"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" - Martin Luther King
A fight for justice can't be measured or expressed in words. The longer the fight goes the more the challenges would be and when it was eventually won, it will be an epitome and show the light to the oppressed. The fact is the light is always there and most of the time, it will be concealed or dimmed by tyranny and such injustice will get passed on everywhere, testing the power of justice. As we live in an era of disparities, we are always in the need of a lightkeeper, who will bolster the fight for justice.
While 'Jai Bhim' has shown the light, Suriya shines as a lightkeeper. We can unequivocally say that Jai Bhim is one of the bold movies that the Tamil cinema will always keep in its store, so does the fans in their hearts. Suriya gains respect each day from across and beyond the borders as he has become a complete actor and activist who aspires to bring the change on the screen he plays and in the society he lives. For the first time in his career, Suriya has acted as an advocate in the true subject, a big thanks and respect to director TJ Gnanavel for exhuming and presenting a frightening story and reiterating that justice could be delayed but can't be denied.
Living in a caste-webbed society, it needs super courage for one who speaks about and agitates against caste discrimination and custodial torture through the medium that would touch the masses. Asuran, Visaranai, and Karnan can be quoted as examples of such a fight and Suriya's judicial battle against injustice in Jai Bhim had significantly sparkled the light. The thrilling trailer, electrifying dialogues, and promising story were the important ingredients that cooked more excitement towards the movie. However, does the movie deliver justice in its fight and who is the real winner? Let's review...
The police arrest Manikandan, who belongs to the community of Irular Tribe, in a heist case. The cops then torture him in the police station. He endures brutal abuse and injuries and Manikandan's wife Lijomol Jose approaches the court against his arrest. However, the police inform that Manikandan had escaped from their custody. Jose develop scepticism over the police and to rescue her husband, she approached Suriya, an advocate, and file litigation against the police. The matter goes to the High Court and the rest of the story revolves around the trial, whether the case was proven, and what's the state of Manikandan.
The screenplay keeps the curiosity and tension alive and though we have seen several court-based dramas before, Suriya scores big through his projection and living as a real character. TJ Gnanavel must be appreciated for bringing the true event more real and close to the heart and he has bravely presented the clampdown and injustice faced by the oppressed community. Jai Bhim has successfully and strongly captured how the dominant caste people approach fellow humans who they see below them and how they are using the ignorance of the backward caste people to conceal their crimes.
Commercialism is the formula that will be mixed in the story to help get succeed. However, Jai Bhim has given no room for commercialism, which in fact became one of the key factors why the movie and the fight look more real. Gnanavel's formula for a successful movie is a strong storyline, emotional scenes, deep-delving dialogues, and a curious screenplay and all these were executed well in Jai Bhim. Though handling n a complex story, Gnanavel has won and delivered justice in the direction.
Manikandan, who plays the lead role, lives the role and had drawn a good reception for perfectly depicting the lives of the Irular community while Kerala-native Lijomol Jose had put immense hard work that was visible on the screen. Though being a Malayali, she has scored good marks from the Tamil audience by excellently speaking the accent of the community. She had expressed precise emotions and apprehension how a real pregnant woman would express after losing her husband.
Suriya, as usual, has glittered through his acting and Jai Bhim would be another feather on his victory cap. As a first time advocate, Suriya had done justice to his role and his legal battle against the injustice on the tribal community was the root of the movie and it adds more power to the screenplay. Prakash Raj has excelled in his role as a police officer and though his screen time is limited, he has played a crucial role so are the others - Rajisha Vijayan, Ilavarasu, MS Baskar, Rao Ramesh, and Guru Somasundaram.
Another pillar to the movie is SR Kathir's cinematography and his cameras had brought the audience close to the livelihood of the Irular community and had effectively captured the dark side of the police station. Sean Roldan's music has come as the big arm for the movie as his background music pours more magnitude in the fight for justice. Jai Bhim is based on the true event that happened in 1995 where former Madras High Court Judge Justice Chandru had fought for the justice of a tribal woman while he was an advocate. Chandru won the case in 1995 as an advocate, Suriya again won the case as a lighkeeper, Gnanavel has won his test as a director, but the real winner is justice and its light for the oppressed.
The oneliner of Jai Bhim: The fight for justice will be hard but it will never fail. The movie is a must-watch and will be streaming on Amazon Prime Video from November 2.