Movie Review: Jai Simha

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Balakrishna’s latest film directed by KS Ravi Kumar seemed like a mass entertainer, but it turned out to be a sentimental drama. Old-fashioned narrative, making style and loud execution makes it another torrid affair for the festival audience.

Narasimha (Balakrishna) with his infant baby goes to find a right place to bring up his son. He settles down in Kumbakonam as a driver in a rich man’s house. He comes across a local goon who vouches to kill his son. Thereafter he confronts Gauri (Nayanatara) whose son is a look alike of Narasimha’s son. Why are their kids identical? What is the story behind Narasimha and Gauri?

One would expect a roaring and powerful mass entertainer with ‘Simha’ in the title, but all Jai Simha offers is a tear-jerking melodrama where the protagonist keeps on sacrificing everything for his love. There are a few elements to please fans and B and C centers audience, which should help the film to sustain until the festival period is over.

Ratnam came up with an eighties setup and characterizations and Ravikumar’s old-fashioned execution made it even worse. It starts off like a typical Balakrishna’s film as the protagonist keeps on suppressing his anger. We expect Samarasimha Reddy kind of back story for him, but in the flashback there is a love story that is stretched too far between Balakrishna and Nayanatara.

There is a villain and action part too, it is however restricted to few scenes as the director focuses too much on the ‘sacrifice’ part. None of the episodes between Balakrishna and Nayanatara has that emotional connect and Haripriya’s scenes are straight out boring. There is a comedy track on Brahmanandam which is a rehash of Vadivelu’s track from Chandramukhi. It will leave you disgusted to see the ace comedian desperately trying to make the stale comedy work.

First half is passable to an extent with a lengthy episode on Brahmins and the pre interval sequences. Second half is a total let-down with a series of cringe-worthy scenes. Director focuses too much on the sacrifice part in the climax, but it doesn’t make any impact due to poorly etched characters and badly executed emotions. On a whole, Jai Simha is a disappointing film from the veteran superstar that may appeal to his diehard fans and the B and C centers audience. Moderate costs and festival period should help it on the commercial front.

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