Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Sayyeshaa, Saranya Ponvannan and Suresh Menon
Music Director: Siddharth Vipin
A Pollachi don on a budget goes to Paris for his most important task yet in Gokul’s Junga. Silly gags compete for attention in this tiring movie that would have..could have been better had it shed its ambition to travel abroad.
That applies to the very enthusiastic Sayyeshaa, who makes good on her lineage (grand-niece of Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu). And yet, she looks too young to be the love interest of the 40-something Vijay Sethupathi (like Anupama and Dhanush in Kodi). And too non-native for a girl named Yazhini.
The film requires permanent suspension of disbelief, more than the norm for Tamil films these days. But it’s all in the pursuit of those two-minute-long laughs that are, sadly, too intermittent for a film desperately seeking to be funny. This draws an interesting parallel with the film’s hero Junga, who is desperate to take his theatre back from Chettiar (Suresh Menon, a rather stiff, one-note villain). Both the film and its lead are only marginally successful.
The highlight is not Vijay Sethupathi, who has the time of his life as a feckless don more concerned about saving money than anything else, but still seems to be trying to too hard. It’s the don Paati. An utterly natural spirited grandmother who has more mafia blood in her veins than the foreign villain who could pass for Russell Brand. She’s the saving grace of the movie, actually!
Saranya Ponvannan unleashes yet another version of her ‘mother dearest’ act for Junga. After nearly a decade of this, there’s only so much novelty that Saranya can bring in to her performance. She still manages to make it delightful.
The scenes with Don Paati and Don Amma are brilliant, but Junga is not as cohesive as Gokul’s previous works – Rowthiram, Idharkuthaane Aasaipattai Balakumara and Kashmora. The music and background score by Siddharth Vipin are pleasant, but not really the type to stand out.
Junga, like its name, aspires to be quirky with a capital Q. But, it’s hit-and-miss, for the most part; even Yogi Babu, the champion for quirk these days, infuriates more than he entertains. Kaashmora was a far more immersive effort. Junga, with its paper thin plot and equally thinly-written characters, is definitely not.
Perhaps this, along with Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Solraen, are signs that Vijay Sethupathi (and Gokul’s) brand of self-aware comedy does not cut it anymore. But, that’s a thought the success of CS Amudhan’s Tamizh Padam 2, disproves immediately. Or, is it that we expect more from Vijay Sethupathi?
For now, Junga belongs to the realm of the poorly defined ‘one-time watch’ category. With re-runs on comedy channels, however, it will continue to live on.
The Junga review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.