The shortest possible review for the new film Jackson Bazaar Youth directed by Shamal Sulaiman, would be, what if Shankar directed Visaranai. The graph of this film is a constantly fluctuating one that starts off as a very political film and ends up looking like a customized justice thriller. While the police brutality aspect in the movie will affect you emotionally, the over-the-top cinematic solution is a bit inconsistent.
Jackson Velayyan and his band group, collectively known as Jackson Bazaar Youth, are the main characters of this movie. Velayyan, who was in the Military for a long time, loves his band, and he is like a protector figure for many families in Jackson Bazaar. The problems for the people of Jackson Bazaar started when the police decided to arrest Velayyan as he was planning a protest against the upcoming land acquisition by the authorities for national highway widening. The repercussions of that resistance are what we see in Jackson Bazaar Youth.
More than the writing, I would say the casting and the people backing this movie made me expect something surprising, even when the twist we eventually see in the end would already be there in everyone’s mind. SPOILER ALERT! Barring Anjaam Paathira, I would say every character played by Indrans has a do-gooder persona. So when you see him introduced as a ruthless guy against a bunch of helpless people, your filmy common sense won’t let you buy that easily. The fact that till the last 10 minutes of the film, Shamal Sulaiman and writer Usman Marath managed to keep us guessing the actual inclination of the character played by Indrans was somewhat of a creative success. The second half’s major portions keep us curious like that, and when the twist is revealed, the movie has a very escapist approach to the harsh reality.
As Velayyan, Jaffer Idukki has delivered a brilliant performance. The impulsiveness of that character was performed convincingly by him, and the scenes after the police brutally trashed him were also quite touching. Indrans, who comes into the movie towards the end of the first half, definitely changes the film’s dynamic. There is a fragility in his body language that, at times, reduces the commercial movie charm they wanted the movie to have. Lukman Avaran is more of a supporting character in the film, and there is a heavy action sequence in the movie for him to show his heroics. Chinnu Chandni, as the probationary police officer, was impressive. Sundar Pandyan yet again gets that stereotyped creepy police officer role. Abhiram Radhakrishnan, Thomman Mankuva, Fahim Safar, Vidhya Vijayakumar, Anagha Ashok, etc., are the other major names in the film.
The script by Usman Marath has two different shades. In the first half, you can sense the movie being extremely political. The land politics and the casteist mindset among bureaucrats are exposed, and Shamal Sulaiman shows the suppressing mentality of the system in the most brutal way. In the interval block, Shamal establishes that the second half will not be that political and conventional, and the movie opts for a thriller format that relies more on mind games. But the casting somewhere gave away the surprise a bit too early. And towards the end, I felt they almost forgot about the political layer of the film. Govind Vasantha’s tracks are fantastic, and that recurring theme music was just beautiful.
Jackson Bazaar Youth is an inconsistent blend of political and commercial filmmaking. The heartbreaking scenes in the first half and some filmy twists in the second half work in the movie’s favor. Clocking at roughly 111 minutes, Jackson Bazaar Youth is a passable drama that had the scope to be solid and entertaining.
Clocking at roughly 111 minutes, Jackson Bazaar Youth is a passable drama that had the scope to be solid and entertaining.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended