Synopsis: A common man decides to rise up and change the state of education in the country. Will the money-minded 'educationists' let him do that?
Movie Review: Jai Hind was a quintessential Arjun film — it had action, sultry songs, thrills, comedy and most importantly, patriotic fervor. Arjunin Jai Hind 2 is not exactly a sequel — it has different characters and a different setting but comes with all the elements that we got in the original and is pitched in a similar over-the-top tone. This time, the actor-director takes on the education system, the greed in private schools to be specific.
He plays Abhimanyu, who services computers and also runs a karate school for free. He is moved by the death of a family in his neighbourhood, who commit suicide as they couldn't afford the fees to enroll their daughter in a private school. He raises the issue in the media and offers a solution — nationalizing all the schools. However, a consortium of school administrators feels threatened and approaches a gangster to neutralize Abhimanyu. And so, he is imprisoned on a false charge but comes out to teach them a lesson.
For most parts, Arjunin Jai Hind 2 plays like a collage of various Arjun films — the educational theme is an extension of Gentleman, a press meet where Abhimanyu reels off statistics is a pale imitation of the interview scene in Mudhalvan, a much younger girl falling romanticizing him reminds you of Suriya Paarvai, he becomes a prisoner as in Chinna, his attachment to a little girl brings to mind Aanai... Well, you get the drift.
What's interesting, however, is that instead of telling his story as a straightforward narrative, Arjun presents it as events from the lives of different individuals who come into Abhimanyu's life. So, in the flashback of Nandini, we get his romance with her — an understated and nicely-realized love track that makes us care for the two characters. Then, another flashback helps kick in the plot — that of a young child whose poor parents. It is melodramatic and somewhat morbid but their plight really draws us in. Similarly, we get the other episodes — involving Abhimanyu's friend, a reformed thug, and the children of the school administrators.
However, the film shifts into a purely action vehicle in the second half and Arjun does what he does best — flex his muscles. Given that Abhimanyu is a karate teacher, the stunts are mostly choreographed as martial arts moves and provide a chance for Arjun to showcase his stunt chops. The mano a mano set pieces are clearly the film's highlight and we get quite a few of them — at his school, in prison, and finally in a rundown godown-like structure. We also get a lengthy shootout but it lacks the energy of the hand-to-hand combat scenes.
The problem with the film is that it tells a predictable story and in a rather longwinded manner. The antagonists are also sketchily drawn and so, Abhimanyu doesn't face any stiff challenge — everyone except this handful of individuals becomes his supporters. The comedy track involving Brahmanandam and Mayilsamy is plain unfunny (Jai Hind had Goundamani and Senthil in their prime). But the biggest problem is the lack of nativity. Given that the film was made in three languages (Tamil, Telugu and Kannada), the lip-sync often goes awry, and so, we remain distant observers for most of the time.