Pongal festivities in Tamil Nadu may commence in a couple of days but the carnival begins with Jilla, one of the most anticipated movies of the year with Ilayathalapathy Vijay partnering with Malayalam super star Mohanlal under Neason’s directorial baton.
Jilla in general parlance denotes a district but it also seems to suggest someone who leads a group with a lot of mojo and spunk and Vijay effortlessly fits into this title. This Vijay’s Pongal offering to his fans is all about the conflict of good against evil and their upshots.
According to Hindu religious beliefs, the coexistence of Shiva and Shakthi is highly pivotal and director Neason has utilized this surmise as the foundation to weave his tale.
Mohanlal is ruling Madurai with his foster son Vijay. A move of his becomes a turning point for the son-dad duo and the cascading effect of this decision is Jilla all about.
Having two equally popular and established actors in the cast list warrants perfect etching of their characters and Neason has satisfied this big time. The artist’s understanding of their roles and their experience comes much handy in the effective portrayal of their respective characters with a lot of aplomb.
It should have been a field day for Vijay as the actor dazzles in action, comedy, dance and emotions. Alternately funny and serious, emotional and steel-strong, Vijay delivers it all. He is known for his comic timing and his combination with Soori has worked out well for the film. In fact Vijay’s body language in the lighter scenes is perfect with a relaxed and casual feel about it. Nothing new can be said about Vijay’s dancing prowess as the actor dances like a dream delivering cute emotions on the way.
A dignified portrayal by veteran Mohanlal who conveys a lot through the nano twitches of his facial muscles. A legend indeed! The intro song of this duo is a rocker with the cute banging of each other on the shoulders which kind of becomes their signature style in important scenes. The chemistry of Vijay and Mohanlal sure is a highlight of the film.
Out of the other supporting cast members, it is Soori who stands out and the comedian is shining more and more with his ideal timing of dialogues and performance. The combination of Vijay-Kajal-Soori in comedy sequences brings out the laughs, a significant one being the scene where Vijay teaches NCC cadets the power of self defense. However the meeting of the bride Kajal by Vijay and team is silly and the episode could have been done in a different format. But the scene preceding it when Vijay shows the picture of Kajal to his family members is a smile inducer.
There is a huge contingent of supporting cast in the form of Poornima Bhagyaraj, Sampath, Ravi Maria, Thambi Ramiah, Mahat, Nivedha Thomas, Pradeep Rawat and Vidyulekha who do their roles with the expected sincerity.
Imman’s tracks are good but the presence of Jingunamani and Eppa Mama Treatu does not offer enough validation although they are peppy and come across as a good stand alone numbers. Verasa Pogayilae is interestingly conceptualized and choreographed with most of the song done in a slow motion layout. Kandangi is melodious and shot well in Japan.
One unit that has worked over time in Jilla is definitely action department under Silva who is also seen in a small cameo. The high octane fight sequences are done with a lot of punch with Vijay scoring brownie points. The same cannot be said about graphic sequences which are tacky in Jilla. Rajeevan’s art designs are sumptuous and boast of quality work.
Punch dialogues are aplenty in Jilla and bring out the desired emotions. But the interval block dialogues could have been more impactful. At two hours and fifty minutes, Jilla is lengthy and the editor and director should have collaborated better to reduce it to make it tauter.
The charismatic screen presence of Vijay and Mohanlal, few enjoyable musical tracks and comedy scenes and power packed action sequences mark Neason’s Jilla that travels on a standard template and satiates Vijay’s fans.