Jai Bhim (2021) : Movie Review -
Tamil Cinema has brought some really good films this year. Not just good but meaningful ones. Films like 'Pebbles', 'Mandela' and 'Karnan' have brought major social issues into spotlight. Director T. J. Gnanavel's latest offering 'Jai Bhim' is another superb addition in the list. However, it's like a stone turned into Silver when it could have been Gold, if wanted. Jai Bhim attempts a very sensitive issue in a hard hitting narrative but while doing so, it misses a few things that could have made it a Sensational Film. Anyways, it's a great one time watch and surely does some much needed hammering on "The System".
Based on a true incident in 1993, the film follows Sengani (Lijomol Jose) and Rajakannu (K. Manikandan), a couple from the Irular tribe. The latter is convicted by the police due, and later goes missing from the police station. Senggeni seeks the help of an advocate Chandru (Suriya) to seek justice for her husband. It's not a fight between low caste and high caste or corrupt police officers, but it's a fight against the entire system. When the first born of the lands are treated like slaves, your blood surely boils but what can these low grade people do against highly influential people? Law is same for all and that's the biggest weapon they have. Jai Bhim is too disturbing and devastating at moments. Some scenes in the film are unbearable (for weak hearted) but because its storyline demands the same uncompromised vision, you don't get a chance to point a finger at it.
The performance of Suriya is the biggest reason why this film can be recommended to everyone. Supporting him, Prakash Raj, K. Manikandan, Lijomol Jose, Rao Ramesh, Rajisha Vijayan and M. S. Bhaskar put out their best in their individual roles. The entire acting unit in Jai Bhim is commendable. Talking about the flaws, the film fails to remain steady throughout the narrative. This entire thing takes 164 minutes to wrap up the same old Ambedkar-oriented stuff, why? That grip over the content is not tight enough to hold such a socially important topic.
When it comes to the positives, one has to mention the writer first. Gnanavel's on-paper draft is astonishing and eye-opening stuff. Sadly, his direction is not upto the mark as required but it's fairly decent. In some scenes, you just can't stop loving his directorial skills. For instance, whenever there's Suriya on the screen thinking of something, you hear that intense background music which creates that atmosphere around you. Those speeches on morals, fundamental rights and equality will end up with your claps. Unfortunately, some scenes have been dragged for no reason and over-dramatized for the sake emotional quotient. Also, the predictable nature of the script is too typical. It works sometimes because you cannot bear seeing those brutal and painful scenes of obscene tyranny. Excluding couple of mistakes done by the director, nothing seems to bother too much. Jai Bhim has an extraordinary story to tell, which deserves your viewing but it gets an ordinary vision to showcase it on screen. Had it been taken care of, Jai Bhim would have been a nationwide sensation.
RATING - 6.5/10*