Soon after wrapping up production works of RAJAPATTAI, Suseenthiran announced in October 2011 that he would shortly start his next film featuring Vishnu. However, the director opted to concentrate on other projects before starting the film. After the release of AADHALAAL KADHAL SEIVEER and the completion of PANDIYA NAADU, the production work on the film began again in August 2013. Sri Divya was signed on to play the female lead role after the director was impressed with her performance in VARUTHAPADATHA VALIBAR SANGAM. Surabhi, who debuted in IVAN VERA MATHIRI was signed to play the role of Vishnu’s friend, however she had to opt out later due to conflicting schedules. The shooting was completed in July 2014. The film has been produced under the banner of VENNILA KABADI TEAM (Director Suseenthiran along with Cinematographer R. Madhi and Art director Rajeevan) and THE NEXT BIG FILM (producers of RAJA RANI & CUCKOO); the film has been distributed by actor Arya (THE SHOW PEOPLE) and Vishal (VISHAL FILM FACTORY).
Jeeva (Vishnu) is a cricket lover since childhood and his only aim is to become a cricketer. He hides his desire, since his drunkard father does not likes it. He loves his neighbour girl Jennie (Sri Divya) in his teenage, which leads to quarrel between both families. To distract his son from his love failure thoughts, Jeeva’s dad lets him pursue his dream of becoming a cricketer. Jeeva trains as a great player and also gets his love back in his college days. But, he is not able to succeed in his aim of becoming a cricketer, because of the politics in the cricket team selection. Does Jeeva become a cricketer in the Indian team or his career is lost because of the favouritism in selection? Find the answers in the theatres near you.
Director Suseenthiran is well-known for filming different concepts with reference to real-life incidents boldly; his films NAAN MAHAAN ALLA, ALAGARSAAMIYIN KUTHIRAI and AADHALAAL KAADHAL SEIVEER are few examples. JEEVA is an engaging film that speaks boldly about the favouritism in Cricket team selection. Salutes to Suseenthiran for making a film on this subject! He has even said in an interview that he does not worry even if anything happens to him for showing few things boldly in the film. You can see that evidently in JEEVA. The dialogues have been so sharp; especially, the ones like “Ellaa naattulayum vilaiyaadi thaan thothu povaanga. Inga mattum thaan vaaippey kidaikaama thothu porom.”
The film has so many interesting scenes regarding Cricket, especially Jeeva’s childhood scenes, which each and every cricket lover will like a lot. The rubber ball cricket in the streets, the long time dream to buy a cricket bat, the ‘motta maadi’ cricket and its rules, all these scenes will remind everyone of their childhoos days. The scene where the petty shop owner switches off the TV once Sachin is out, the scene where Jeeva tells that he learnt cricket by watching Sachin in TV, Jeeva’s early morning practices at club and many other scenes help us understand and relate to Jeeva’s love for cricket in various time periods. The film has a very interesting, cute romance portion too, which occupies most of the film. The scenes on the role of caste & politics in the team selection has also been handled so carefully. As like in every other film by Suseenthiran, there has been good emotional scenes on family & relations in JEEVA too! D.Imman has given beautiful songs and his best in the background score.
Vishnu has been a perfect choice for the role of JEEVA, who himself is a cricketer in real-life actually. He scores high in the emotional scenes and romantic portions. Sri Divya looks angelic and her acting has been very much convincing; for sure, her fan base is going to increase a lot after JEEVA. Charlie is seen in a very serious role, delivering a very neat performance. Lakshman as Vishnu’s friend plays a pivotal role, which he has carried very well. Soori fills the whole movie hall in laughter, in every scene with his one-liners; but, his role as a cricketer is a very bad choice in such a serious story! In such a film where the cricketers see the sport as their life, Soori’s character which was only a commercial addition, looked only like a disgrace to the other characters in many scenes.
On flipside, the first half is too short, slow paced and does not get into the main plot, which is very less impacting. The first half never gets into the actual story at all, the interval block was also not that good. The core concept is touched only in the last 40 minutes. We see only the romance portion in most of the running time, which is tiring even when it is interesting. A little more scenes of cricket in both first and second half could have done more justice! Also, some totally unwanted commercial additions like TASMAC song could have been avoided.
RATING: 3.25 /5
VERDICT: Must-watch for its bold content!
P.S: Watch the film soon at theatres; there might be deletion of some scenes or muting dialogues, since it is based on some TRUE facts on a popular person in sports!
Review by: Rahman
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