Jai Bhim: 2021 Indian Legal Drama Film

Jai Bhim: 2021 Indian Legal Drama Film

Movie Name: Jai Bhim
Directed by: T. J. Gnanavel
Starring: Suriya, Lijomol Jose, K. Manikandan, Rajisha Vijayan, Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh
Genre: DramaCrime
Release Date: 02 November, 2021
Running Time: 164 Minutes
OTT Platform: Amazon Prime Video

When a tribal man is arrested for a case of alleged theft, his wife turns to a human-rights lawyer to help bring justice.

Jai Bhim is a 2021 Indian Tamil-language legal drama film directed by T. J. Gnanavel and produced by Jyothika and Suriya under 2D Entertainment. The film stars Suriya, with Lijomol Jose, K. Manikandan, Rajisha Vijayan, Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh and others in supporting roles. Based on a true incident in 1993, which involves a case fought by Justice K. Chandru, it follows Senggeni and Rajakannu, a couple from the Irular tribe. Rajakannu was arrested by the police, and was later missing from the police station. Senggeni seeks the help of an advocate Chandru to seek justice for her husband. Chandru files a habeas corpus case and he refers Rajan case to continue further to find the truth.

Following an official announcement in April 2021, the film began principal photography that month, with many sequences being shot in Chennai and Kodaikanal. Production was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and filming resumed in July 2021 before completing that September. The film’s cinematography was handled by S. R. Kathir and edited by Philomin Raj. The music and film score is composed by Sean Roldan.

Jai Bhim was released on Amazon Prime Video, prior to the Diwali, on 2 November 2021, as part of a multi-film deal signed by 2D Entertainment, resulting in their subsequent projects to have a streaming release. The film received positive reviews from critics, who praised the story, performances, emotional weight, direction, and social message. Many commended the acting of the cast, with praise directed towards that of Lijomol Jose and K. Manikandan, particularly that of Lijomol Jose.

Movie Trailer:

Jai Bhim Movie Review:

Jai Bhim is as much an indictment of our system as an engaging courtroom drama powered by Suriya

In one of the opening and telling scenes, jail inmates are segregated on the basis of their caste and members of one particular caste are sent back into another jail. If that particular moment tells you about the blatant discrimination of tribals in India, in this case, Tamil Nadu in particular, the rest of the film further reinforces it with forceful impact.

Police brutality is not new to us or Indian cinema. But the extent to which men in uniform can go to oppress the already oppressed is as shocking as revelatory. But before you think this Tamil film, starring one of their superstars Suriya, is one boring message-driven sermon or a pitiful account of a pregnant tribal woman seeking justice, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Jai Bhim, while building up a scathing indictment of police force and character study of real life hero Chandru (former Madras HC Judge and senior advocate Justice K Chandru), not even once flags in capturing your attention. Much of the credit can go to the star value of Suriya, whose screen presence is charismatic. His chutzpah is unmistakable as he makes a dramatic entry in sync with his star status. But once his presence as an upright lawyer fighting for the cause of the under-privileged is established, it’s his acting prowess and the script’s potency that keeps you invested. In fact, if the wails of Sengenni (Lijomol Jose is terrific) pierce your heart, the torture of tribals, especially of Sengenni’s husband Rajakannu (Manikandan looks every inch his part), numbs your senses and Chandru’s (an excellent Suriya) righteous stance stirs your conscience.

Sure at moments the extent to which the policemen can go to heap atrocities on the marginalised might seem a tad overstretched. But this is year 1995 when much could be brushed under the carpet. Or perhaps still is.

Custodial torture and caste-based discrimination are harsh realities even today and when these involve those who have no voice, let alone recourse to justice, perhaps the reality is far more shocking than reel reality. But for a few artistic liberties, in cinematic terms, the movie progresses at an even pace. Courtroom drama is evenly juxtaposed with rest of the narration that involves lawyer Chandru going beyond the call of duty to collect evidence.

The timeline moves back and forth, but only to keep the curiosity factor alive and not to confound the viewers. In fact, just when things become too heavy (read tragic) for comfort, the director intercuts the scene with lively and precise courtroom proceedings. Mandatory songs (music by Sean Roldan) instead of stalling the tone and tenor of the film, actually take the storyline forward. Cinema, we know has no language and for those like us not well-versed with Tamil (we preferred to see the original) learn that nor do emotions. Sure subtitles help but even more than that it’s the emotions writ on the faces of its key protagonists and their dialogue delivery that keep you clued in.

Jai Bhim, read the lines by a Marathi poet in the end credits, is a tear drop of millions… And there isn’t an iota of chance that you will be able to prevent that lump in your throat. Or stop your eyes from turning moist as much at the plight of the dispossessed, as at the gumption of a woman and activist lawyer to fight back. Don’t let the Tamil film tag deter you from soaking into a real life story told exceptionally well. One of the scenes, where Prakash Raj (impressive as always) is seen slapping a man for speaking in Hindi might have triggered a debate among netizens. But for Hindi-lovers, the movie, streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is available in Hindi too. Don’t miss it.

Jai Bhim Movie Songs:

Song Title: Power
Lyrics: Arivu
Music Composer: Sean Roldan
Singer(s): Arivu

Song Title: Thala Kodhum
Lyrics: Raju Murugan
Music Composer: Sean Roldan
Singer(s): Pradeep Kumar

Song Title: Sendumalli
Lyrics: Yugabharathi
Music Composer: Sean Roldan
Singer(s): Ananthu, Kalyani Nair

Song Title: Vettakaara Kootam
Lyrics: Yugabharathi
Music Composer: Sean Roldan
Singer(s): Anthony Daasan, Niranjana Ramanan

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