Jai Bhim: Glowing reviews for ‘hard-hitting, honest’ Indian film that ‘outranks Shawshank Redemption’ on IMDb

Tamil language film earns an impressive 9.6 score on IMDb

Maanya Sachdeva
Thursday 11 November 2021 12:05
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<p>Tamil star Suriya in a still from ‘Jai Bhim’  </p>

Tamil star Suriya in a still from ‘Jai Bhim’

Critics have heaped praise on Tamil-language courtroom drama Jai Bhim that now outranks Shawshank Redemption as the highest-rated film on IMDb.

Released on 2 November, Jai Bhim follows the trials of a pregnant woman from an oppressed tribe as she seeks justice for her husband who was arrested, brutally tortured, and murdered after being implicated in a false case.

The film is set in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and based on a true incident that occurred in 1993.

The film title, which translates to “Long Live, Bhim,” is a slogan used by the followers of Dr BR Ambedkar, who was a celebrated Indian scholar and the chief architect of the country’s Constitution.

Ambedkar was a staunch defender of the rights of Dalits, formerly considered “untouchables,” and led public movements to secure economic, political, and social rights for people from the marginalised community.

Directed by TJ Gnanavel, the film stars actors Suriya, Manikandan, Lijomol Jose, Rajisha Vijayan, Ramesh Rao, and as well as Prakash Raj whose body of work spans Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada-language movies.

Since its release, the film has garnered critical and commercial acclaim, and earned a 9.6 IMDb score – even higher than Frank Darrabont’s cult classic Shawshank Redemption that scored a 9.3 on the website.

Firstpost’s critic Ashameera Aiyappan wrote that Jai Bhim “beautifully shoulders the responsibility of being a decisively realistic, social, issue-based drama without being preachy” in her four-star review.

Noted film critic Saibal Chatterjee gave Jai Bhim a 3.5-star rating in his NDTV review, writing: “The amalgamation of the lead actor’s (Suriya) charisma, the urgency of the theme and the force of the no-holds-barred storytelling results in an immersive and riveting film that calls attention to the plight of an oppressed community languishing on the fringes of society.”

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Indian Express critic Manoj Kumar said Suriya’s performance easily slips into the role of “firebrand advocate” Chandru, who agrees to fight on behalf of tribal woman Senganni (played by Jose), in his four-star review.

Actor Siddharth called the film a “win for Tamil cinema”.

Indian cartoonist Satish Acharya noted that certain scenes of the “gut-wrenching” film are “haunting.”

Journalist Meera Srinivasan urged audiences to watch Jai Bhim, adding that it is “such an important story” that reflects on how “power structures in our societies work, how brutal and inherently violent they are, who they target the most, and how.”

Jai Bhim is currently streaming on Prime Video.

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