Films with sport as the backdrop have plunged Tamil Cinema, especially in the last decade. There has been a flurry of films with a pinch of difference between each other, in context to the storyline. Suseenthiran teams up with Vishnu Vishal for Jeeva, a film which stresses on the darker sides of the game.
Unlike usual sport-based films, Jeeva has a professional angle at the game with real cricketers who play textbook shots and follow the basic technique. Though VFX is used at some places, the aura of an original cricket game is brought about to an extent, making it an enjoyable experience when it comes to watching the matches onscreen. While the cricketing side of Jeeva is its trump card, the romantic portions take away the excitement. The scenes in the first half between Vishnu and Sri Divya are unnecessarily stitched into the screenplay. Suseenthiran does keep them to their limits, as the screenplay immediately shifts itself to the main plot when the film starts to drag. Coming into the second half, Jeeva is an emotional ride with Soori’s funny moments peppered all over it. There is intensity, believable cricket, fun, family and everything else you need to have in the mix. You will love the cameo at the end, for it has a cute little twist embedded with it.
Being a cricketer in his early days has helped Vishnu mould into his character with elan. He is jovial when it comes to the lighter moments, and saves his performance for the moving moments in the second half. Cricket is something which naturally comes to this guy, and that is what makes Jeeva different from the other films – an organic touch which is very essential. Sri Divya is adequate and pulls off a decent performance with her expressions at the brink. Lakshman is an apt pick for the role, rather than going for a famous face to gain popularity. Ravi as the coach is firm, along with the rest of the cast who are handpicked by Suseenthiran.
Madhie’s camera captures the sequences beautifully, as the noticeable flares add a special feel to the songs. Editing by Ruben is crisp with a running time of just over 2 hours. Imman’s songs are flushed into the narrative, but his re-recording for the intense portions is truly hair-raising.
Suseenthiran comes up with an appreciable show in Jeeva. His laudable paperwork is propelled even higher with the help of Vishnu’s clap-worthy performance. The director has a subtle storytelling technique, which makes the film a good one on the whole. Jeeva may not be an inspiring film, but it does throw some light on the issues which are lesser known to the common public. Give this a watch, for it is definitely worth one.
3 / 5