaju bought whatever Jolly told him and he actually believed that she was just a victim of circumstance. Maybe it will never be proved if Shaju had any knowledge about Jolly’s plan because there was no evidence that could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt that he had such sinister intentions. Like every perpetrator, Jolly believed that her crimes would never come to light, but she was wrong. Rojo and Renji’s intuition led them to see the details that they missed back in the day, and that’s when they got to know that their family members hadn’t died due to natural causes, but there was foul play involved.

Where Are Jolly And Remo Now?

As of now, Jolly is under remand, and the court of law has yet to give a judgment in her case. I don’t know if the prosecutors would be able to find any substantial evidence to link her to all six murders or not, but surely they would be able to prove that she was responsible for the death of her husband, as cyanide was found in his body during their autopsy. Renji took both Remo and his younger brother with her, and we believe they are currently staying with her. Remo was very young when his mother killed her first victim, and he was unaware of the family politics and what her aunt felt about her mother for the longest time. For any kid, it is not easy to judge the actions of her mother, no matter how she acts.

When Remo got to know for the first time that his mother was the prime suspect and that his own uncle and aunt had filed a case against her, he was shocked. He might have believed that they were falsely accusing her of things she didn’t do. I mean, how could she? The entire thing felt like a script for a murder mystery, and it was not possible for anyone to believe that it could happen in real life. But when Remo confronted his mother, he realized that his aunt was right. He had never seen that side of her, and for a moment, his entire belief system took a hit. Remo seemed like a sensible guy, and we cannot even imagine what he would have felt when he realized that his mother was actually the perpetrator. Remo always maintained the fact that there were others who would have helped her mother, as she herself couldn’t have done so much. Renji also asked Jolly to stop contacting them, as it was not easy for them to cope with everything that had happened, and she was only making matters worse. At the end of Curry & Cyanide, I personally came to the conclusion that Jolly didn’t have any kind of remorse for what she had done, and if given a second chance, she would have done the same thing all over again.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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