Vijay Sethupathi’s Junga: What Works, What Doesn’t, Film Companion
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Vijay Sethupathi plays a miserly don on a unique mission in Junga, directed by Gokul. The film has been shot extensively across Europe in exotic locations and castles. It also has a distinct North Madras flavour.

Plot – Junga (Vijay Sethupathi) finds out from his mother (Saranya Ponvannan) and grandmother that he comes from a line of gangsters and that he has a family property (a theater named Cinema Paradise) to reclaim. His mission takes him and his sidekick (Yogi Babu) to Paris, where they encounter the French police, the Italian mafia and Junga’s romantic interest Yazhini (Sayyeshaa) who figures prominently in his plans.

What works

  • Director Gokul has his unique comedic style, which is wacky and madcap. Junga has enough and more moments to keep you in good spirits.
  • Saranya Ponvannan, Yogi Babu and Radha Ravi (in a brief part as a don reminiscent of Marlon Brando in The Godfather) bring their acting experience to the fore. All of them dish out the laughs with ease and hold the film together.
  • The veteran debut actress playing the grandmother is a scream in the second half.
  • Sayyeshaa has good screen space in the second half. Her moves in the songs ‘Lolikiriya’ and ‘Kootipo Koodave’ prove her dancing prowess yet again.
  • Composer Siddharth Vipin is in good form with all the songs which work well with the ‘theater mood’.

What doesn’t

  • The mafia – police – kidnapping angle in the second half, with all the chase sequences and the so-called ‘international action’ flavour, seems forced and dilutes the funny tone of the film. One feels that the production team has needlessly splurged on these scenes, causing the budget to spike.
  • The run time of 2 hours 37 mins is a definite stretch. The presentation could’ve been more crisp and focused.
  • Though Vijay Sethupathi’s presence is the film’s biggest draw and his trademark style works again, his typically hurried, loud dialogue delivery is a turn-off.

Final Word: Junga works as long as it sticks to the comedy genre. The action-heavy portions in Paris stick out like a sore thumb and reduce the overall impact. A passable fare.

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