: Jai (Gopichand), a firefighter, locks horns with a dreaded don Chota Nayak (Kabir). The bone of contention between the two is Ranganath, a former associate of Chota Nayak. The rest of the story is about how Jai manages to overcome every obstacle in his way to triumph in their battle.
: Gopichand's newfound confidence, combined with a striking makeover, is the first thing that pops out in his latest action drama, Jil. And for the longest time, that's the only thing which stands out in the film which tries to play safe and never explores its full potential. Thankfully, the proceedings become a little more gripping in the second half, which sets the stage for Gopichand to unleash all the fury that one expects from him.
We are told that a dreaded don, Chota Nayak (Kabir) is baying for his associate Ranganath's (Brahmaji) blood soon after he finds out that the latter had cheated him. The story shifts to Hyderabad, where Jai (Gopichand) works as a firefighter. He's a man of duty and more often than not, his bravado shocks even his worst enemy. One fine day, he meets Savitri (Raashi Khanna), a college student, and soon, both of them fall in love with each other. In the middle of all this, Chota Nayak's henchmen end up clashing with Jai and all hell breaks loose when Nayak himself enters the fray. The rest of the story is about how Jai manages to overcome all the challenges to save his family and Savitri from Chota Nayak.
In an action drama like this, where you are promised lots of action, it's endearing to see someone like Gopichand stripped off his machismo. As long as he doesn't get into a mood to fight and break people's skulls and bones, Jai is extremely subdued. He's a perfect mama's boy, so to speak. And at one point of time, we realise that he struggles to express his love to Savitri. Their first kiss becomes a topic of discussion at his home and his aunt, played by the incredibly funny Urvashi, freaks out the moment she hears about the girl in his life. It's moments like these that add a layer of innocence to an otherwise gore-fest where people puke so much blood that it makes you squirm.
Then, there are other things which showcase debutant director Radha Krishna Kumar's sensibilities as a writer-director. In the first few minutes of the film, Savitri (Raashi) gets stranded on a ledge and she finds great pleasure in the publicity that her suicide attempt generates. Soon, she tries to flirt with Jai with a childlike enthusiasm, but when he tries to kiss her, she runs away. As far as the action scenes are concerned, Radha Krishna does well to build the tension in the second half, especially when Jai faces his worst adversity. Among the actors, Gopichand does well to carry off the role and Raashi does everything she can to make Savitri seem charming. However, it is Kabir who shines the most in a powerful role, which gives him enough gravitas to showcase his acting chops.
Despite all this, the film lacks the sort of energy that you expect from an action entertainer like this. The tone of the film flip-flops from being drab to extremely violent within a matter of few minutes, which never lets you to sink your teeth deep into the story. Ghibran's music is good on the ears and Sakthi Saravanan's cinematography makes the whole film visually appealing. The question is - Is that enough to keep you hooked on to the screens? Maybe not. There is plenty of action, but what the film lacks is firepower, and that's a pity.