Film: ‘Jango’ Duration: 144 minutes
Director: Mano Karthikeyan’
Cast: Satheesh Kumar, Mrinalini Ravi, Hareesh Peradi, Velu Prabhakaran, Deepa, Karunakaran and Thangadurai
IANS Rating: **1/2
Claimed to be India’s first time loop film, ‘Jango’ is a brave attempt at storytelling. Choosing to make a film knowing fully well that you’ll have to repeat scenes and sequences is a challenge at a time when the audience’s attention spans are dwindling every day.
Director Mano Karthikeyan, however, seems to have taken up that challenge by choosing to make a film with a plot that has been constructed using lots of imagination and a little bit of science.
A successful and popular neurosurgeon, Dr Gautham (played by Satheesh Kumar), wakes up one Monday morning and goes about his business the way he does daily. His day ends with a phone call from his hospital, saying that the patient he had operated upon that morning, a child from Pakistan, had passed away.
The doctor goes to sleep and wakes up the next morning, only to find the same set of events that happened the previous day repeating themselves. From the maid, whom he met first, to a call from his mom, to an interview he gives a journalist, to the news of the death of the child — everything happens again.
The doctor gets worried. He is unsure if he’s experiencing deja vu or if he has got stuck in a time loop. Reliving Monday over and over again, the doctor can’t seem to get to Tuesday. Interestingly, only the doctor remembers the events and everybody else seems to have no recollection of the incidents.
The doctor, who worries initially, at one point, realises that this totally unexpected development can be used to his advantage. He begins to set right mistakes he originally made. A scared doctor now turns into a super confident one. But just as things seem to be improving, the doctor finds out that someone’s life is in danger and that he isn’t the only one stuck in a time loop.
To Mano Karthikeyan’s credit, the film’s first half manages to engage viewers despite the day’s events being repeated again and again. The ingenious manner in which he shows some of the events of day one and keeps adding one or two developments that happened on that day along with the rest, as he repeats the sequences, takes out the boredom completely and in fact, keeps you hooked to the screen.
The manner in which the story is narrated in the second half, however, raises too many questions and provides only some answers, which, in turn, leaves the viewer confused. When these confusing sequences are repeated, it results in frustration, making the film appear like an exhausting exercise.
That apart, some basic mistakes that the lead character makes while delivering English dialogues reminds you that this is only an imaginary story.
The film has decent performances coming in from all its artistes. Satheesh as Dr Gautham does a clean job and delivers exactly what is expected of him. The same can be said of the film’s heroine Mrinalini.
Two actors, who play supporting roles, come up with stellar performances. One is Hareesh Peradi, who plays a doctor developing an artificial heart, and another is director Velu Prabhakaran, who plays a scientist.
Karunakaran plays the role of a policeman and a friend quite convincingly.
Ghibran’s music and Karthik Thillai’s cinematography are just about okay. Mano Karthikeyan’s movie is part-entertaining and part-confusing. But he must be given credit for even attempting something as challenging as this.