Tamil Reviews

Jarugandi Review: A Mad Rush To The Finish Line, But No Satisfying Payoff

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One will always associate the term ‘jarugandi’ with the mad rush of crowds in Tirupati. You wait six hours in a maze like arena, forego all sorts of basic life necessities for one glimpse at glory, and what do you remember about this moment? Jarugandi, a deep (often sonorous voice) will shout. You’ve had your chance. So move it buster.

That’s pretty much how the film version of the infamous phrase turns out to be.

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It is on the move, always. Sathya (actor Jai) is what the young things call a hustler. Through this character, director AN Pitchumani wants to personify the lower middle class people; Sathya is a dynamic (sort of), young(ish?) man fond of taking the short cuts in life. So when a get-rich-quick scheme appears in Sathya’s general vicinity, you know he’s going to be running towards it.

Assisting him in his quest for ‘settle down’ kind of wealth is Daniel Anni Pope, the wise cracking best friend who can, at times, be the voice of reason. But the hero won’t believe him anyways. Sathya is dismissive of his friends cautious words. And secures fraudulent papers to apply for a loan. Because that’s what people from the Indian middle class do.

He names his travels company – Jil Jil Travels, because that’s what us middle class fellows do as well.

The director of the film bases his entire narrative on the proclivities of a young man who has never said no to anything that comes easy. It’s easier for the audience to just go along with whatever Pitchumani chooses to showcase onscreen. Sathya is ultimately redeemed, but this redemption fades away in the face of almost ninety minutes of screen time that shows Sathya as an irresponsible man.

Pitchumani’s debut attempt is entertaining, yes, but it is largely due to the efforts of musician BoBo Sashi whose score thrums with a nervous sort of energy, making the narrative onscreen seem more interesting than it really is.

Jai, for the most part, seems unaffected by the proceedings onscreen, only coming alive in the action sequences. Reba Monica John, for her part, does a little to spur things on. But by that point, Pitchumani’s intent is to race to the finish line.

For the two hours you spent watching Jarugandi, which places all its bets on one stale set piece after another in its effort to get to the climax, one cannot be faulted for thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, there’s a satisfying payoff.

But no.

Pitchumani has set his sights on something greater.

There’s a moral lesson waiting at the end.

Move it, buster.

*****

The Jarugandi review is a Silverscreen original review. 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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