CAST: Nikhil Kumar, Deepti Sati, Jagapathi Babu, Sampath, Aditya Menon, Saurav Lokesh, Ramya Krishna, Aadarsh Balakrishna, Vinayak Joshi, Sadhu Kokila, Avinash, Vidyulekha Raman
DURATION:2 hours 37 minutes
SS Krishna is an orphan medical student who also dons a vigilante avatar and kills people live on television. He has the style, sass and substance that gets people to like him immediately.
As the film opens, we see Jaguar (Nikhil), clad in a black costume and mask, kill a former judge and telecast the murder live on a news channel. Before the police can arrive, Jaguar is gone. But shortly after, we are introduced to the man behind the mask —S.S. Krishna (Nikhil again), a student at a medical college. Over the course of the film, we see Krishna transform into Jaguar frequently and commit a few more murders. As a set-up, this portion of the plot works rather well for it creates enough curiosity and trudges the plot further.
But in the second half, when Krishna’s back story is revealed, one realises that it is yet again, a generic tale of revenge full of familiar tropes such as guarding one’s family honour and the need for justice. Since Jaguar’s vigilantism is out for everyone to see, especially since it is telecast live on television, one hoped that the reasons behind it all were also of some significance. Instead, what we have is one man’s tale of personal vendetta stretched over two-and-a-half hours.
The film-maker ensures there is a love story too is added to the mix by introducing Priya (Deepti Sati), a classmate of Krishna’s. But this too is a run-of-the-mill story with Priya being the ‘cute’ girl that likes to play with dogs and Krishna being her maverick but macho saviour.
There are two ways that one can make a debut today. One is go out all guns blazing with a commercial entertainer like the way star son vehicles have been. The other is to try and impress with a different subject. Nikhil Kumar, with the baggage of being a former Chief Minister’s son (HD Kumaraswamy) and an ex-Prime Minister’s grandson (HD Deve Gowda), has chosen the former. Jaguar is a slick, stylish film that has all the necessary commercial elements that one requires to impress the fans.
The film, unlike the usual commercial potboilers, begins directly in the present with SS Krishna (Nikhil) wearing a vigilante uniform and killing a lawyer/judge live on a hacked news network. We are then introduced to different facets to the hero’s life, be it his dancing skills, romancing techniques, fighting skills or ability to deliver a punch dialogue one after the other. What’s impressive is that the mega money spent on the film shows, be it in the extravagant chase sequence, the lavish college campus (which is Infosys Mysuru campus) or the fact that Tamannaah shimmies away in a sizzling number, something that naturally evokes whistles from a Kannada viewer.
The film has a host of interesting and known supporting cast lineup, led by the likes ofJagapathi Babu Ramya Krishna and Sadhu Kokila, each of who owns the screen whenever they are present. The film, given the budget, is a treat to watch, with no jarring special effects or badly choreographed fights. Instead, each of the songs, fight sequences or even the normal everyday locations of the film is pleasing to the eyes. This is something that works for the viewers.
Newbie Nikhil is earnest and his attempts show. He shines especially in the fight sequences and has his way with the comical scenes too. Heroine Deepti Sati is nothing more than an eye candy, with little scope to show her talent. The other highlight of the film is Jagapathi Babu, who sizzles as the social media crazy CID officer on the ‘Jaguar’ case. The baddies Sampath, Aditya Menon and Saurav Lokesh play their part. As does the rest of the ensemble cast, especially Aadarsh Balakrishna in a role that is bigger than the rest.
While this film has all that matters for a commercial potboiler and is also made in a rather slick, contemporary style, the film, in totality, falls just short of being extravagant. There is a good back story, there are sentiments and there is an interesting screenplay, but they don’t sum up together to generate that wow factor. Though, one does not need to complain as the film still makes for a one-time watch for those who want to see some stylish entertainment on screen. Nikhil, eventually, makes a decent entry into Sandalwood.