In one of the more memorable (so to speak) scenes in the latest Vijay release, Jilla, Ilayathalapathy (henceforth known simply as IT) Vijay thoughtfully explained the title of the film- which was quite the mystery to me- that how, since his explosive punches have the tendency to send his victims packing off from the district(“Jilla”)-of-punching, he has earned the (rather imaginative) honorific title of, well, Jilla.
About fifteen minutes into my Pongal day viewing of the film, I could not help but notice that the gentleman (who was cracking deplorable Jilla and Panchayati Raj jokes) sitting next to me was texting his wife things like “three hours of my life that I’ll never get back”. Now, this might not seem particularly surprising until you know that his wife was sitting in the next seat.
I fell in love with Mohanlal’s beard the first time it made an appearance in the film. Thereafter, my entire movie experience was fashioned around getting a good look at that work of art. The director gladly obliged me, giving our man enough close ups to bristle in shock and anger.
That is all you need to know about Jilla. The end. Close your browser window and go home to your wife and kids.
But now, since we have no choice, about the movie itself:
The movie basically revolves around IT Vijay (as Shakthi), a strongman-turned-PoliceCommissioner-after-limpdick-change-of-heart, and Mohanlal (as Sivan), the overlord of all of Madurai. Shakthi is Sivan’s adopted son, after his own father was killed by a police officer (causing Shakthi to eviscerate a wide range of objects, from letters in khaki envelopes to policemen in uniform) and they rule Madurai with an iron hand. Things go slightly askew after Sivan has a hair-brained scheme of getting Shakthi to join the police force so that he’ll have an inside man to keep the police force quiet.
Basically, Shakthi suddenly goes awwwww (after, presumably, an entire career in disembowelling) when he sees all the people killed as a result of Sivan’s actions and suddenly turns against his father… who is not pleased.
No sir, not at all.
<runs hand through beard>.
The movie plot storyline story thingie then basically goes on to how Shakthi thwarts Sivan’s attempts at taking over Madurai (which he already owned many times over, I thought) and how in the end they- well, you need to find that part out for yourself.
And oh, Kajal Agarwal appears as a busty police officer who is also IT Vijay’s love interest. That’s it about her role in the film.
And yes, yes, they do live happily ever after.
One of the things I love about trashy Tamil films is that everything is so uncomplicated. There will be no twisted plotlines, certainly nothing evolved enough to bring your logical faculties into use, the hero will not die (or, I presume, enough theatres will be burnt in TN until that error is rectified), the (busty, sparely dressed and barely) heroine clearly is there to keep enough lechers like me interested in the film and in the end, the bad guy will die, usually with the aid of a new body orifice fashioned out by the hero.
What more can one want for a hundred bucks?
What did I take away from the film? The adolescent in me prevailed – I now know that one must grow a big fucking beard, get dirty rich, be out of reach of the law, and settle down in a big fucking house with a constant supply of Cuban cigars and alcohol at hand. Since my current financial situation allows me to be in possession of only one of the above, I had a glass of it as soon as I got home, and it helped me sleep, despite this playing inside my head on max volume.
This morning, I woke up determined to grow that beard. When I review more films starring hirsute men, I’ll update you on how that’s turning out.
Should you watch this film? Well, if you are an IT Vijay fan, you already have and are preparing to send me some anthrax in a khaki envelope. If you are not, and like me, really need to get your mind off something, I would strongly recommend this. I won’t be judging.
Hrishikesh Varma – by lineage of noble affiliation, by qualities quite comprehensively the opposite – blogs here when not busy working or traipsing over to some part of the country to attend, and in many cases win, some quiz. He encourages blasphemy as long as it doesn’t concern The Beatles, Stanley Kubrick, Marlon Brando or Mohanlal. You can find him on twitter as darthvarma.