In a trend of true-crime shows on infamous cases, Netflix has delved into the Koodathayi deaths with “Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case.” The production follows a series of similar shows, including “House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths” and “Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer.”
The series explores six deaths linked to Jolly Joseph in Koodathayi, Kerala, from 2002 to 2016. Jolly became a suspect after her husband’s death in 2008, with a six-year gap between the previous deaths of her in-laws. The show aims to provide a psychological profile while gathering evidence against her.
However, the documentary lacks the final chapter – the court verdict. Joseph was arrested in 2019, reportedly confessing to the crimes, but the show raises questions about the rush to judgment without a definitive court decision.
Directed by Christo Tomy and written by Shalini Ushadevi, “Curry & Cyanide” attempts to offer insights into Joseph’s psyche while presenting proof for her conviction. Despite impassioned depositions and personal accounts, the evidence remains scanty, with unanswered questions about the police investigation and the rush to convict Joseph.
The 107-minute documentary features talking heads, including family members and Joseph’s lawyer, BA Aloor. While presenting moving accounts, the show doesn’t delve into the quality of the police investigation or unanswered queries. Journalist Nikhila Henry highlights loopholes in the investigation, urging caution in rushing to judgment.
Whether Jolly is a psychopath or a wronged woman remains unclear, and the documentary’s role in adding to the clamor for conviction rather than reflecting on the rush to judgment raises concerns about the true-crime genre’s impact on public perception.