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Jail Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, December 10, 2021 • Tamil ]
Jail Review
Krikes Cine Creations
G. V. Prakash Kumar, Abarnathi, Radhika Sarathkumar, Prabhakar, Yogi Babu, Robo Shankar, Pasanga Pandi, Nandhan Ram, Ravi Mariya
Sridharan Mariathasan
G V Prakash

Jail - Good performances bail out the audience

Director Vasanthabalan is known for choosing offbeat subjects and authentic depictions of the lower middle class characters.  His latest offering supposedly deals with the problems faced by slum dwellers when they are forcefully relocated during natural disasters.  Will 'Jail' strike a chord with the audiences remains to be seen.

Three friends Karnan (G V Prakash Kumar) a thief, Kalai (Pasanga Paandi) an ex-convict and Rocky (Nandhan Ram) a drug peddler are childhood friends who live in the government housing board complex in Thuraipakkam, Chennai.   The police and the public always eye those in the area as criminals and jobs are denied, forcing them to resort to illegal activities.  Rocky is always at loggerheads with a rival gang of drug peddlers.  How that triggers a chain of events that spell disaster to the three friends and their families and how a corrupt cop uses them for his own gains is what the rest of the screenplay is all about.

G.V. Prakash Kumar has put in a sincere performance in 'Jail' which rates as one of the best in his career.  His impeccable Chennai slang, thara local body language, spirited romance and physically demanding fights make Karnan likable .   His emotional scenes with Rocky's sister, Kalai's parents and his own mother also pass muster.  'Enga Veetu Mappillai' fame Abarnati who makes her big screen debut with her perfect body language and dialogue delivery has completely transformed into the spunky biryani seller in the slums.  Her intimate romance scenes provide a bit of a welcome deviation from the blood splatters.  Nandhan Ram who made his debut as hero in 'Palli Paruvathile' is also a perfect fit as the drug peddler Rocky while Pasanga Paandi the sober among the three is very convincing as the one who wants to avoid crime and violence and go straight.  Ravi Maria known for his comedy roles is menacing as the ruthless cop with an interesting piles affliction while Radhika Sarathkumar is a tad out of place as GVP's mother.  The rest of the actors are all aptly cast and help bring the people of the story alive on screen.

What works best in 'Jail' apart from the acting are the authentic setting and lively camera movements that give a feeling of immersion in the proceedings.  The friendship angle, the subtle romance between Paandi and Saranya, the situation that forces Paandi to become a murderer and GVP hoodwinking the cop are all convincing.  The  film tries to call attention to the plight of those relocated in finding jobs as well as government aided medical help for which they have to travel 40 odd kilometers.  Stunt choreographers Anbariv have come up with well staged chases on foot and realistic raw fights that are nerve wracking.  The parting shot of the blood from the abortion signifying the decimation of a generation says more than the rest of the screenplay.

On the downside, the director's voice over sets up the audience for an in depth depiction of how the disaster relocation imprisons slum dwellers in their new habitat but what we get is another oft seen gangster flick.   After the interesting initial setup scenes become repetitive and the screenplay goes wayward.  The B-grade film style rave party that Ravi Maria hosts for GVP and the suspense involved in that simply don't jell .   It's perplexing why the heartless cop will spare one of the friends in the end and create an eyewitness.  

G. V. Prakash Kumar's songs are catchy especially the gaana based ones though a couple serve as speed breakers on screen.  His background score compliments the raw and gritty shots that Ganesh Chandrra has canned with realistic lighting and long takes while Raymond Derrick Crasta makes the scenes work well individually with his accentuated cuts.   Sridharan Mariadhasan has produced the film under his banner Krikes Cine Creations.  Vasanthabalan, much like his other notable films, can do no wrong in creating realistic characters and bringing them alive on screen.  However the core message he wanted to convey through 'Jail' lost in the contrivance.

Verdict : Go for this one for the good performances and raw action

Rating: 2.75 / 5.0

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