Jil: More gloss, less substance

Rashi Khanna and Gopichand in the film  

As we walk out of the cinema hall, we wonder why the film was called Jil. Is it because the hero, a fire fighter who has to work his way around smoke and heat, prefers to drink his cup of tea slightly cold? Or is it because the filmmaker intended this project to be a refreshing summer cooler? Perhaps the first one, since the film is just your regular commercial masala in a new package. The package, to an extent, makes a difference. Cinematographer Sakthi Saravanan, stunt director Anal Arasu and music director Ghibran give the film the required finesse and pep up the proceedings whenever the momentum slackens.

Jai (Gopichand) is an honest officer working with the fire service who beats miscreants to a pulp when they scout fire safety rules. Once, at a café, he happens to identify Ranganath (Brahmaji) to a group not knowing they are goons. He saves Ranganath in the nick of time, not knowing Ranganath is a friend-turned-foe of Mumbai-based don Chota Naik (Kabir Duhan Singh). Ranganath has hidden away a huge amount and Naik wants to hunt him down. In the meantime, Jai falls in love with Savitri (Raashi Khanna), whom he saves from a high rise when she threatens to commit suicide on a flimsy reason.

Though director Radha Krishna opens the film like a cop-don action drama, he makes the fire fighter take centrestage. A few other members in the hero’s family are also fire fighters. It would have been interesting to know why the family chose this line with some insight into the psyche of fire fighters, but this is a song-dance-fight formula film that doesn’t give its characters the required depth.

Jil is stylishly made and rides largely on Gopichand, fresh from the success of Loukyam. References are made to his six-foot frame and capacity to take on goons. The storytelling wavers between a been-there-done-that format of the hero bringing the villain to his knees and the director trying to introduce some spark into the proceedings.

A few bright moments come much later in the film, for instance, the surprise element when the villains go knocking on Raashi Khanna’s house and later, the pre-climax episode involving Kabir and Raashi. These moments make you feel that if the makers had paid some more attention, an engaging action-thriller would have been possible.

When the loose ends are tied up, many questions remain unanswered. Why did Brahmaji choose to hide in Hyderabad when, apparently, he could have escaped with the money? Is there a reason behind Brahmaji not uttering a word to anyone?

Randomly placed duets play spoilsport. Also, capable actors like Urvashi and Srinivas Avasarala are grossly underutilised. At least Urvashi gets a few moments to show her comic prowess, but anyone could have done Avasarala’s part.

Gopichand is at ease in the role assigned to him.

Raashi Khanna tries to do her best in the romance sub plot and makes the role of a silly girl appear endearing.

A passable fare if you have nothing much to do on a summer afternoon.

Director: Radha Krishna
Cast: Gopichand, Rashi Khanna
Plot: A fire fighter accidentally gets caught in a murky web of a Mumbai don
Bottomline: Routine stuff, nevertheless watchable

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 2:40:44 PM |

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