Driver Jamuna – An engaging thrill ride with a twist
Female centric films have slowly gained prominence in Tamil cinema in recent times. The talented Aishwarya Rajesh gets to headline ‘Driver Jamuna’ which has her playing the rare character of a female cab driver. Whether this thriller home invasion thriller set in a cab that ends with a twist hits the bullseye at the box office remains to be seen.
Jamuna (Aishwarya Rajesh) who has lost her father follows his footsteps by becoming a cab driver against the wishes of her relatives. While her selfish younger brother abandons the family she takes care of her mother (Sriranjani) who is a stroke survivor. Elsewhere an honest politician (Narain) and his son (Manikandan Rajesh) are targets of an assassination plot and the murderers are on the way to Chennai from Walajabad. When the assassin’s car meets with an accident they call for a cab and unfortunately it is Jamuna who is the driver. Can the innocent girl escape from the clutches of the ruthless men and can she save the honest politician in the process or not is what the film is all about.
Aishwarya Rajesh is in her element as the girl next door who chooses a job that few women would take in India. Right from the way she cleans the cab to holding the steering and mouthing her lines she has clearly done her homework. She has also handled her character transformation at the end subtly which is a big plus. On the whole this film is yet another feather in the talented actress’s cap. Aishwarya’s brother and ‘Bigg Boss Tamil 6 fame Manikandan appears as a politician’s son and has done a neat job. Aadukalam Narain and Sriranjani have portrayed their respective characters convincingly. The actors who have played the four criminals who hijack the cab give the jitters by their very appearances. Especially the actor playing the drug addict who is conked most of the time lends the ticking time bomb effect to the screenplay due to his unpredictability. Standup comedian Abhishek Kumar,as the music director who unwittingly boards the cab, provides a few laughs with his antics.
What works well in ‘Driver Jamuna’ is the fresh attempt to give colorful characters and also casting unknown faces. The screenplay alternates between the happenings in the cab and Narain facing his death threat. The climax twist though not all that novel does explain the loose ends and gives the sense of justice served.
On the flip side the logic loopholes hampers the screenplay and the core idea itself is a little far fetched. The action scenes, especially the accident at the end, are pretty artificial.
Ghibran’s signature style is emphatic in the background score as well as the songs. Gokul Bejoy’s cinematography is innovative with several scenes set in the cab while editor R. Ramar has turned the narration crisp and edgy. S.P. Chowthri has produced the film under his banner 18 Reels. Director P Kinslin just like his debut movie ‘Vathickuchi’ has delivered an edge of the seat thriller with mostly likelike characters. At a time when filmmakers fail to engage even fans of big stars in big budget fiascos, Kinslin has managed to deliver a mostly engaging thriller with a satisfying twist with minimal resources in hand. He deserves a high five for that.
Verdict : Go for this female driven thriller that will keep you engaged