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17%
2.33 

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'Chee'
Feb 17, 2005 04:56 PM 4858 Views
(Updated Feb 18, 2005 08:33 AM)

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I remember watching an India ? NZ one day international during my school days. India were chasing and required 55 of the last 5 overs. Manoj Prabhakar and Nayan Mongia were at the crease. Manoj was unbeaten in the 90s having opened the innings.


What happened afterwards will be recorded in the annals of cricketing history as the most lethargic run chase ever. We ended up making just 11 from those 5 overs. The NZ bowlers were good, no doubt, but what shocked millions of viewers was that the duo never attempted to get anywhere near the NZ total.


I can sense your bewilderment here. You were, of course, trying to find out what I had to say about ?Ji?, the latest Ajith-Trisha starrer directed by Linguswamy, whose stylish bottling of old wine in a new bottle in his earlier flick ?Run? had left us thirsty for more.


Watching ?Ji? was the second most harrowing experience of my life (the first, obviously being the India ? NZ one dayer). Movies about common men plunging into politics are nothing new to us. Be it Pugazhendhi in Mudhalvan, a man forced by circumstances to jump right into the arena and rankle the giants, or Micheal Vasanth in Mani's 'Akk' taking the seasoned politician head-on, we?ve seen these situations.


So what does ?Ji? have to offer that the others haven?t already shown. Apart from some schoolboy (or should I say schoolgirl?) romance and some unpalatable dishum-dishum, there?s nothing at all. Zilch. From start to finish, the movie plays like a series of obligatory scenes. Ajith plays Vasu, a popular student who is goaded by his friends to contest the oncoming election for their college?s presidency. (One of these idiot buddies, is ironically the most aggressive character in this movie and looked like a better prospect to me.) After a mandatory introduction of the opponent-cum-politician?s son, Vasu wants to withdraw, but its past the withdrawal date. So he canvasses for the other guy who wins by a slender margin. An argument follows between Vasu?s disgruntled friends and the goons and its time for some dishoom.


Days pass while we meet some forgettable/useless characters including but not limited to




  1. Trisha ? The schoolgirl for whom it?s love at first sight.




  2. Daddy Vijayakumar ? Ajith?s doting father who is in the movie for the sole purpose of getting killed by the goons later.




  3. Uncle Rajesh ? wasted in a useless role that has him saying only two words ?paathukkalam.. Mudhichikkalam?




  4. Manivannan ? I almost forgot his presence.






The time comes for a bigger election for the State?s Legislative Assembly. Vasu wants to contest. A fifth forgettable character in the form of Visu enters the fray and funds his campaign. After doing some ?different? campaigns like cleaning up slums etc, Vasu wins!! (What a surprise!). This angers the goons and they want to kill him now. The resulting fracas kills his important friends and his father. Vasu also gets framed for the riots and is sent to jail before he can do his first good deed as a M.L.A.


Does he get out of jail and kill the goon and his son?? This exciting question is answered in due course. The one question that you won't get an answer to is ''why the hell is this movie called 'Ji'?!!!!''


Now let?s highlight some wasted talents in this movie:




  1. Ajith ? Used to be my favorite for choosing offbeat roles like Vaali and Mugavari a few years back. It?s a pity that I have had to watch him in movies like Attagasam, Villain etc. This movie is an all time high in terms of lethargy for Ajith. He appears in three different hair styles (facial and otherwise) when there is absolutely no need to. Looks like they couldn?t get bulk dates. No continuity at all. Pathetic!!




  2. Trisha ? Looks the part and has the goods but has no scope to deliver at all. I recently read in the youth icons issue of India Today where she said the she was going to be choosy about her roles. If this is what she meant, god save us (and her.)




  3. Linguswamy ? After a good story like ?Aanandham? and a stylish narrative in ?Run?, this is the last thing one would have expected from him. It only goes to show that he is definitely capable of making a mediocre movie.




  4. Vidyasagar ? Apart from a couple of hummable numbers, nothing sounds fresh. The jarring score only reiterates that silence is golden and you don?t have to fill up the entire movie with sounds. I did not expect this from the man who scored for ?Anbe Sivam?.




  5. Arthur Wilson ? the promising cinematographer seems to have missed the plot completely. Like in the case of Vidyasagar, there was no scope anyway.




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