Review of the movie Jai Bhim and role of Chandru


The director of this movie, TJ Gnanavel promised the audience, that what they were going to watch in the movie was not his flight of fancy. The events in the movie actually happened to a group of people. One can see why Gnanavel felt the need to include this line in the movie. It is because the events depicted in Jai Bhim fall well beyond the sight and grasp of the audience. Their interaction, if any, with the law enforcement agency (by Chandru, a character) would have been rather civil and courteous. One may have even felt that he or she got the better end of the interaction owing to their social standing, their level of education, the size of their wallet, the kind of vehicle they ride, and where they live. One would have even told the official that they know their rights and the law and can stand up for themselves.

Sitting in their homes and behind the screen of privilege, it is possible to watch Jai Bhim and say, “huh, this is too much. How can these things happen to a person?” But the truth is stranger than fiction. And that’s why Gnanavel adds this underhand disclaimer in Jai Bhim, to underline what one sees is not an exaggeration of actual events. Jai Bhim is also a detailed procedural drama but with less despondency.

In Jai Bhim, there is Chandru, a rebellious, young advocate, wielding the powerful weapon of the law. Chandru takes up the case of a tribal woman, Senganni, whose husband Rajakannu’s whereabouts are unknown since he was taken away by the local cops on charges of theft. At first, the case seems impossible as all evidence is in favor of the barbaric and bigoted cops. That’s the reason no other lawyer in the city was ready to fight for Senganni. But, Chandru stands up to the entire machinery of the government on behalf of the woman, who is heavily pregnant, and helpless. A follower of BR Ambedkar, Chandru is no knight in shining armor, However, he does wear a black robe and wields the knowledge of the Indian Constitution.

Chandru’s first court appearance in the movie is about a man from a minority community who has been wrongly incarcerated by the cops. With a single petition in the Madras High Court, Chandru manages to get bail not just for his client but about 7,000 people, who were possibly arrested on false charges across Tamil Nadu. The men who seek violence are the villains in this movie. The barbaric methods of the cops were no match to the non-violent resistance of Rajakannu, Senganni, and, of course, Chandru. 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. ‘Jai Bhim is light. Jai Bhim is love,’ that’s how Suriya’s latest screen outing ends, prompting deep thoughts with its hard-hitting and intense plot.

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