It’s a prized catch for Nesan, who impressed Ilayathalapathy and roped him in for the action packed, racy, gripping Pongal treat. As mentioned time and again, to rope in the leading stars from sister woods and get them to perform with fairly equal prominence, and also pleasing audience of both backgrounds is far easier said than done.
So, expectations on this particular Pongal release is sky high. Has ‘Jilla’ lived up to all the hopes? Totally! Ranging from sweet romance and funny moments to killer action, ‘Jilla’ is thoroughly entertaining and clean to the letter. The very well renowned Sivan is respected for precisely all the wrong reasons. Taking the temple town under his control using his monetary power and physical strength, Sivan rules the roost of Madurai in every influential respect. Sivan adopts Sakthi, as the latter loses his father in a local spat. It is the same incident that develops dire hatred for Sakthi towards cops at large. Growing up as his own son, Sakthi is the most favourite of Sivan’s three children.
All goes well until the day when Sivan is arrested by the police. Given the pressing situation, Sakthi turns a cop too, just to please the wishes of his father and godfather Sivan. What comes later is a sequence of riots with complete police and politic support, given Sakthi’s profession and ministerial influence to the ever so affluent family. But as reality of loss and suffering of the masses strikes Sakthi, everything goes haywire, turning the inseparable Sivan-Sakthi force against one another. Is justice served? With a dab of romance in the form of Shanthi and some fun with the cop-turned-childhood buddy Gopal, ‘Jilla’ serves the answers in a swift screenplay, pleasing fans of all the stars involved.
The screen opens with a massive opening for Mohanlal who plays the convincing godfather. He may be a bad guy, pretty self centred, but Sivan is portrayed as someone simple who sticks to his legacy to guard his power which in turn protects him. On the other hand, Sakthi enters the screen as a kid who grows up into the stunning, charming Vijay. Vijay-Mohanlal rapport takes the limelight all through the film, as they expressively fight sentiments juxtaposed with justice. Predominantly in action, the two have effectively used up screen space in keeping us well entertained in fight sequences. Vijay introduction sequence and the one on the highways, apart from the climax sequence, are truly classic!
Kudos to Silva here to have come up with realistic choreography which is gripping and not cliched. Another factor that highlights these moments is the racy music. If you are already in love with the ‘Jilla Theme’, hold your breath for the tune in a number of modulations and paces, that accentuate every tense scene.
On the masala front, there’s romance, comedy and fun. Kajal appears in a saree in the first scene, along with Vidyullekha. As is already known, Kajal plays a cop – sub inspector Shanthi – in the film. After their ‘Thupakki’ outing, Vijay and Kajal share a healthy rapport and a sweet romantic yet clean relationship. Soori as police officer Gopal stands out for his timely one liners all through the movie, which lighten the mood to a great extent. Vijay himself throws in some comic performances in his very own style. But Sakthi hates cops as a rule; then how is it that he befriends Gopal and falls for Shanthi? Watch the movie for thorough entertainment and to find out the answers!
Vijay’s siblings on screen are played by Mahat (Vignesh) and Nivedha Thomas (Mahalakshmi). The film is rich in sentiments in both the halves in equal amounts. The first half shows a clear picture of a loving and benevolent family that celebrates the beloved eldest son. Mahat and Nivedha form a part of this happy family, but present themselves actively on screen only in the second half. The scenes where the little sister and brother express their love for their big bro, who in turn puts in his all to protect them are touching, and so are the scenes involving the highly understanding mother. Ganesh Rajavelu has canned not only the tough action sequence with passion, but has also recorded all the expressions with care, establishing an emotional bridge between the audience and the story. The blast scene, in particular, is truly moving.
Be it the romantic duet or the edgy fight, Don Max has put them all in place in sheer perfection that is appealing. However, there are a few let downs too, in the movie. The much awaited and anticipated title song has been cut in half, letting the majesty of the stars dancing, stalwarts singing and the cheerful gang dancing in the vibrant set, fade away too quickly. Graphics are a plain disappointment; from the simple straightforward scenes and chase sequences to the blatant cover up all through the thumping beats of ‘Jingnamani’ song, computer graphics are misplaced in most super impositions. Towards the end of the first half, when we get the hang of the story, there is a deliberate lag hanging heavy between dialogues and gestures. But given the quality entertainment, the other side of the coin does not deter the healthy story. And if you thought the story is predictable, then you are absolutely wrong, for the story takes unimaginable turns and twists on a surprising trip of hair-raising experience.
Imman’s music is truly a class apart. In many instances, it is the same tune that has been adapted over and over again. But you’ve got to give it to Imman, to explore and innovate the same tune so thoroughly, that it gives you goosebumps every time it is played. Tunes have been used wisely, letting the weight of the story hang heavily, at places, on purpose. There’s not a moment of dullness in Imman’s support. And with a story so new and racy, Nesan has established himself in all grandeur, this Pongal.
Comedy, action, sentiment, emotion… you name it, the story has it. ‘Jilla’ keeps you entertained all through its long run time. Given the duration of the movie, ‘Jilla’ is so racy and entertaining that three hours don’t seem that long. The film is one of those rare masala movies that has a specific importance assigned to each of the scenes. In effect, there’s practically nothing in the movie that is out of place, even by chance. Delivered in a thoroughly entertaining package, ‘Jilla’ is a perfect Pongal entertainer, for audience of all kinds.