Jai Simha Review
'Jai Simha', starring Balakrishna in the lead role, hits the screens today. Here is our review.
Narasimha (Balakrishna) is an Ek Niranjan with just his little son for his company. He apparently comes with a traumatic past. He is now in Kumbakonam, working as a driver with a Dharma Karta, who is played by Murali Mohan.
As if his extant enemies are not enough, he makes new rivals in Kumbakonam, thanks to his penchant for being the proverbial scapegoat. 'Kalakeya' Prabhakar bays for Narasimha's blood because he believes that the latter victimized his beloved brother in a hit-and-run episode. An unethical ACP is yet another of Narasimha's dangerous enemy.
But by interval, a twist in the tale comes when we are told that Nayanthara is now married to a known character. To add to the potpourri of a bloody past and the lurking family emotions, Narasimha's son actually has a twin growing with Nayan.
Why is the twin son? How is Nayan related to Narasimha? Why is a semi-burnt Ashutosh Rana baying for the hero's blood? What becomes of 'Kalakeya' Prabhakar and the ACP? Answers to these questions are found in the second half, wherein a never-ending flashback is thrust upon the audience.
Note: Between the above two time frames, two girls (played by Natasha Doshi and Hari Priya) fall for our enchanting hero.
Director KS Ravikumar wanted to show Narasimha as one thing: As the one who fights injustice for good. So, before the eighth minute, the film presents not one or two but three instances of injustice. By and by, we resign to the fact that the Kumbakonam segment is meant to throw up nothing more than a sub-plot so that one more villain and a couple of more fights could be had.
When the flashback begins, it introduces us to yet another instance of injustice that our hero has to address. Imagine what it can be? The case of a traffic jam caused by a politician's dharna. KS Ravikumar must have first discovered the idea in some now-forgotten film during his school days. If you can wait for some more time, another scene presents four more instances of injustice. Yes, four more at one go. Nayanthara comes to our hero and questions him about the so many police cases against him. This is when the four wrongdoings are shoveled down our throat. The film should ideally have had this caption: 'The lion's roar against infinite injustices'.
Natasha Doshi as Dhanya does drugs (she also sings 'Mama ek peg la' once) and it's not clear what was meant to achieve through her character, except give her father (Murali Mohan) an opportunity to go gaga over the hero's virtuous readiness to own up to her sins. Hari Priya as Manga is an employee at the hero's mechanic shop and she is known for causing a trail of destruction whenever her employer shouts for her. This is supposed to be comedic. And even her character comes handy in eulogizing the hero as a God!
Among the inconsequential characters, Brahmanandam plays a servant who is insecure about his beautiful wife falling for Balakrishna's charms. This track must have been inspired by Chandramukhi's Rajinikanth-Vadi Velu track.
In Kumbakonam where most of the first half is set, everyone understandably speaks in Telugu (a permissible creative liberty), but why have them use words like 'Vanakkam'?
The flashback should have been trimmed by at least 15 minutes. The second half goes on and on because of this. The climax features a run-of-the-mill action sequence.
While Balayya's love for Nayan is pure and everlasting, the emotion is not felt thoroughly by the audience.
M Ratnam's dialogues are mass-oriented for sure. If there are heroism-glorifying lines, there are also seemingly esoteric ones like this: 'Gunde dehanni bathikisthadi, gudi deshanni bathikisthadi', says Balayya when temple rituals are threatened to be violated.
Balakrishna delivers an energetic performance right from the word go. He looks younger and all the more vibrant, his dialogue-delivery taking the cake. He comes off as a superb performer in the emotional scenes. Nayanthara as Prakash Raj's daughter plays a family woman's role with ease. She shines alongside Balayya in a duet, while the way her story eventually ends with respect to the hero is quite atypical. Hari Priya, Natasha, Prabhakar, Ashutosh, Prakash Raj, Jayaprakash, Brahmanandam and others do a good job.
Chirantan Bhatt's background music is so-so and the songs pass muster. The 'Amma Kutti' song has some splendid dance moves by the Natya Simha-Natasha duo. C Ramprasad's cinematography is impressive.
'Jai Simha' is in the usual commercial mode with its large doses of stock ideas and action sequences.