With the title Jail, there was speculation if Vasanthabalan’s new film, starring GV Prakash Kumar, could be on the lines of Visaranai or Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban, exploring another shade of police brutality. The opening shot of the teaser released today suggests otherwise: A large low income housing complex in the middle of tall apartment towers. It appears that GV Prakash’s Karuna is from this Chennai locality called Kaverinagar that’s supposedly notorious with both the police and the public for its crime. It’s not clear what Karuna actually does. The teaser is filled with visuals of him either getting beaten up by the cops or him trying to beat someone else up. But the film seems to not be about Karuna alone, but about digging deeper into urban crime.
There’s a hint when amidst visuals of mindless violence by Karuna or his opponents: A character says that he’s filed a case at an international court for putting these people in such a locality. We get a hint about inadequate redressal by the government after a disaster.
And from the final shot of the teaser, it appears that the entire neighbourhood in which these people have been put in by the government is actually the jail that the title refers to. Apart from GV Prakash, Jail stars Abarnathy, Radhika Sarathkumar, Prabhakar, Yogi Babu (recently seen in Doctor), Robo Shankar, Pasanga Pandi and Ravi Mariya.
The film has music by GV Prakash (Thalaivii, Soorarai Pottru), with editing and cinematography by Raymond Derrick Crasra (Aruvi, Enemy, Aelay) and Ganesh Chandhrra respectively. A ‘friendship song’ from the film ‘Pathu Kaasu’ was released in August last year. Dubbed by the makers as ‘an ode to all Pullingos’ the song has lyrics by Arivu and is sung by GV Prakash. It’s a fairly typical song with a gaana flavour that celebrates male friendship.
GV Prakash’s first film to release this year, director Rajesh’s Vanakkamda Mappilei, streamed directly on SunNXT. In 2019, he had a slew of theatrical releases like Rajiv Menon’s Sarvam Thaala Mayam, Watchman, Sasi’s Sivappu Manjal Pachai.
Dialogues in the film are by S. Ramakrishnan and Bakkiyam Shankar. Director Vasanthabalan has directed notable films like Kaaviya Thalaivan and Angaadi Theru. Incidentally, Vasanthabalan and GV Prakash collaborated musically in Veyil (GV Prakash’s debut as composer) and Angaadi Theru (four songs out of six in the album). Jail is their third film working together.
Produced by Devika Mariathasan, Jail has been waiting for release from as early as 2019 and was further delayed by closure of theatres during the lockdowns. The makers have announced that the film will have a theatrical release soon.