Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 26 September 2014
Vishnu, Sri Divya, Soori
Suseenthiran?s ?Jeeva? is a romantic love story set against the backdrop of Chennai city cricket and the politics of selection. The director has a connect with sports based films as his debut ?Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu?,was based on Kabaddi.
In ?Jeeva? the director mixes commercial cinema romance, family sentiments with a guy?s aspiration to become a test cricketer against all odds. Our hero ?Jeeva? (Vishnu Vishal) is hooked to cricket from a young age, and wants to be another Sachin. He comes from a lower middle class family, and struggles to buy a cricket bat, is thrown out of his classroom for playing cricket.
His mother died when he was three and his father is a habitual drinker and is brought up by his loving neighbour (Charly) and his family. He falls in love with Jenny (Sri Divya) his neighbour and there is strong parental objection. Jenny is taken away by her parents and Jeeva throws himself into cricket as he is eyeing state selection. Will Jeeva make it as the selection system is loaded against him, forms the rest of the story.
Jeeva exposes the caste system prevailing in Tamil Nadu cricket selection. Suseenthiran has shown that all those who make the grade to Ranji Trophy and subsequently test cricket are from a particular community. They dominate the cricket scene and control the games administration and selection process in the state.
In one of the scenes, Jeeva?s coach says ? ?14 out of 16 players who have represented Tamil Nadu and later played test cricket are from this community.? How caste determines your selection in all formats of cricket selection is the basic thread of the story. The director emphasises that a guy from lower strata of society and belonging to a backward class finds it difficult to break into the game in the state.
Suseenthiran smartly points out that true talent is often neglected. However the entire first half is devoted to romance and songs including an unwanted bar song. D Imman?s music is top class and his BGM is terrific especially in second half. Vishnu as Jeeva has given a very good performance and since he has played cricket, the characterisation has come out well. Soori provides some laughs as a veteran fast bowler trying to make it.
?Jeeva? is sure to provide inspiration to many youngsters with similar cricket dreams and aspirations. On the whole, it is a nice entertaining film, and another feather on the director?s cap.
Verdict ? Good