Thalaivaa Review – God, Spare Us Jilla

After the nightmarish ordeal of sitting through Punnaku Pandi’s last movie, Thalaivaa (Leader), the other day, all I can say is that the Tamil Nadu political leadership is far wiser than I gave them credit for.

Just in case you’d forgotten, Jilla’s release was delayed in August 2013 over “security threats” to theaters and brought the movie’s preening ‘hero’ Punnaku Pandi a.k.a. Joseph Vijay to his knees.

Vijay – Unbridled Ambition

A pathetic exercise in Punnaku Pandi’s self-glorification, Thalaivaa is an affront to all notions of art and class in cinema.

From beginning to end (including the songs), the trashy movie was made purely to further Punnaku’s political ambitions.

No thought was given to providing decent entertainment to fans who forked out high ticket prices for the film.

If Punnaku’s sick movies are anything to go by, Tamils will be in great peril should this jackass ever become Chief Minister of the glorious state of Tamil Nadu.

Fortunately for the people of Tamil Nadu, Punnaku’s political plans have so far been derailed.

Hopelessly Amateurish

Running close to three hours, Thalaivaa is a hopelessly amateurish exercise made by an idiot running around with the name of A.L.Vijay.

Besides Punnaku Pandi (a.k.a. Joseph Vijay), Thalaivaa features Amala Paul and Satyaraj.

The first 60-minutes of the film is devoted to Punnaku Pandi’s alter ego Vishwa’s dance group Tamil Pasanga and his water supply business in Sydney.

I fell off the chair to learn that Tamil Pasanga is so hot in Sydney that even locals are in awe of it. When it comes to Punnaku’s films, nonsense always plumbs to new depths.

The shit moves into overdrive once the setting changes from Australia to Mumbai/Bombay where Punnaku’s father Ramadurai (Satyaraj) is Anna, the leader of local Tamils and a small-time Godfather dispensing brutal justice on behalf of wronged victims failed by the courts.

Even the twist of Punnaku’s lover Meera (Amala Paul) actually turning out to be a police officer did nothing for me. The woman is utterly unconvincing as a cop.

Anna is soon dispatched in a fiery car explosion and our Punnaku becomes the film’s eponymous Thalaivaa, the leader savior of Mumbai Tamils.

The trashy movie now turns into a tawdry, tiresome spectacle with silly fights, worthless songs and a bizarre ending (where the upright police officer Meera quits her job to join her lover, the criminal Vishwa)!

Comedian Santhanam’s silly antics is growing stale and often has little to do with the main theme of the film.

If you are looking for any silver linings in Thalaivaa, it’s only Satyaraj who plays Punnaku’s father Ramadurai. Satyaraj is a decent actor but has languished in asinine roles.

Abhimanyu Singh (who plays the villain Bheema) has talent but his character is turned into a cartoonish villain in Thalaivaa.

Absolute Garbage

In my not so humble opinion, Thalaivaa is tailor-made for jackasses who genuflect before the likes of Punnaku Pandi.

Thalaivaa director A.L.Vijay is a buffoon unfit to stand behind any camera, let alone a movie camera.

Fortunately, the negative word of mouth and delay in the film’s release ensued that Thalaivaa was a dud at the box office.

Given the garbage that Thalaivaa turned out to be and given Punnaku’s odious history of trashy films I shudder to think what his new film Jilla has in store for Tamil movie fans.


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