Debutant film maker V. J. Gopinath and dialogue writer Babu Tamizh have made a notable debut with a good mystery thriller in Jiivi. Not often we get to witness a flick with multiple plots cleverly culminating in a same line in Tamil cinema. Though, the flick is not entirely genius and has its shares of problem, it still manages to engage with audience. Also, Vetri who had disappointed the Tamil audience with his performance in 8 Thottakkal, has improved a lot and has delivered a much better performance.
Saravanan (Vetri) is a happy go lucky youngster who is naturally inquisitive and someone who believes in practical education rather than theoretical. And for the same reason he drops out of school in 8th standard. But he educates himself through self learning by reading books, experimenting the theories that he reads, and through YouTube videos. His parents push him hard to do something in life and due to their pressure he journeys to Chennai for his survival. He finds a job in a juice shop for the time being and in the meantime he also meets his love.
Just when everything seems to go well for Saravanan, stating his financial condition the girl rejects him which cuts loose the criminal in him and he drafts a plan to loot his landlady Lakshmi (Rohini). He ropes in his friend Mani (Karunakaran) to accomplish his mission of robbing his landlady’s safe locker. When he conveys this plan to his friend, he addresses the plan as sin to which Saravanan replies, ‘Namba kashtapadaratha kadavul pathutu thana iruntharu, thappu seiyurathayum pakkatum.’
He puts to use every skill that he has acquired so far and devices a plan to break open the locker. In the locker they find 50 sovereigns of gold jewels which Lakshmi has saved up for the marriage of her blind daughter. With no consideration they successfully finish their burglary and shortly after it Saravanan receives information that his dad passed away due to sudden heart attack. Just when you begin to think that the movie is inclining to be just another stencil heist thriller, here is where the film really begins. Vetri being the kind of curious guy connects the events happening in his family and the landlady’s family and finds it as a strange coincidence. Here the writers of the film unveil the concept of synchronicity under the Tamil term ‘Thodarbiyal.’ How does Vetri connect the events that is happening in both the families, in what way does he finds them to be strangely coincidence, what is the Thodarbiyal factor that he is relating to, is what makes the rest of the film.
Though, Vetri has not delivered an outstanding performance, he has given what the character demanded and he must be appreciated for his clever choice of role, something that you would see in musician turned actor Vijay Antony. It’s after a long while actor Karunakaran has landed himself in a meaty role and has added strength to the film. Although the technical elements in the film are substandard, the quality writing outdoes them.
At a time when the creators are busy in crating roles that would put the heroes in performing dramatic actions which would catapult them in to an immortal and invincible figure, writers V. J. Gopinath and Babu Tamizh have chose to craft their lead character as an individual who values intelligence over brawn. Indisputably, Saravanan’s character is the well defined persona in recent times.
On the whole, Jiivi would have been what you call a perfect thriller in absence of the forced romantic sub plot and few illogical scenes. However, it still is a decent watch that deserves to be enjoyed in theaters.