'Junga' review: Even Vijay Sethupathi cannot save this insipid comedy

Is this an attempt at mainstream cinema, a spoof, or a spoof of 'Tamizh Padam 2'?
'Junga' review: Even Vijay Sethupathi cannot save this insipid comedy
'Junga' review: Even Vijay Sethupathi cannot save this insipid comedy
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It's not clear what inspired director Gokul to come up with a film like Junga. Was it just the sound of the name? If yes, I wish he had kept that Linga-Ranga-Junga rhyme scheme going and arrived at 'Manga', an apt Tamil word that would describe this completely foolish character.

Vijay Sethupathi is a wonderful actor but he seems to have a masochistic streak in him. What else explains his recent choice of films like Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Solren and Junga? Or, does he just sign any film if the director happens to be a friend?

I suppose one must set such ruminations about Vijay Sethupathi aside and discuss Junga. Ideally, I would have liked to talk about how marvellous Vijay Sethupathi looks in the 96 teaser and how I sincerely hope that his upcoming film will wipe out my memory of this one. But, I suspect that my editor will fire me.

So let's talk about Junga.

Well, Junga is a don with a dream. He has a mother and a grandmother. He falls in love with two women. He goes from Pollachi to Paris. Madonna Sebastian speaks Telugu. Yogi Babu eats a lot of bread in Europe. Sayyeshaa proves once again that women can wear sleeveless clothes and gowns with huge slits even if it is brutally cold weather. A lot of white people scrunch up their foreheads and shoot bullets. There's a frowning Chinese man, too, for diversity.

Gokul dresses Vijay Sethupathi up in different avatars for no good reason. He also tries to parody other films - again, for no good reason. There are fights, flying cars, a sudden gush of sentimental dialogues on rich people and poor people, expensively shot songs, a non-Tamil heroine named Yazhini, and a rich villain with permanent sunglasses. Is this Gokul's attempt at mainstream cinema, a spoof of mainstream cinema, or a spoof of Tamizh Padam 2? I really don't know.

Consider this sequence, for a sample: Junga is stingy; so when he needs to go from one place to another in France on a kidnap mission, he does not take a flight. He swims the entire distance in a suit and then dries it before embarking on the job. Some jokes sound funny on paper but don't translate well on screen. But on which planet will something like this evoke laughter under any circumstance? Perhaps if someone broke open a cylinder of Nitrous oxide.

The movie got over and my face felt like it had been sitting inside a freezer for over two and a half hours. The only time the ice marginally thawed was when Saranya Ponvannan came on screen and had a few exchanges with a thug life paati. And when a Tamil-speaking French woman said “Moodu!” to Yogi Babu. Enough to say that I echoed her sentiments for most of the film.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

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