Something is rotten in the campus politics of
Kumbakonam, as politicians play dirty to take control of college
union. One student Vasu (Ajit) dares to cleanse the system and
the machinations of a local MLA (Charan Raj) who is sort of a
mobster and thug. Lingusamy explains the criminalization of
student politics, with necessary commercial ingredients thrown
in to make Ji a racy entertainer.
Ji has an interesting plot, and good looks. The power of the
film rest on Ajit's best-ever performance and Lingu's story
telling which manages to capture the nuances and sub-text of
politics in campus.
Lingusamy's basic inspiration seems to be Ramgopal Varma's debut
film Shiva in Telugu.
No, Lingu's Ji isn't perfect. Far from it, this tale set against
the murky backdrop of college politics and small town diabolics
has its flaws. It lags in the second half and has a very tame
climax. Where Lingusamy shows his class as an emerging force is
in conceptualizing and execution. Lingu is able to open up the
can of worms as it exits in Tamilnadu campuses. Indeed barring
Shiva and Tigmanshu Dhulia's Haasil, you can't recollect another
film that has dealt with subject so closely.
Right away, you are drawn into the life and times of Vasu (Ajit)
the protagonist of a failed revolution. The story unfolds as
Vasu comes back to Kumbakonam, after a seven-year imprisonment
for a crime that he has not done. With the help of his trusted
mentor Raasi (Manivannan) who runs a cycle repair shop tries to
meet his old friends who were a part of the radical movement.
But all of them are leading a very respectable life and has no
time for Vasu. The story is unfolded in a flashback as Vasu
reminiscences about his past.
Vasu is a Mr Nice Guy and a pet of his father (Vijaykumar) who
runs a small tea shop. Along with a group of friends, Vasu leads
a normal life until his friends force him to stand for college
elections against a local MLA's son. But just before the
elections Vasu is summoned by the MLA who forces him to withdraw
from elections as he sees the College Chairmanship as a ticket
for his son's entry into politics. Vasu retreats and he loses
but a small conflict that follows after the elections opens his
eyes. He is also encouraged by his father who hates politics to
cleanse the system.
Vasu stands for assembly elections against the MLA himself and
wins with a large margin. However the victory is not his, as the
MLA's party captures power at the centre and a bloody massacre
follows. The blame falls on the students and its leader and Vasu
is jailed. How Vasu takes revenge forms the climax of the film.
The first half of the film is light and breezy. The romance
between Vasu and Bhuvana (Trisha) a plus-two student is a
highlight of the film. Vasu meets Bhuvana on a rainy evening and
it is love-at-first-sight for the hero. Watch the romantic
banter, their cycle romance using temple and cycle bells as a
metaphor for the green signal are frothy and full of fun. Lingu
plays to Ajit's strengths and avoids the actor mouthing lengthy
The father-son bonding is also brought out well but
unfortunately Vidyasagar's music is a big let down. There is not
even a single song that stays in your mind and the last song
Thiruttu Rascal… is the worst. For the first time in a Tamil
commercial film there is no comedians or a comedy track. Arthur
Milton's camera is good and it etches the beautiful locations of
It is Ajit, whose magical presence lifts the film to great
heights. He has matured as an actor and he was able to convey a
emotions through his eyes, something that no director has been
able to make him do so far. He inhabits Vasu with consummate
ease and you can feel the earnestness of his failed revolution,
the wetness of his tears though the make-up looks gawky. It is
Ajit best ever performance in recent times and with top class
performance from the support cast of friends, Manivannan,
Vijaykumar, Visu and Charan Raj.
Trisha as Bhuvana the minor girl is refreshingly candid and has
done well in the short and sweet role.
Ji isn't great cinema, you are not sending Lingusamy rose or
orchid bouquets but still within the commercial format he has
delivered a decent film.
Verdict: Above Average
Review by Sify