Trisha, Vijayakumar, Charan Raj

   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 dialogues.

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 Kumbakonam.

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 lot of
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


<< back