Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey is not the kind of political film that is going to have The Great Indian Kitchen kind of impact on you. Vipin Das’ film is a hilarious drama about the inequalities in a marriage that works mainly as an escapist fun film for women who are tired of explaining themselves. The way Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey uses humor to communicate its politics feels refreshing, and even after narrating the whole thing in a lighter tone, it manages to stress the points that need attention and scrutiny.
The movie is basically the life story of Jayabharathi, aka Jaya. She belonged to an orthodox middle-class family who never bothered about their daughter’s ambitions. While she was doing her degree course, she got married to a poultry farm owner named Rajesh. Rajesh wasn’t an ideal life partner for any woman, and thus Jaya’s days in his home were tough. How she finds a solution to the abuses she faced is what we see in Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey.
In the past few years, if you look at social media, there have been a lot of debates about the conditioned patriarchy, gender inequality, etc. Reflections of that were visible in movies and, to an extent, in society. Hence, the premise of the movie Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey wasn’t really a fascinating one. Vipin Das and his co-writer Nashid Mohamed Famy are kind of aware of this lack of freshness. So instead of making a deliberately political film, they have pitched Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey as a fun film that sort of mocks the way supporters of patriarchy justifies abuse. The impracticality of the solution you see in the movie never becomes a deal breaker, as the intent here is not to guide the woman.
Darshana Rajendran transitions from a suppressed Jaya to an empowered Jaya very convincingly. Even though the evolution we see is a bit over the top, her way of depicting Jaya’s mindset at various points can generate empathy. In the minimal screen time he had in Nna Thaan Case Kodu, I was really impressed by the way Basil Joseph showed how he could portray a rough character. In the initial bits of Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey, Basil’s Rajesh is a bit of an intimidating figure. Post interval, even though the character goes into a humorous shade, it wasn’t the typical Basil Joseph funny character. Azeez Nedumangad as the relative of Rajesh, was fun. Kanakam, who played Rajesh’s mother in the film, was also memorable. Anand Manmadhan, Sarath Sabha, Manju Pillai, Aju Varghese, etc., are also there in the star cast.
Vipin Das, who last made the SonyLIV original Anthakshari tries humor this time, and unlike his first film Mudhugauv, the comedy here is not at all loud. He uses minimal conversations and gestures to communicate character traits. Some may argue that a pertinent issue shouldn’t be treated with an impractical solution. But I would say the seemingly impossible fix shown in Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey can be looked at as a metaphor. The execution of the fights in the film is hilarious, and I had a ball seeing those sequences on screen. The music was peppy and perfectly in sync with the situation. The twist you see in the climax was a little predictable, perhaps the only demerit I could feel in this film.
In a way, Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey is a spiritual spin-off of the movie The Great Indian Kitchen. The difference is largely in the treatment, as Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey opts for a more crowd-pleasing presentation with a solution and climax that feels a bit filmy. I won’t be surprised if Ayushmann Khurrana decides to buy the remake rights of this film as it merges entertainment and enlightenment smartly.
The way Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey uses humor to communicate its politics feels refreshing, & even after narrating the whole thing in a lighter tone, it manages to stress the points that need attention.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended