By Mithun
Jeeva and Madras - the similarities!, Jeeva, Madras


Not every week will we have two quality movies releasing on the same day. Tamil Cinema saw one such day last week with two such releases: Suseenthiran's Jeeva, starring Vishnu Vishal and Sridivya, and Pa Ranjith's Madras, starring Karthi and Catherine Tresa. 
In a plain level, both the movies, except the milieu they are set in, have a very similar plot and a very similar treatment - both Jeeva and Madras are about the lives of protagonists who fight the archaic laws of the land, have second protagonists whose characters are as important as the protagonists (even the second protagonists' ends are same), and love that offers sense, support and stability to the heroes...
Madras shows some powerful men's affinity towards being respected. Whether the respect is out of fear or just a pretense isn't the problem of these men as long as they see respect showered at them. In Madras, the symbol of power is a wall. The party that has the control over the wall's portrait is considered to be all-pervasive, and two parties vie for the wall. In the process, numerous lives are crushed, and when things get out of control, the hero steps up. 
Jeeva is even more direct. The movie doesn't shy away from pointing hands. It points at the current system that selects a sportsperson based on community rather than talent. The director pulls out some numbers too - 14 out of 16 Tamil Nadu cricketers who made it to the Indian team are from one community. There are some slapping dialogues too - "Neenga thatti kudukureenga-nu nenachen, thadavi paatheenga-nu ipa thaan therinjuthu" (We thought you were giving us a pat, when you were actually checking on us.)" 
However, unlike Madras, the hero in Jeeva never steps up. He waits for the opportunity. And a magic - the one that smiles on a person who has worked diligently throughout without any fruitful results - happens.
And, finally, the movies end with what needs to be done. Madras argues that politics should be taught along with science, environment studies and math in primary school. And, Jeeva says these stories need to be told because that's the only way the injustices will be known.

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