Driver Jamuna Movie Review: Saving the best for the last might work if the initial set up is good enough to hold interest. But when you expect the viewers to wait patiently throughout only to appreciate the last act, it’s not a fair deal. Driver Jamuna is a thriller that tries way too hard to give the audience an immersive experience. However, minimal conflicts and superficial moments makes it a predictable ride with nothing to take back home.
In the very first scene, we are introduced to Jamuna (Aishwarya Rajesh), a passionate cab driver, and her mother, who is partially paralysed. They have a past and everything is kept a secret. As of now, all we know is Jamuna’s late father was also a cabbie and her brother is currently working in Bangalore as a software engineer.
Soon, what looks like a regular day at work becomes a nightmare of sorts for Jamuna. She takes up a ride that puts her life in trouble. Three people, one of whom is a drug addict, book her cab for a ride from Chengalpattu to East Coast Road. Abhishek, an aspiring musician, too, joins them on ride-sharing basis. Things take a turn when Jamuna gets a call from local cops, who tell her that the three men she is traveling with are contract killers and most-wanted criminals.
Parallely, we also get introduced to ex-MLA Maragadhavel (Aadukalam Narein) and his son, Manikam (Manikandan), who are the actual targets of these ruthless killers.
Jamuna gets entangled in this conflict and the ride becomes a challenging one. Can she manage to return home safe or does she has a personal motive to continue the ride?
Director Kinslin takes his time to set up his characters and their motives. However, when the central character gets embroiled in the conflict, the narrative becomes tighter and interesting. This is why when the contract killers board Jamuna’s cab, we feel the tension in the scene. But then, the biggest disappointment is that the thrill factor does not last even for more than half an hour.
Just when we expect something big to happen, the narration weakens and characters start behaving in absurd ways. For instance, one of the contract killers, who could have easily beheaded Jamuna, lets her loose stating a silly reason. Such attempts only make it look like the writer desperately wanted the protagonist to survive throughout, but suffered from lack of innovative ideas on how to ensure this.
The twist in the climactic sequence is great. Jamuna’s backstory and the reason for her taking up this ride is quite convincing. However, the events are not powerful enough for us to empathise with the central characters. Also, we clearly don’t understand what the cops here are upto. Like in the films of the 80s, they get hold of the criminals only after the protagonist destroys them.
The saviour of the film is Aishwarya Rajesh and her power-packed performance. The other characters don’t have much scope to showcase their acting abilities on screen. Music director Ghibran and cinematographer Gokul Benoy aptly contribute to the mood of the thriller.
Driver Jamuna has engaging moments, but it’s definitely not the road movie one would willingly opt for.
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