Besides being a cinematographer who has elevated the visual language of Indian cinema, Santhosh Sivan has also established himself as a credible filmmaker. Malayalam cinegoers have experienced his amazing storytelling through movies like Ananthabadram and Urumi. So, when Sivan announced another Malayalam directorial titled Jack N Jill, starring Manju Warrier in the lead role, expectations were sky high. However, after the release of the trailer of Jack N Jill, the film seemed a bit odd and amateurish. Now after watching the movie, it is safe to say that the trailer was indeed a warning that the film is a two-hour nonsensical and farcical torture.
Jack N Jill, which was projected as a sci-fi comedy, is neither scientifically convincing nor humorous. Rather, it is just a blend of an amateurish storyline, underdeveloped and unwanted characters, disastrous narration, a cliche backstory, and humor that never works.
The movie starts with Kesh (Kalidas Jayaram), a young and highly intelligent scientist who returns to his native place in order to continue his AI-based project titled Jack N Jill. He arrives with his AI assistant named Kutts who is inside a box and continuously blabbers nonsense. Kesh is in search of a human specimen to continue his project which aims to make a superhuman. With the help of his friends, Kesh finds Parvathi (Manju Warrier) who is mentally distressed due to post traumatic stress. Keshu and his friends use Parvathy to continue their project, and with each phase, Parvathi gains more skills and superpowers. Several unscrupulous men, including an old man wealthy man who wants to marry a child, just randomly come and go in between the scenes and bullies people. Parvathy is triggered by seeing them. Parvathy starts to attack them and it is a no-brainer that she and these characters have a past which Keshu tries to find out.
The storyline itself has no depth and the characters are as shallow as the whole film. The movie doesn’t have a flow and the sequences are all over the place. Soubin Shahir’s AI character is the worst of the lot, and it was disappointing to see an actor, who has recently played many memorable characters in Malayalam cinema, being wasted in such a cringe-inducing role. Indrans, meanwhile, should start to realise his worth and avoid such pathetic characters, even if the movie is by Santhosh Sivan or the master of ‘unreal entertainers’ B Unnikrishnan. Manju Warrier as Parvathy tries to salvage the movie, but fails miserably. There were three other women characters in the movie with absolutely no purpose. Kalidas Jayaram looked like a teenager who is wearing glasses to look serious.
In fact, the whole movie felt like a laughable childish dream of a wannabe scientist. The only question that remains in the viewer’s mind after watching this disastrous sci-fi comedy is: ‘What was Santhosh Sivan on?’