Sathyajothi Films rarely disappoints. With Jayamkondaan (U) the production house lives up to its reputation yet again. Rising above clichés for the most part, writer-director R. Kannan presents a story of underplayed sentiments and logical action. Neat narration marks Jayamkondaan. Not many have handled brother-sister bonding with such finesse, as Kannan has.
Kudos to Vinay for choosing his second project with care! The budding hero has entrusted himself in safe hands — Kannan has backed him to the hilt with a sound line. The smart young man ably conveys the angst of Arjun, who is working in the U.K. and whose hard-earned money, which he thought was stashed away safely by his father, goes missing. (But why that artificial moustache that has nothing to do with the rest of his face?)
The father is dead and Arjun is clueless. The search leads him to the property his dad had invested in, but it’s not going to be easy for him to acquire it. His carefree life is suddenly fraught with danger as mystery about his father’s past unfolds — his headstrong step sister Brinda (Lekha Washington) is determined to get the booty for herself.
Lekha has landed on a plum debut role, which she pulls off with élan. Looking every inch the typical youngster of today, her costume spells class and character. So does her performance!
In beauty Bhavna wins hands down and expressions wise too she turns up trumps. But has she dubbed for the role herself? Kannan could have ensured that Bhavna worked on her diction more before she gave voice to the part.
Only in a couple of situations does the pace sag — ‘Adhai Koodava’ song sequence, for instance. But even there excellent editing (V.T. Vijayan) spurs the tale on as if with stirrups. In the climax when you feel things are getting a bit too didactic, Kannan sensibly prunes them.
The freshness in treatment helps Kannan score. Most of the time, scenes transcend the predictable. Every speaking part has definite traits that give the characters a clear identity. Haneefa, ‘Nizhalgal’ Ravi, Megha Rajan, Malavika … it’s a big cast but each serves a definite purpose. Among these a few stand out — Krishna whose expressions and body language speak volumes, ‘Thalaivaasal’ Vijay, who with just two scenes makes mincemeat of others in them, and Kishore Kumar, the baddie of the piece. His casual gait and piercing eyes show dignity despite the villainy.
Pattukottai Prabhakar’s punch lines and natural dialogue are also highlights. Vivekh’s clean, fun-filled lines are a delight. It is a long time since the comedian made such a positive impression — he has a few telling, serious moments too. A stupendous technical team assists Kannan in Jayamkondaan. Be it Vidyasagar’s songs, Brinda, Dinesh and Gayathri Raghuram’s choreography, or the way established cinematographer Balasubramaniam has captured the sequences with Rembon’s (art) aesthetics in mind — all of them make a significant contribution. It was Sathyajothi Films which first gave Mani Ratnam a break with Pagal Nilavu. After nearly two decades they’ve provided the ace director’s student, Kannan, a launch pad. The young man has done his master proud.
Director: R. Kannan
Cast: Vinay, Bhavna, Vivekh
Storyline: Arjun returns from the U.K. to find that all his savings sent to his dad in India has gone missing. The story has many sub-lines too.
Bottomline: On the right track straightway