Cast: Mohanlal, Vijay, Kajal Agarwal,Mahad,Soori, Sampat Raj, Thambi Ramayya
Written and Directed : Neason
Production: R.B. Choudary
Cinematography : R. Ganesh
Stunts: Selva Stunt and Dhilip Subbarayan
Needless to say this film spiked our interest. On Sunday, we arrived at VOX Cinemas a quarter of an hour before the show was set to begin. We were not allowed past the ticket checker guy who looked flabbergasted at the crowd that had gathered for the show. They made sure to let in the movie goers for all other cinemas and then finally allowed us to enter Theatre Number Five, a mere minute and a half before the show.
The energy in the theatre was electric. You could feel it build up as the movie started with a car being chased and toppled in the still of the night. The crowd collectively held their breaths while the camera panned to show a cigar being snipped and lit, emerging from the deadly night like an apparition amidst the smoke, was the legendary Mohan Lal. His rough salt and pepper look and lethal expression barely registered as the crowd clapped and cheered and whistled in rapture. This man, this legend, larger than life squats next to a cornered enemy. We know he has no way out, Lal’s expression has already conveyed the enemy’s fate to the fans. Then he speaks – I flinch. I notice many people in the audience look at each other and go “huh?!”
Two seconds ago I was in awe of this master of dialogue delivery. A king among artists – Lal Aettan as he is lovingly called, is one of my favourite and respected actors of all time. Yet, his punch dialogues were not in sync with the tremendous force his expressions alone brought to the movie.
Throughout the movie we can see that Mohan Lal’s impeccable rendering of the role is marred by the ill composed script. It seems like Neason had Rajkiran, Prakash Raj or Sathyaraj in mind while writing the script. Mohan Lal’s reactions and expressions elevate the scenes to a higher plane of movie making and then baam! – the empty dialogues ruin the effect.
When you have an absolute gem like Lal , it is downright disrespectful to book him for a movie and give him such a script to work with.
Vijay as always is Vijay – a brute with a heart who loves his family and is loved by all. Ilayathalapathy’s movie is as predictable as ever but that hardly seemed to matter to die-hard fans who seemed satisfied to just bask in his on-screen presence. As always some songs were mass entertainers and the fights were choreographed in his signature style.
Kajal Aggarwal performance was mediocre and Soori was a welcome relief.
As the movie progresses, the audience seem to be saddened by the sheer predictability of the movie. But the well placed fights and fitting background score by Imman seems to save the day. At least two songs in the movie will be doing its rounds in the hands of top DJ’s in the state.
Jilla is one of those movies that entertain you by just being part of an audience, clapping, cheering and whistling for two of the most famous people in Indian Cinema. But the discerning, intellectual movie goer comes away insatiate.
One thing the movie does not take away from you is your adoration for The Consummate Actor Mohan Lal. The film rides on the unique abilities of Lal Aettan and Ilayathalapathy. Sadly, nothing else comes even close.
All in all, Jilla is a mass entertainer but is hollow on the inside.