Jai Bhim (2021)
Jai Bhim (film)
Jai Bhim (transl. Victory for Bhim Long live Bhim; referring to the slogan) is a 2021 Indian Tamil-language legal drama film directed by T. J. Gnanavel and produced by 2D Entertainment. The film stars Suriya, with Prakash Raj, Rajisha Vijayan, Lijomol Jose, Rao Ramesh and K. Manikandan in supporting roles. Based on a true incident in 1993, which involves a case fought by Justice K Chandru, it follows Sengani and Rajakannu, a couple from the Irular tribe. The latter was convicted by the police due, and was later missing from the police station. Senggeni seeks the help of an advocate Chandru to seek justice for her husband.
Following an official announcement in April 2021, the film began principal photography that month, with many sequences being shot in Chennai and Kodaikanal. Despite production being halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, filming resumed in July 2021 and ended by that September. The film features cinematography handled by S. R. Kathir and edited by Philomin Raj. The music and film score is composed by Sean Roldan.
Jai Bhim was released on Amazon Prime Video, prior to the Diwali festival, on 2 November 2021, as a part of a multi-film deal signed by the production house, resulting in their subsequent projects to have a streaming release. The film received positive reviews from critics, who praised the story, performances, emotional weight, direction and social message.
This article needs an improved plot summary. (November 2021)
A tribal woman and a righteous lawyer battle in court to unravel the mystery around the disappearance of her husband, who was picked up by the police on a false case.
- Suriya as Advocate Chandru
- Lijomol Jose as Sengeni
- K. Manikandan as Rajakannu
- Prakash Raj as Inspector General (IG) Perumalsamy
- Rajisha Vijayan as Maithreya
- Guru Somasundaram as Public Prosecutor (PP) Chellapandiyan
- Rao Ramesh as Advocate General (AG) Ram Mohan
- Director Tamil as Sub-inspector (SI) Gurumoorthy
- Supergood Subramani as Head Constable Veerasamy
- M. S. Bhaskar as Adv. Sankaran
- Jayaprakash as Director General of Police (DGP) Radhakrishnan
- Ilavarasu as Gunasekaran
- Sujatha Sivakumar as Subbulakshmi Kathirvel
- Sibi Thomas as Superintendent of Police (SP) Ashok Varadhan
- Ravi Venkatraman as Inspector Bashyam
- Subhadra as Pachaiyammal
In March 2020, media reports surfaced that Suriya would collaborate with T. J. Gnanavel, who directed Kootathil Oruthan (2017), for a legal drama film based on tribal people. Gnanavel earlier worked as dialogue writer in the Tamil-dubbed version of Suriya's Rakta Charitra 2 (2010), which was titled Ratha Sarithram. It was further stated that the film would be based on a true incident in 1993, and Suriya plays the role of a lawyer. His role is based on the real-life of retired Madras High Court Justice and former senior advocate Chandru, who faced a legal battle in order to bring justice for an Irular tribe woman named Senggeni. Her husband Rajakannu, gets arrested due to some unfortunate events and later disappeared from the police station that night. In the hope of justice for Rajakannu, she seeks the help of a lawyer named Chandru who goes beyond conventional lines to unearth the truth and bring justice to Senggeni and her family. Gnanavel also met the lawyer and interacted with him for several weeks, to understand further about the case.
The project was formally announced in April 2021, with Suriya himself producing the film under 2D Entertainment banner. In May 2021, Malayalam actress Rajisha Vijayan signed in for a pivotal role after her Tamil debut with Karnan (2021). Prakash Raj, Lijomol Jose, Rao Ramesh and K. Manikandan, amongst others, were reportedly signed in for supporting roles, with music composer Sean Roldan, editor Philomin Raj, videographer S. R. Kathir, production designer Jacki and stunt co-ordinator duo Anbariv also a part of the technical crew. The title of the film Jai Bhim (based on the slogan used by followers of B. R. Ambedkar), was announced on 23 July 2021 (Suriya's birthday), with a first look release. The title was already taken by director Pa. Ranjith, a follower of Ambedkar's ideologies, and Suriya said Ranjith gave the film crew the title.
Filming and post-production
Principal photography began in Kodaikanal during mid-April 2021, with Suriya joining the sets despite shooting for Etharkkum Thunindhavan (2021) in Karaikkudi. As production of the latter being halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Suriya began working on the project with the shooting in Kodaikanal, which was further interrupted due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. In July 2021, shooting of the film resumed. Principal photography wrapped by September 2021. In October 2021, the final copy of the film was submitted to the officials of the Central Board of Film Certification, which gave the film an "A" (adults-only) certificate, as a few scenes from the film have strong content which can be viewed only by mature audiences. It is the first time a Suriya-starrer was given this rating since Rakta Charitra 2.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||27 October 2021|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Sean Roldan chronology|
The film score and soundtrack is composed by Sean Roldan in his maiden collaboration with Suriya, while the lyrics for the songs were written by Yugabharathi, Raju Murugan, Arivu and T. J. Gnanavel. In August 2021, Roldan recorded the first track of the film (which was later deciphered as "Power Song") with vocals and lyrics written by Arivu. He further recorded the film's background score with orchestrator Matt Dunkley at Abbey Road Studios, London, with a snippet from the recording sessions uploaded to social media during mid-October. The music rights were purchased by Sony Music India, with the first single "Power Song" was released on 6 October 2021. The second single track "Thala Kodhum" sung by Pradeep Kumar was released on 18 October. The original soundtrack album consisting of five tracks was released through music streaming platforms on 27 October 2021, with the jukebox being unveiled on YouTube, a day later.
|2.||"Thala Kodhum"||Raju Murugan||Pradeep Kumar||3:49|
|3.||"Sendumalli"||Yugabharathi||Ananthu, Kalyani Nair||4:11|
|4.||"Vettakaara Kootam"||Yugabharathi||Anthony Daasan, Niranjana Ramanan||3:26|
|5.||"Polladha Ulagathiley"||Yugabharathi||Sean Roldan||5:07|
|6.||"Mannile Eeramundu"||Yugabharathi||Vaikom Vijayalakshmi|
On 5 August 2021, 2D Entertainment signed a four-film deal with the streaming service Amazon Prime Video. As part of this deal, four of the studio's upcoming projects would premiere directly on Prime Video while bypassing theatrical release, which is a result of estimated losses incurred by non-existent theatrical releases due to the pandemic. Jai Bhim was scheduled for a streaming release during November 2021. On 2 October, the makers announced that the film would be released worldwide on 2 November 2021, ahead of the Diwali festival. In addition, the film was dubbed in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada languages.
The film received positive reviews from critics.
Ranjani Krishnakumar of Film Companion wrote, "Jai Bhim is a solid film held together by craftly writing, thoughtful filmmaking, restrained performances and a true incident of the justice system restoring hope." NDTV gave the film 3.5 out of 5 writing" The amalgamation of the lead actor's charisma, the urgency of the theme and the force of the no-holds-barred storytelling results in an immersive and riveting film that calls attention to the plight of an oppressed community languishing on the fringes of society." The Hindu wrote "‘Jai Bhim’ is perhaps one of the boldest films to have come out of Tamil cinema. It doesn't dare turn its back on hitting where it hurts the most, and its politics is not weighed down by the presence of a star like Suriya" The Indian Express gave the film 4 out of 5 writing "Suriya feels natural and very comfortable in the role of a firebrand advocate. It is as if he's not just performing the lines written by the director, but he really believes in every word and gesture he delivers in this film." The News Minute also gave the film 4 out of 5 while writing "As a courtroom drama and investigative thriller, based on real events, ‘Jai Bhim’ is head and shoulders above the average fare." M Suganth of The Times of India gave the film 3.5 out of 5 writing "Gnanavel gives us some terrific moments of defiance. Lijomol Jose is quietly powerful as Sengani, who gets a couple of rousing scenes when she turns down efforts at a compromise from cops. Manikandan, too, is effective and stands out in the scene when he urges his men to not give in as that will result in their community being branded as criminals. The director also portrays the intimacy between Sengani and Rajakannu in a charming manner.
Firstpost gave the film 4 out of 5 writing "Jai Bhim is hard-hitting and intense. Unlike most commercial star vehicles, the film is decisively realistic. It tells a deeply important story with great nuance, ensuring that the people are not reduced to stereotypes." Koimoi gave the film 4 out of 5 writing "The realisation that the marginalized have faced crimes so evil and that too for no reason. It is a wake-up call as the last slide of the film says they still continue to happen. Suriya's amazing film choices and Lijo Mol Jose's heart-shattering performance goes without saying." Hindustan Times wrote "Jai Bhim also talks about caste-based discrimination, and it doesn't try to sugar-coat things in the process. One of the highlights of Jai Bhim are the courtroom sequences which have been shot in the most realistic fashion. Suriya brings earnestness in his performance and plays the role of a lawyer with a lot of maturity, ensuring that his star image never comes in the way. It's Manikandan, who leaves you stunned with a gut-wrenching performance. Most of his scenes are shot in the interrogation room and he brings out the helplessness of his character effectively. Lijomol Jose as the lone woman standing against system that is rigged against her, is one of the best casting choices in recent times in Tamil cinema." OnManorama gave the film 3.5 out of 5 writing "Rather than being a mere courtroom drama, Jai Bhim is a much-needed film from the past that will be relevant in the years to come, with new hope and a new beginning."
India Today gave the film 4.5 out of 5 writing "Jai Bhim is an important film in the history of Tamil cinema. It shows how caste discrimination and injustice kill people. Jai Bhim is a film that also talks about the lack of humanity. Jai Bhim is a must-watch for its hard-hitting content and its ideologies. It's what society needs right now." Behindwoods gave the film 3.25 out of 5 wring "Jai Bhim is a film that's as powerful as it's title. It's an honest portrayal of the Irular tribe and the issues they face without stripping them of their self-respect and dignity. In addition to false cases, making a point for issuing lands to such tribes is a message that must be welcomed. Overall, the film entertains and engages you and ends up as one of the best films in recent times." Telugu360 wrote "Jai Bhim is hard-hitting, realistic and it makes an impressive watch because of the top-class performances." Cinema Express gave the film 3.5 writing "And yet, for all these missteps that prevent Jai Bhim from being an unforgettable film, it's still necessary to note that this is an important film that documents, with passion and good intentions, the oppression of a community. It's a film co-produced by a star, who's brave enough to almost slide himself into the background. Yes, he's a saviour in this film, sure, but he is not of the henchmen-beating, heroine-advising, agency-robbing kind, and neither is he the centrepoint of this story. Though he's a saviour, you could argue that he's also a 'victim'... of his good conscience. "It's the only way I can get a good night's sleep," he says, explaining his motivation to represent the vulnerable. If only our society created more such victims."