When you get to know within 10 minutes in to the movie, that the name of the movie is a nickname for the lead star and doesn't have any other significance, you should get ready for a tortuous next 170 minutes. Vijay as an actor has a wonderful comic sense and as an audience you would love his body language in most of his movies (although a lot of his hits are remakes). But Jilla brings in a new low in this actor's profile where his body language and dialogue delivery is artificial and nothing less than crass. And you don't know who to blame, the actor or the director who proved that you could make something repulsive with such good actors in his company.
Jilla is indeed partially based on 2010 Telugu movie Prasthanam which had Sai Kumar and Sarwanand in the lead. RT Neason has taken the basic plot of the movie, removed some twists, dumbed down the senior character, added an Ullae Veliye Parthiban style police twist and Buahahaha you get the outrageously long, colossally boring and thoroughly illogical Jilla.
Sivan (Mohanlal) is a don who controls the Madurai City. Sakthi (Vijay) is his step son whose father loses his life saving Sivan because of a Police inspector.Because of this, Sakthi has a strong hatred towards police force and even decides to dump a girl who he falls in love with as she is a sub-inspector. Sakthi is the heir apparent and has close relationship with Sivan's family too. Sivan decides that there should be some person inside the police force as he is apprehended by police commissioner for few hours. Sakthi instantaneously becomes an Asst.Commissioner (I am not kidding). He continues his nefarious activities even after becoming a police officer but he has a change of heart when he witnesses a huge disaster happens because of Sivan. Sakthi goes against Sivan and wants him to stop all unlawful activities. Whether he succeeds in his pursuit forms the rest of the film.
The only good thing about Jilla is the chemistry between Vijay and Mohanlal despite the bad characterisations. If the characterisations were good, I could not imagine how elevated the chemistry would have been. RT Neason got a casting coup but chose to falter it with a languid screenplay. Mohanlal doesn't have anything to do but to spurt out punch dialogues at abnormal times. Although he is a don, every time he is in to any problem, Vijay comes and saves him even after they part ways. The whole stepchild logic for not doing anything against Vijay sounds idiotic. If you wanted someone to utter punch dialogues at regular intervals why bring a talented actor like Mohanlal.
As I mentioned earlier, the dialogue delivery and body language of Vijay are awfully below par. He is in his usual self in dance and stunt sequences. Kajal Agarwal has nothing much to do while Sampath makes the scapegoat villain (If Sampath and Vijay were of same age when the incident happened, how come they terribly different in age). The only romance portion between the lead pair is an ass grabbing sequence (And again, I am not kidding). The plot holes in screenplay baffle you with their idiocy. Don't argue that I should not point out plot holes in a masala movie, these are things that stare at your face. The hero becomes a policeman after slashing a police commissioner's hand. As an asst.commissioner, he does operation clean inside a city like Madurai on a single night without the knowledge of any higher ups. He transfers 500 Cr through online transfer. And by the way, not a single character in the movie speaks Madurai slang, not even for a minute. Phew… Please grow up guys.
Be it Poornima Jayaram, Nivetha Thomas (this is not worth your talent), Mahath or even RK, every talent is wasted in the movie. Except for Kandangi, nothing is impressive from Imman and with such a movie, I don't expect him to be creative in background score too.
One liners don't maketh a movie. Screenplay does. RT Neason probably had one brilliant one-liner inspired by a Telugu flick (Sai Kumar won awards for that performance in Prasthanam) and one heck of a combo in actors but he chose to under deliver. The lack of creativity in conceptualisation of scenes and one point agenda to showcase the macho image of Vijay have hampered the movie dearly.
Beware, watching this movie might have a lasting effect on your brain. You might have to watch a good movie to clear the bitter taste you are left with (I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty).
A 1/5 for RT Neason's Jilla and watch it to perish. I would rather face a guillotine instead of watching this movie.
PS: I heard that the movie has been shortened to 176 Minutes. But still, not worth a watch.