Jeeva: Film Review – The politics around the bat-and-ball game

Director Suseenthiran has always had a prowess for portraying realism in his films. Be it his debut film Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu or Pandiya Nadu, both these films portrayed the story of an underdog, that had us rooting for the protagonist. His recent film Jeeva, is also a tale of an underdog who beats all odds and eventually triumphs. The film does have its low points, but is quickly substituted by a gripping second-half.

Rooting on a simple story, set in a realistic middle-class world, Jeeva explores the struggle of a passionate cricketer, who yearns to make it into the big league. His journey is hurdled by several obstacles, but worst of them all is the politics he faces in the Tamil Nadu cricket council.
 
Skillfully giving us two stories, from the tale of the lover boy Jeeva (Vishnu) to the emotional struggle he faces in the latter-half of the movie, the director takes the film on a calm pace, without any noticeable flaws. Despite the dull momentum the film follows, you are soon drawn into the unflinching struggle of our hero. And the instantly likeable characters the film showcases. The scene where Jeeva’s dad is disappointed watching his first match, will break your heart as well. The characters in the film give a soul to it. How else would you explain yourself admiring the love his neighbor, Arul Appa has for him. The scene where Jeeva follows his instinct to check on his heart-broken friend, is truly remarkable. The film is filled with such genuinely good moments. In the second-half, the film builds up momentum taking us to a gripping climax. 
 
 
*Spoiler Alert* The climax also reveals a sweet surprise. On the downside, the film feels a little too-slow, given the run-time of only 2 hours. Blame it on the songs as well.
 
Just like the film Raja Rani, here too we find the heroine (Sri Divya) address him as ‘anna’ first, and then slowly falls in love with him. Although the love track seems convincing, I might never understand why the girl calls him ‘anna’ and falls in love with him thereafter. Vishnu convinces you as the earnest cricket player, without overdoing his part. A special mention to the brilliant performances by the coach and Dhandapani (Marimuthu). The film is captured beautifully in every frame, credits to the cinematographer Madhi. Ruben’s crisp editing is also a highlighting feature. 
 
Why should you watch this film? 
 
The film might inspire and supercharge you to follow your passion. Suseenthiran’s realistic portrayal of the cricketing scenario in India is something you should look out for. 
 

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