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Jayamkondaan Jayamkondaan

Jayamkondaan review - A clash of ambitions

Behindwoods Movie Review Board
Movie review

Starring: Vinay, Bhavana, Lekha Washington, Vivek, Santhanam, Nizhalgal Ravi, Cochin Haneefa

Direction: R Kannan

Music: Vidyasagar

Production: T G Thyagarajan

An attempt at a free flowing feel good film that involves a clash of ambitions - that is what Jayamkondaan is all about. Though the film revolves around the ambitions of its central characters, the makers have not been too ambitious themselves, not adding too many commercial ingredients. By and large, the narrative concentrates on the central plot without any unnecessary deviations. Coming from a debutant director, these are the signs of a good movie. But has Kannan delivered?
Vinay is a successful professional in London, but he is also frustrated with his distance from home and finally takes the call to return to India and do his own business. Lekha Washington (SS music VJ) on the other hand is in India and cherishes a dream of doing a master’s degree at the MIT in USA. The clash of these ambitions is the crux of the story. But why do their ambitions collide head on? Apparently, they are related in a way that no one would be too proud of and the rather twisted nature of their relationship leads to disputes over property.

With neither party willing to give an inch or compromise on their ambitions the stage is set for a battle in and out of courts that could get far more serious. And, things do get serious, as it always does when big money is at stake. A businessman and a thug get involved in the skirmish for money and a few unsavory incidents later, things have gone far too out of hand to be settled amicably. How Vinay and Lekha take the issue that they began to a final settlement forms the climax.

Having read this, one might feel that the movie is one long battle for money between two people. While one cannot deny that,
Jayamkondaan has something more to offer, not to mention the romantic track between Vinay and Bhavana whom he meets during his travails. The disputes and stand offs that occur in property related issues have been shown well, so have the usual scavenging characters who appear out of nowhere during such opportunities. The story is simple and well written and the script to a large extent remains true to its character, but the vital element of briskness is missing in the narrative. One can’t really put a finger on what went wrong, but the film fails to grip for any length of time and that’s where the script has failed. But full credit for sticking to the narrative and not infusing artificial elements that could have further pulled down the movie.
Technically, the movie looks like one shot with finesse, the camera pleases the eye. That is the least one expects when the director is Mani Ratnam’s erstwhile assistant. The music is pretty average, barring one particular number by Hariharan and Madhushree. However, all songs have been shot on scenic locations which make them pleasant to sit through. There is a bit of action, but it is largely restrained.

Vinay, in his second Tamil film has done a job that is not too bad. Bhavana, in a role that doesn’t offer her much just comes and goes without impressing at all. However, debutant Lekha Washington does not show any VJing hangover and delivers a neat performance. Santhanam leads the comedy charge with a hilarious fare. Vivek, too, makes appearances on and off which evoke laughter to some extent. VMC Haneefa comes across as a gullible businessman and scores well in certain scenes.
Overall, Jayamkondaan is clean fare that has something lacking to make it entirely interesting. The director has shown that he knows the nuances of film making well. One is not sure whether this is unfair to the debutant, but shades of Mani Ratnams’ films and concepts can be seen here. Overall, a good attempt that could have done with a crisper script.

Prospects at the box office are not too bright owing to the lack of pace in narration, but the neat presentation could bring the families in.

Verdict – A few fries short of a happy meal

Satyam Satyam Kuselan Subramaniyapuram Muniyandi
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