Jyothika, Simran, Vivek and Sunil Shetty
But here he takes the help of a good friend - director Priyadarshan, and takes a leaf from Priyan's book - take an English movie and remake it.
So this time it is the Gwyneth Paltrow movie, SLIDING DOORS that seems to be the inspiration for the movie. However 12B gets muddled up in its own trap.
The movie tells the tale of Shakti (Shyam) who is struggling to make a career of his own. On his way to his latest interview at the HSBC bank, he catches a glimpse of Jyothika (Jyothika) about to board the bus, with the route no. 12B. Though Jyothika catches the bus, Shyam misses.
But now the director wishes to show the viewers "WHAT IF" Shakti has caught that bus. Then what?
So we go back in time, and we see Shakti actually catching the bus. So from here onwards, we have two Shaktis and we story takes separate routes to tell the two stories simultaneously.
The Shakti that gets the bus, manages to end up in time for the interview and even get the job, which promises him a quality lifestyle with accomodation, car and what not! But Shakti is still trying to woo Jyothika, but with no avail. However he meets a broken down colleague of his, Priya (Simran). Slowly, we find a friendship between the two and slowly Priya begins to fall in love with Shakti. However Shakti does not realise it, and turns into a drunkard after failing to win Jyothika's heart.
Now the other Shyam...who missed the bus, lands late for the interview and loses the job. And he goes back dejected only to work as a mechanic at the garage of his friend (Vivek). This Shyam also tries to woo the female he saw in that bus that day, Jyothika. And this Shyam finds better success in winning the lady's heart.
Coming into both these stories is another important character, Jyothika's could-be fiance (Sunil Shetty) who secretly nurtures this love for Jyothika, but fails to express it.
Director Jeeva manages to pull the trick of splitting the central character of Shakti into two and moving into two different tales. However some times the scenes do get confusing. But where the director really fails is the climax where you expect the director to join these two tales in a convincing manner. But the end is utter crap and confusion, and shows a serious fault in the writing-thinking department.
Now even in the two tracks that we have, only the one of the mechanic Shakti is really the one that is moviing. The other one of the banker Shakti is boring, non-moving and non-happening.
The real asset is the comedy of Vivek and the garage gang. For once, the comic track ends up as really humorous. If these scenes weren't there, Jeeva could be looking at a major disaster here.
There are a lot of questions that can be easily raised with the script having a lot of loopholes.
To begin with, the movie is titled 12B. Well, that is because Shakti sees the Jyothika getting onto that bus. Find. But the very next scene, Jyothika is seen driving her own car. Then next scene, she is back on the bus, then the car, then the bus. There was no serious explanation to that behavior.
Then if Vivek was indeed a close friend of this Shakti character as they portray him to be, then how come the successful Shakti/Shyam is never shown to acknowledge that friendship.
Then the only character that has to come in contact with both these versions of Shakti/Shyam is that of Sunil Shetty. That just screws the whole situation. Sunil Shetty fist goes a takes a loan from one Shyam, and then he also meets the other Shyam as the lover of Jyothika. Does not make sense.
Newcomer Shyam does not disappoint.
Obviously, Shyam is at ease playing the light hearted role, but as the emotionally broken down banker, he is not upto mark. Another aspect is that he is so much like Madhavan. Is that a good thing or a bad, we will have to wait longer and find out!
Both the heroines are disappointing. Jyothika is simply playing the same roles over and over again. And boy, if she does not take care of her weight, she too will too disappear out of the scene like her sister, Naghma. And Simran's role is badly-written and leaves the actress in her absolutely nothing to much on. Just a waste of time as far as Simran is concerned.
And as far as both these queens of the Tamil industry are concerned, just like in VAALI, both of them never face each other onscreen.
Vivek is great and, like I said, very much funny. Sunil Shetty's role might be a cameo, but he does have a substantial role here, and does a good job of it.
Music of Harris Jayaraj is above average, though does not meet the high standards he set himself with MINNALE.
Being the work of a cinematogrpaher Jeeva, I though the movie would be also visually stunning. However I did not find them really so, atleast even if the sets does, the camera does not enhance anything.
A couple of ads are spoofed in the movie. Moreover, one can also see that Coca Cola has really been promoted in the movie. However it is done in a commendable way, and not awfully like Subash Ghai did in TAAL and YAADEIN.
12B is an experimental movie as far as telling stories is concerned. But the makers have simply lifted the idea from SLIDING DOORS and failed to work hard on the script and as a result the movie just falters. The excitement comes only in bits and pieces and the narration fails to be gripping enough.
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