Gorilla: An Absurd, Unfunny Film That Makes For Quite A Tiring Watch
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Directed by Don Sandy, Gorilla is a heist comedy film starring Jiiva, Sathish, Rajendran and Shalini Pandey in lead roles. These days, the average audience is ready to leave their brains at home if a film can live up to its promise of making them laugh. But films like Gorilla are so unimaginative that they don’t provide laughs or logic, leaving the audience infuriated with its inherent absurdity. The screenplay is outdated, the writing is shoddy, the comedy is insensitive and juvenile and lastly, the performances too are half-hearted. So, even if you try desperately, it is hard to enjoy a film with such terribly developed characters driven by a purposeless story. It is now becoming crystal clear that Jiiva’s Ram days are clearly behind him.
Jeeva (Jiiva), a petty thief falls in love with Jhansi and is now desperately in pursuit of money to get married to her. Sathish (Sathish) is fired from his job and he is pressured to find a quick lump sum of money to support his family. Venkat (Vivek Prasanna) is an aspiring actor who stands the chance to accelerate his career if he were to procure a great sum of money and lastly, Sadhik (Madhan Kumar) is a farmer whose only hope is to find a quick bout of cash. When these four individuals meet each other, they hatch a plan to rob a bank along with a chimpanzee as their accomplice. But their plans take a sudden turn when rumors of them carrying out this mission to save the plight of farmers start to spread. Whether or not they successfully carry out this heist forms the crux of the film.
Two of the worst aspects that make Gorilla an exhaustive watch is the pretentious story and the half-baked character development. Maybe the film had the intention of making a gang of wastrels rob a bank just so that it is funny to watch their unsuccessful attempts. But here, the film shifts from comedy to serious so abruptly that you don’t know how you are supposed to be perceiving many twists in the screenplay. For example, Jeeva, tells his gang that they should pretend to save the farmers with the money they rob just so that they can get off the hook but he changes his mind in a moment and claims that it is better to keep all the money for themselves. Then, after noticing a magnanimous gathering outside the bank, he changes his mind and decides to make this a mission to put pressure on the government to clear the loans of struggling farmers. Just like that, the film goes from being a comedy to a conventional mass hero drama. This shift in tone is not justified effectively through the screenplay or the character development.
Moments ago, Jeeva is a greedy and petty criminal and suddenly, he is painted as a hero. How can a character cross such extremes without being backed with a proper explanation? This is one of the reasons why you never connect with the film. Furthermore, actors like the Rajendran, Shalini Pandey, and even the Chimpanzee play roles that in no way affects or contributes to the story. So, why use them as purposeless accessories?
Lastly, using the farmer’s suicide angle just as a way to win applause is most definitely a cheap shot. Tamil films these days, seem to include a story track on the plight of our farmers just as a manipulative way to hook the audiences and win over their sympathies. But even in Gorilla, this track only comes across as overkill and is far from being genuine.
Jiiva delivers a repetitive performance. This role seems like an extension of all the light-hearted roles the actor has done so far. Sathish’s character is simply a rehash of all the comedy he has done so far, there is nothing original to keep the audiences entertained. Vivek Prasanna plays a character who asks the most ridiculous questions and his portrayal is truly irritating in many scenes. Madhan Kumar is the only one among the cast members to have delivered a decent performance. Shalini Pandey barely has a handful of scenes, in fact, the chimpanzee plays a bigger role in comparison to her. Surely, the actors cannot be blamed for such half-hearted portrayals as the characters have been developed poorly.
Technically too, Gorilla doesn’t have much going for it. Sam Cs’s background score makes the film a tad bearable but music can only do so much to lift up an already dreadful film. The cinematography too is basic and meets the conventional standards.
On the whole, Gorilla is a juvenile film with insensitive comedy that is unfunny and offensive. As a feature film, it lacks the intelligence to leave the audiences thoroughly entertained. If the idea of a clueless gorilla and a gang of wastrels coming together doesn’t excite you, don’t waste your time with this film.