Cast: Vishnu Vishal , Sri Divya, Soori, Lakshman Narayan, Harish Uthaman, Vinoth Krishnan, T. Siva, Charlie and others
Music: D. Imman
Cinematography: R. Madhi
Producers: Suseenthiran, Madhi, Rajeevan, Arya & Vishal
The story kicks off lazily with no indication of what to expect finally. School boy Jeeva is very fond of cricket and he is quite talented too. But he does not get support from his father who feels cricket is rich man’s sport. Jeeva (Vishnu) is selected by a leading cricket club but his father stops him from joining there.
A neighbour moves in which brings Jeni (Sri Divya) into the scheme of things. Love brews between Jeeva and Jeni and they become inseparable.
Divya’s father (producer T. Siva) sends her off to another city to enable her to concentrate on her studies. Unable to bear the agony of losing Jeni, Jeeva takes to liquor. Jeeva’s father and his neighbour urge him concentrate hard on cricket to that his mind veers away from thoughts about Jeni. Vishnu’s cricketing journey gets revived. His love too gets back on track after some years.
After a lot of struggle Vishnu gets ready for Ranji Trophy matches but is appalled at the caste-based politics prevailing in TNCA. His close friend and talented cricketer Ranjith (Lakashman) commits suicide after getting disappointed at his rejection.
Whether or not Vishnu was able to succeed in love and in his career has been narrated in a very nice manner by the director in the rest of the movie.
There have been films made based on sports in Kollywooed before. Suseenthiran himself had made Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu a few years back and there was also Vallinam which tried its best to make an argument that other sports should also be treated on par with cricket. We had Ajith’s Mankatha based on betting/match-fixing and the recently released Aadama Jaichomada also touched upon the game of cricket.
No film, however, even comes close to Jeeva in blatantly criticizing the functioning of the body which runs cricket in the State – the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), which seemingly opts only for players representing only one community.
Director Suseenthiran has presented the subject without any dilution. He has also told the story in an interesting manner. The cricket scenes have been well portrayed. The emotional part is another plus point.
Kudos to Suseenthiran for being brave enough to take up the issue, analyze it threadbare and expose it on big-screen for the benefit of the ordinary cricket-lover in this cricket-crazy country. The sequence where TNCA’s selection committee chairman feels for the ‘sacred thread’ on Vishnu’s back after his scintillating batting feat and feels disappointed in not finding one but somehow manages by giving him a reluctant gift sums it all!
The love episode takes too much time than it deserves in the narrative. The director could have avoided the sequence wherein school students are shown to be drinking wine.
Vishnu Vishal, who is a talented cricketer in real life too, has aptly demonstrated on-screen the disappointment and the burning desire of a budding, talented cricketer. Vishnu’s acting in the sequence when his friend Lakshman dies is simply out of the world!
Sri Divya doesn’t have many sequences to showcase her acting talents but looks very fresh and pretty. Soori takes care of the comedy section and does a neat job. Lakshman of Annakodi fame leaves a lasting impression in the viewers’ mind. T. Siva, the producer, has done his role very well and it appears that we have another very good character actor on the lines of Jayaprakash who was also a producer before starting his acting career!
Charlie has done his role aptly. Imman has composed the background music in an exciting manner. His tunes too are nice. Mathi’s cinematography is of top notch.
• Vishnu and Lakshman’s acting
• Suseenthiran’s screenplay
• Background score
• Slow first-half
• Dragging love episode
• Ill-placements of songs
Jeeva: Exciting contest between talent and politics