“Junga”… A chaotic attempt at action, comedy, and hero worship

Posted on July 27, 2018

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/junga-tamil-movie-review-vijaysethupathi-sayyeshaa-baradwaj-rangan/

At a purely conceptual level, “a Vijay Sethupathi film” is a byword for the most interesting star outing in Tamil cinema today. He seems to genuinely seek out something different each time. I did not care for Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Solren, which came earlier this year, but who else is capable of committing to such a wacky mix of stoner comedy and love triangle? But the actor has to realise that there’s a difference between the “one line” that’s narrated and the finished product on screen. In other words, the director matters. As long as he’s working with a good filmmaker (say, Nalan Kumarasamy), the offbeat concept translates to an engrossing movie, at least to some extent. Otherwise, he is just squandering the goodwill he’s built up by being “different.” Plus, his performance really suffers. As the titular don of Junga, he isn’t even trying. He’s going through the motions of going through the motions.

The narrative goes through the motions, too. The last time Vijay Sethupathi and Gokul came together, we got Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara, a film that wanted to be zany and was filled with “humour” that seemed to have been made up as they went along. The actor and director reunite in Junga,  which is more of the same. Only, the hero worship we saw in the earlier film is much more in your face. Junga gets a Rajinikanth-like intro (with Baasha music in the background, plus he’s a bus conductor), two heroines (Sayyeshaa as Yazhini, and a ridiculously underused Madonna Sebastian), French locations, and massive car chases featuring the French police and the Italian drug mafia. The only thing more bloated is the running  time: 157 minutes.

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil