Tamil Reviews

Gorilla Review: More Popular Sentiments, Less Actual Plot In This Comic Caper

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Director: Don Sandy

Cast: Jiiva, Shalini Pandey, Sathish, Venkat and Yogi Babu

Composer: Sam CS

Gorilla wants to be a comic caper, a heist movie. But it also wants to be a political, issue-based film. It felt like the writer and director believed they had a platform – though why they would think that is beyond me – and so believed they would have to necessarily address topical and popular sentiments of the day. And so, we have a group of people attempting to rob a bank and hold people hostage, but negotiating with the police to waive off all farm loans.

And, we have a chimpanzee. In a film called Gorilla. Which means lead actor Jiiva as Jeeva has to somehow justify the film’s title. So, he keeps saying their heist must be as efficient as a guerilla operation. But pronounces it Gorilla.

*****

Gorilla is written and directed by Don Sandy, and produced by All In Pictures. It stars Jiiva, Shalini Pandey, Sathish, Venkat, Yogi Babu and others. It was shot by R.B Gurudev and edited by Ruben, with music by Sam CS.

*****

The film is middling mediocre, in that there is nothing extraordinarily wrong with it or something extremely well done. Besides, perhaps, Kong – the chimpanzee – who has a soft spot for red buttons. But then we in Tamil Nadu are used to elephants playing cricket and snakes becoming heroines and dogs stopping trains, besides tigers and goats and other members of the animal kingdom solving problems in plot progression, so while a chimp is a nice departure, the novelty lasts 15 seconds.

So that leaves us with Jeeva (Jiiva), Sathish (Sathish), and Venkat (Vivek Prasanna) – three friends who have little to no major sources of income in life. Jeeva is a conman who pulls multiple tricks in life – cheating bus passengers of their ticket money, stealing medicines from a pharmacy to run his own quack clinic, and the like. Sathish has just been downsized from his IT job, and Venkat is an aspiring actor. Into this life comes Saadhiq – played by Madan, a farmer at the end of his tether. He is in Chennai doing the rounds of banks to help pay off his already existing farm loan and to pay for his daughter’s food.

And, there’s Jhansi – Shalini Pandey. She’s a… we never know exactly what she is doing, except to know that she works in some office. The amazing thing in Gorilla is that Shalini has 10 lines of dialogue: Nine more than her debut Arjun Reddy.

After sufficiently stalking Jhansi and allowing her to fall in love with him, Jeeva quickly forgets her to proceed with planning the heist. Planning for the heist involves watching Hollywood heist films. Because, why not?

The last, and perhaps only successful bank robbery in Tamil cinema is Rudra. Gorilla had big shoes to fill. It doesn’t. The heist is mediocre and hardly matters, given the ease with which the film moves to the next plot point. Farmer’s loan. Along the way, it takes shots at politicians, including the ‘mixture eating’ deputy CM, Thermocol Raju, and others, as well as showing off policemen as incompetent and or evil. Because, as we have noted, 2019 films need to do it, or TFPC/Madras High Court will not allocate screens.

The heist is accomplished, the hostages have been sufficiently ransomed for farm loan waivers and Jhansi and Jeeva have fallen back in love with each other. And so we can cut to end credits.

Having said this, Gorilla feels light. It’s mediocre at best, but it’s a mediocre that at least doesn’t weigh you down with guilt for having watched it.

*****

The Gorilla review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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