Cast: Vijay, Mohanlal, Kajal Aggarwal, Sampath, Poornima
Directed by T Neason
JILLA, the coming together of two of the biggest names of the Southern Film Industry was always going to be massive. Such was the buzz and anticipation the project has been generating ever since it was announced that Mohanlal has signed on the dotted line for Vijay’s next offering. The signs too were promising with the Pongal date being locked. The first look posters were well received and the music has already made an impact on the charts. But does this all mean we could look forward to a movie like no other?
Well, maybe we are pushing our luck there. Because at the end of the day, it still is a Vijay vehicle which also translates into what one refers as the ‘mass’ entertainer. And unfortunately these so-called mass entertainers come with the staple curses …that of a screenplay plagued by songs that pop out of nowhere, bodies and cars flying around in the name of action and not to mention the crude humour on display. Those still persists, and we have to make peace with whatever remains on the platter.
Jilla tells the tale of Sivan (Mohanlal) and his doting son Shakti (Vijay). Sivan is a much feared figure in Madurai with a hand in everything illegal in the vicinity. And Shakti is the dutiful son who is ever ready to help his father with a helping hand, even if it means he has to chop off a few.
However when Sivan begins to find issues with the law, he decides to eliminate this problem too by making one of his own a police officer. And Shakti, though hates the police uniform since childhood, is now forced to don one all for the love of his father.
However a major incident changes Shakti’s outlook towards his role and responsibilities as a police officer and he decide to do what is right. Even if it means he has to go against the wishes of the one man he truly looks up to.
The plot is nothing new but a mere rehash of one that we have seen on numerous occasion. Films portraying rifts between father-son or between brothers with different ideologies have been aplenty, and this is no different. One may remember Ajith too joining hands with another Malayalam superstar Suresh Gopi a decade ago for Dheena, a movie on similar lines.
The first half is set up like any other commercial flick with fights and songs galore. And not to mention all those absurd sequences put up in the name of comedy. However all that can be forgiven as the film sets up an impactful interval point and one hopes for more of the fireworks in the latter portions.
However, the makers decide to shy away from anything novel and instead opt for the tried and tested formula to sail across. As a result, you find the second half a major let-down with the screenplay more interested in setting up a few song and dance numbers.
Performance wise, Vijay does everything he usually does, and surely the fans will have no problems with that. However pitted against the talents of Lal, he comes short in many emotional sequences and tends to overdo the comic bits.
On the other hand, the USP of Jilla is that it throws up a version of Mohanlal that you rarely get to see these days. As a powerful figure on the wrong side of the law, Mohanlal brings the house down with his portrayal of Sivan. And as usual, he still creates more impact with his eyes than any punch dialogue on paper. He steals the thunder every time he is on screen, and the combination sequences between Vijay and Mohanlal are definitely the highlights of the movie.
Kajal Agarwal is once again ornamental with nothing much to do. Sampath, Mahat, Poornima Bhagyaraj, Niveda and Pradeep Rawat all pitches in with their support in whatever little space is left.
The music from Imman is definitely one of the better soundtracks from a Vijay film in recent times. But the choreography fails to match up the standards that the Vijay ones are usually known for.
Director T.Neason had the resources but plays it rather too safe without pushing the envelope to make Jilla truly stand out from the rest. Neason has ensured that both the stars get enough screen time and the fans of both the major stars shall walk away happy. Yet you wish it was in an offering far more memorable and worthwhile than this standard fare.