Entertainment Movie Reviews 28 Jul 2018 Junga movie review: ...

Junga movie review: Tepid 2nd half and adorable Vijay Sethupathi stand out

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ANUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN
Published Jul 28, 2018, 5:02 pm IST
Updated Jul 28, 2018, 5:08 pm IST
Sayyeshaa and Vijay Sethupathi in 'Junga.'
 Sayyeshaa and Vijay Sethupathi in 'Junga.'
Rating:

Director: Gokul

Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Sayyeshaa, Madonna, Yogi Babu, Saranya Ponvannan

The film opens when a dreaded don Junga (Vijay Sethupathi) is in police custody and two inspectors (Vinod and Mottai Rajhendran) are entrusted with the job of killing him in an encounter. On their way, Junga narrates the story of how he turned a don. Junga is a bus conductor in a small town and is in love with a Telugu girl (Madonna Sebastian). And like the earlier scene where we get to hear the BGM of Baasha, Sethupathi tells that his backstory is dissimilar to Baasha’s. Once again when someone tries to equate his conductor task to superstar’s, he intervenes and says he should not be compared with the legend.

Junga learns from his mother (Saranya Ponvannan) that he hails from a family of gangsters. He is the son of gangster Ranga (Vijay Sethupathi) and grandson of Linga (Vijay Sethupathi). Both were foolish and squandered all their wealth by way of their lavish lifestyle on food, booze and ‘success parties’ after completing each crime task. That includes also a theatre named ‘Cinema Paradise’ which was given as a dowry to his mother. Now the CP is in possession of a wealthy business tycoon Chettiyar (Suresh Menon). Junga vows to retrieve the ancestral property by following his family legacy. But he assures he would not repeat the mistake committed by his forefathers. Thus he becomes a stingy don. He arrives in Chennai with his assistant Yo Yo (Yogi Babu) and starts with petty jobs and rises to major crimes. He saves up all the money he earned to repossess the lost cinema hall. But Chettiyar insults him and refuses to part with Cinema Paradise, that’s when Junga goes on a revenge mode and decides to kidnap the former’s daughter Yazhini (Sayyeshaa ) who is studying in Paris.  Thus starts his journey from Pollachi to Paris.

Junga tries to spoof other Don typecasts in Tamil cinema and Gokul’s funny writing works only to some extent. Vijay Sethupathi, with his amazing screen presence and solid performance, pulls off even a mediocre comedy scene. Despite getting repetitive in his style and dialogue delivery, he is still adorable. But he literally yells at times, which gets difficult to comprehend. Yogi Babu is in full form and plays a perfect foil to Sethupathi. Madonna’s portions did not add much value to the film except reinforcing Junga’s character. Sayyeshaa looks pretty and proves her dancing prowess once again. Radha Ravi’s aging don cameo character a la Godfather style is interesting. However, Saranya Ponvannan and the Don Paatty (grandma) are the highlights of the reel. They bring the roof down with their hilarious act in the second half which otherwise moves tepidly.

Junga is a stingy don to the extent of travelling to Paris in economy class through eight connecting flights to be cost effective and while on a kidnap mission, he swims through sub-zero water to save some bucks. When it switches gears, instead of sticking to the miserly plot in the second half with several clichéd scenes like a song placement just before confrontation between Junga and Yazhini or the far-fetched lengthy car chase scenes during the climax, it succumbs to its own stereotypes. Clocking at more than 150 minutes, the length could have used a bit of trimming. Siddharth Vipin’s music is passable and Dudley’s cinematography is appealing. 

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