Plot & Narration
An impressive, engrossing crime drama!
On the whole, Jiivi is a very good attempt in the mystery drama segment, marking itself a good spot amidst the better films of the year so far.
Cast: Vetri, Karunakaran, Monica Chinnakotla, Rohini, Mime Gopi and others ; Directed by V.J Gopinath ; Written by Babutamizh ; Cinematography – Praveen Kumar ; Music – K S Sundaramurthy ; Editor – Praveen K.L ; Produced by Vetrivel Saravana Cinemas & Big Print Pictures ; Distributed by Sakthi Film Factory ; Release Date – 28/06/2019 ; Run Time – 01:53:00
Once in a while, a film comes out of nowhere and surprises you with its intelligence. This time around, it’s Jiivi, the latest crime drama on the block, being a film that keeps you pinned to your seat by delivering some intriguing concepts followed by a sumptuous twist that makes it a huge win. This is a film that not just demands your attention, but also teases you and makes you play the guessing game until the very end.
Once again, Tamil cinema proves that its debutants are more dependable than the big shots. Here, the writer-director duo of Babu Tamizh and VJ Gopinath put together many interesting set pieces one after the other, which are very smartly interlinked to each other. The protagonist is introduced to us as a man who suffers in finding himself a decent job, but at the same time, he is a voracious reader and an information junkie who has loads of ‘curiosity’ embedded in him. Thanks to his situations, Saravanan (a stone-faced Vetri) wishes to go up in life by committing a crime, but what follows is a series of events that draw up more truths that become huge reveals to both the characters and the audiences. What is most important here is that the film does not club too many things at once, and is concentrating on the fact that the audience shouldn’t be left puzzled at any point.
A lot of films hurry up in introducing the concept to the viewer first up, afraid that they may not be able to connect to it later. But with Jiivi’s brave narrative pattern, we are introduced to the clues slowly in the background, and made to solve the case on our own before we are given the answers. And this is where Karunakaran’s character is so important to the film, as he reflects the mindsets of the viewer and makes the travel easier. The writer also puts good foots forward in penning the roles of the supporting artists with utmost clarity, including the heroine angle which has been dealt in the way it should have.
Despite all the positives, Jiivi falls back a bit because of the lead actor Vetri Sudley’s performance. Even though it is a step better than his first outing 8 Thottakal, a slightly wider palette of expressions would have helped the film in a large way. Also, it is important to realize that the film is a slow burn drama and not exactly a riveting thriller, so patience plays a role here.
On the whole, Jiivi is a very good attempt in the mystery drama segment, marking itself a good spot amidst the better films of the year so far. In these technological times, here’s a film that interestingly has its protagonist playing a passionate reader. And more importantly, the end result proves the importance of hiring a passionate writer.