Review : Junga

Film: Junga

Director: Gokul

Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Sayyesha Saigal, Madonna Sebastian, Yogi Babu, Suresh Menon, Radha Ravi, Saranya Ponvannan, Vijaya

Music Director: Siddharth Vipin

Cinematography: Dudley

Director Gokul is back with a full-fledged comedy entertainer and this time too, he has his trusted friend and actor, Vijay Sethupathi playing the lead. Only this time, the story moves to France while in Idharkkuthaane Aasai Pattai Balakumara, the story was set in North Madras.

Junga (Vijay Sethupathi), who works as a bus conductor in a remote place, has a gift. He has a photographic memory that can help him recall any image, even if he has seen it only once. Junga leads a content life. He has a simple job. More importantly, he gets to meet the love of his life (Madonna Sebastian) everyday as she travels by his bus.

Life is peaceful until one fine day, a roadside romeo tries to flirt with his girl. Junga, who is until then polite, rises to her defence. In his earnestness to protect her, he gives the roadside romeo and his friends a sound thrashing. As a result of this episode, he discovers an unknown side to his personality.

When Junga’s mother (Saranya Ponvannan) gets to know about the violent manner in which he has behaved, she is worried. That is because Junga’s father and grandfather were both big dons in their time and the mother fears that Junga too will turn out to be like them. Actually, Junga’s mother isn’t worried about him turning violent or turning into a don, she is worried that he too will end up being a spendthrift like his dad and granddad.

To straighten him out, Junga’s mother tells him about his granddad Lingaa and dad Ranga. She tells him that both were dons who loved to show off. The two would have been such proud, arrogant show offs that they would spend ten times the amount they charged for a task on the task itself. For instance, if they were asked to threaten someone for a sum of Rs 4000, they would take with them goons in almost 20 Sumo vehicles for the job. This would invariably result in a situation wherein the dons would have to cough up over Rs 40,000. As if this wasn’t enough, the dons had this habit of throwing a success party for their associates every time they performed a task. This way, both the father and the son, had squandered away all the family wealth. In the end, they would have also had to give away the only theatre that the family had for a cheap sum of Rs Four lakh to a Chettiar (Suresh Menon) because of having given a success party.

When Junga gets to know all this, he is determined to become a don too, make money and buy back the theatre that his father sold at a throwaway price to the Chettiar.

He arrives in the city with the sole intention of making money and wastes no time in turning a don. He also turns a miser and begins to save money in any and every way possible. There are several hilarious incidents as a result of Junga turning a miser. After a point, Junga manages to save enough money to buy back his theatre from the Chettiar, a man who is filthy rich. He goes and tries negotiating a deal with the Chettiar but only ends up getting insulted. In a fit of rage and determined to get his theatre back, Junga looks for ways that will enable him to have the upper hand during future negotiations with the Chettiar.

It is then that he remembers having seen the picture of a girl at the Chettiar’s residence. He gets to know from the manager (Delhi Ganesh) of the theatre that it is the picture of the Chettiar’s daughter Yazhini(Sayyesha Saigal).

Delighted that the Chettiar has a weakness he can exploit, Junga decides to kidnap the girl to bring the Chettiar to his knees. He asks the manager where he can find the girl and gets to know that she is in Paris. With his deputy Yo Yo (Yogi Babu) by his side, he hurries to Parrys Corner in Chennai and searches for the girl. After searching for a while, he calls up the manager to ask for precise locations and is promptly told that he will need to fly to France to find the girl. The miserly don and his loyal but dumb deputy are a little unnerved by the expenses they will be incurring on the trip but decide to fly to France to kidnap the girl. What happens then is what Junga is all about…

The film is funny in parts and those parts that work, work big time. Like the directors of most other comedies, director Gokul too seems to believe that he can give logic a miss if it is a comedy entertainer that he is looking to make.

For instance, when Junga gets to know that Yazhini is being held prisoner in a place that he knows nothing about, he begins to enquire about the cheapest way to get there. When he finds out that the cheapest mode of transport itself is costly, he decides to swim all the way to the place to save money! The temperature of the river is a freezing five degrees and the man does not know where the river heads! Despite all this, he correctly ends up at the place where Yazhini is being held hostage! This is one of developments you are bound to find atrocious the film. The film has many more such instances.

The film’s biggest strength is Vijay Sethupathi, who combines well with comedian Yogi Babu, to keep you entertained for the most part. Be it the manner in which Yogi Babu and he sell spoonfuls of rice for exhorbitant sums on a flight to Paris, or the manner in which he hyperventilates when he realises that he has bought clothes for 18 lakhs instead of 18,000 or the manner in which he chooses to save on food costs by filling a suitcase full of snacks kept in the hotel, Vijay Sethupathi is funny and fascinating. He is complemented well by Yogi Babu, who plays the perfect deputy to a miserly don.

This is the second time that Yogi Babu and Vijay Sethupathi are coming together in a film. The first time the two were seen together was in the rip-roaring comedy Aandavan Kattalai. That film worked big time only because of the antics of both these two seasoned artistes. Junga too is funny but it does not surpass Aandavan Kattalai, either in terms of story or in terms of the humour quotient.

Sayyessha is pretty and does a neat job of her role. One other person whose work must be commended is Vijaya, the elderly lady who plays Vijay Sethupathi’s grandmother in the film. She steals the show with a sparkling performance that commands respect.

Music for the film is just about okay but the cinematography is breathtaking and induces in you an urge to head to Paris to experience the beauty there.

On the whole, Junga is a film that works in parts. One is bound to find it reasonably good if one does not mind the illogical sequences in it.