Cast: Sayyeshaa Saigal, Vijay Sethupathi, Yogi Babu Director: Gokul
Is it a black comedy or a spoof on Tamil gansgter films? Vijay Sethupathi’s big budget film Junga, written and directed by Gokul, tries to follow the middle path and ends up neither here nor there. The only silver lining in an otherwise a long and drab movie is Vijay Sethupathi, with his terrific comedy timing and his goofy scenes with Yogi Babu.
Junga (Vijay Sethupathi) is a happy-go-lucky conductor in a private bus in a village. He is in love with a Telugu girl (Madonna Sebastin) and after a few songs, he take on a couple of eve teasers. In this scene, the background score has Rajinikanth’s iconic Baasha music and a transformation takes place. This is when Junga’s mother (Saranya Ponvannan) and grand mother tell him the truth: there is gangster blood flowing in him as his grandfather and father (Linga and Ranga) were famous dons who lost their wealth due to their foolishness in holding “success parties” after grabbing illegal wealth. They also had a theatre called Cinema Paradise in Chennai, which they lost to a rival don (Radha Ravi dressed like Marlon Brando in Godfather).
Our hero is suddenly transformed into a stingy don who undercuts on deals and comes to Chennai to regain his family heirloom, the single screen Cinema Paradise. The Godfather wants to demolish it and built a mall and multiplex, and he has the backing of the rightful owner of the property, Chettiar (Suresh Menon), who runs a Rs 2000 crore corporate. Junga is insulted by Chettiar when he goes to ask for his property back and he vows vengeance. Junga plans to kidnap Chettiyar’s daughter Yazhini (Sayyeshaa), a famous dancer in Paris. Junga and his buddy Yoyo (Yogi Babu) land in Paris and they meet Yazhini, but as it turns out, she falls for him.
Gokul tries to rework the magic of Idharkkue Thaane Aasaipattai Balakumara with Vijay Sethupathi and falls flat as the wry humour is missing in Junga. The film cannot make up its mind on what it wants to be: a pure dark comedy or another spoof film on Kollywood and its superstars. Gokul trolls many films and also takes a dig at Tamil Film Producers Council. The film, with a running time of nearly 150 minutes, is stretched with long-drawn-out dialogues.
Vijay Sethupathi and Yogi Babu have crackling comic timing. Sayyeshaa is the token eye-candy character, but does her scenes convincingly and dances well. Madonna Sebastin has hardly anything to do and the villainous characters like Suresh Menon are mere caricatures seen only in Tamil films. Saranya, who plays Junga’s mother, and the old lady who plays the role of the grandmother, bring the house down with their antics. Siddharth Vipin’s music is peppy and cinematography by Dudley is eye-catching.
Other than Vijay Sethupathi, there isn’t to Junga.