Jai Bhim (2021) Movie: Persecution Tale Of Indigenous People

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The “Jai Bhim” movie is a persecution tale of the Indigenous people of India. It is loosely inspired by the real-life court case of Justice Krishnaswami Chandru of Tamil Nadu.

We learnt that Justice Krishnaswami Chandru assisted in developing this case as a documented script for a movie. In a way, this film offers a peek into the issue of casteism.

Synopsis of the Jai Bhim (2021) movie

A pregnant woman from a primitive tribal community searches desperately for her husband, who is missing from police custody. To find her husband and seek justice for them, as their voice, a High Court advocate rises in support.

Will their battle for justice succeed?

Ratings of the Jai Bhim (2021) movie

FM’s rating4.35/5
Rotten Tomatoes ratings as of the date100% Tomatometer & 100% Audience Score
Ranjani Krishnakumar / Rotten TomatoesThis film is a solid film held together by crafty writing, thoughtful filmmaking, restrained performances and a true incident of the justice system restoring hope.
FM & Rotten Tomatoes ratings – Jai Bhim (2021) film.

Spoiler Free Review of the Jai Bhim (2021) movie

Inspired by a real-life court case

This film is based on the true incident from 1993, wherein the indigenous tribal persons were wrongly arrested. And then were allegedly tortured by the police in Tamilnadu, India. Advocate Chandru (in the 1990s period) fought for justice in the courtroom, on behalf of arrested indigenous tribal people. This courtroom drama depicts focuses on the same.

A fictionalized and dramatized version

It is worth noting that the real-life court case involving indigenous people and the state police kept on going for more than a decade long period, however, the makers have reduced this court-case period to approximately a year time in this movie. However, one can imagine the plight of innocent indigenous tribal persons, who spent decades in jail.

This movie is not a typical masala film from India, that allows you to escape the truth of the matter. However, we did not like – this fictional tale (inspired by a true incident in 1990s India) condensed the timeline to a year (from a real period of more than a decade) in this legal drama involving a court case in India. Nevertheless, it seems that the film has taken a few artistic liberties to bring us this important social-political-legal tale.

Why should one watch it?

For the indigenous (tribal/adivasi) people, the ground realities (social-political-legal) have not improved much, even in the new India of 2023. We recommend you all, watch this movie, because of the realistic subject matter, well-written script, and captivating acting by both Lijo Mol Jose and Suriya.

It was released on Prime Video in November 2021, and then it received universal acclaim from critics in India. Later, this film was India’s official entry to the 94th Academy Awards (its details shared below) but it failed to make the shortlist. Still, it is an important story of our times. The team behind this film must be praised for undertaking a journey into the unequal world of Indian society.

The conclusion

Watch this film, if you wish to learn about the harsh social realities in the rural areas – the proverbial backyard of India.


Spoiler Alert – the harsh social and institutional reality in India

Justice Krishnaswami Chandru describes the real-life cases in India

Please allow us to share the excerpts from the said article to highlight the harsh ground realities, that exist for the indigenous tribal communities of India in 2023.

This film is not a mere retelling of Sengini’s tragic tale, but is more about throwing light on the larger picture of the victimisation of vulnerable communities like the Irula tribe.

In the film, the lawyer tells Sengini to continue fighting the case (even after she knows her husband is dead) because it can prevent another custodial death. At this point, Surya is taking the film to another level. Instead, of making a crime thriller based on one case, the film shows how the Irula (tribal) community is slowly learning to fight back against police atrocities.

Twenty-five years later after the Sengini case, even today, Irula tribals are facing similar attacks all over south Arcot.

But the difference is now the Irula tribals are fighting back. If there is an attack on an Irula village, immediately a SC/ST complaint is filed. There are a lot of cases filed against the police for torture and illegal custody.

Justice Krishnaswami Chandru | The Federal

Poster of the Jai Bhim (2021) movie

Jai Bhim (2021) film – poster

Key details of the Jai Bhim (2021) movie:

Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery
Original languageTamil (India)
ReleasedNovember 2021
Age-restrictionsA (18+)
DirectorT.J. Gnanavel
WritersT.J. Gnanavel & Rajendra Sapre
CastSuriya, Lijo Mol Jose, Manikandan K, etc.
About – Jai Bhim (2021) film.

Trailer of the Jai Bhim (2021) movie

Official Trailer – Jai Bhim (2021) film – Prime Video | YouTube.

Awards won by the Jai Bhim (2021) movie

Awards NamesAwards Winners
Filmfare Awards South 2022Jai Bhim – Tamil Film Industry – Best Film
Lijo Mol Jose – Tamil Film Industry – Best Actress
Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards 2022Jai Bhim – Best Film
Suriya – Best Actor
Lijo Mol Jose – Best Actress
T.J. Gnanavel – Best Director
Awards – Jai Bhim (2021) Film

Focus:- It was the India’s official entry to the Oscar Awards

The Academy | YouTube.

TJai Bhim weaves in real case studies helmed by Activist-Lawyer Chandru, who brought justice to indigenous tribes in Tamilnadu through his relentless efforts. Writer-director TJ Gnanavel reveals how the story narrative was formed and executed.

Oscar | YouTube

If you like legal courtroom drama inspired by real-life incidents, then check out our FM article about Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai film, too.

Featured & Other Images: Jai Bhim film | Amazon.

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