Jambulingam 3D: Infantile gimmickry

The trailer’s here

The posters of Jambulingam 3D, and its title card to a certain extent, look inspired by those print advertisements for cheap magic shows. The design and colours in it are Ramarajan-meets-Balakrishna. Its garishness is much like how our magicians often are on stage, overly ornamented and cheaply made-up. Incidentally, one of the characters in the film, Vittal (Yog Japee), is one such magician. Also, the ‘3D’ affix is almost as large as the title itself, and warns you well in advance that this isn’t as much a feature film as it is a 3D gimmick.

You’re not supposed to expect too much technical finesse because hey, look at Bharatanatyam dancer Sadhana’s (Sukanya) hands coming at you. You’re not supposed to ask why Sadhana, despite realising that her daughter Hamsi is kidnapped, happily busies herself with her dance classes, because hey, look at that 3D snake coming at you. You’re not supposed to ask why the film just feels like a badly-made promotional video of Japan, because hey, look at that poisoned dart coming at you.

Jambulingam 3D
Genre: Comedy
Director: Hari and Haresh
Cast: Gokul Nath, Anjana, Sukanya, Baby Hamsika
Storyline: A magician’s apprentice has to return a kidnapped girl to her parents

In keeping with the tagline of the film, “a 3D tour in Japan”, the film is shot almost entirely in Japan. Yet, there’s a scene in which Jambulingam (Gokul) makes a racist comment about how a Japanese man looks like he’s sleep-walking, before adding, “Un kanne apdi dhaana!” You have to wonder what the Japanese authorities, who granted permission for the shooting of this film, would make of this scene. But you’re not supposed to be offended because it’s a 3D film meant for children, and for Christ’s sake, will you lighten up?

The hero, Jambulingam (Gokul), who has to rescue the kidnapped daughter, often busies himself with skits and mimes that I suspect would work better on stage than it does in cinema. The villain, meanwhile, is a flatulent don, whose idea of taking somebody hostage is to handcuff them and take them everywhere with him, even when he has to do his business. It’s all silly and dull. But of course, the film is meant for children, and hence its release during the summer holidays. If any of them should enjoy this film though, I think we should all be justified in feeling concerned over the future of our world.

This review was written for The Hindu. All copyrights belong to the organisation. Do link to this page if you’d like to share this review.

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