Jery proves that failed comedies are the movies that are the most difficult to sit through.
While bad movies in other genres may end up getting laughs and being entertaining(even if not in a
good way) just by virtue of being bad, a failed comedy cannot do that that its intention in the first
place is to make us laugh. Jery is simply a big-screen version of one of 'Crazy' Mohan's
stage dramas. It is clean and harmless but unfortunately it is also mostly laughless.
Jayaram alias Jery(Ramesh) pooh-poohs love as unnecessary and a waste of time. But when insulted
by his friend Kaushik(Raghav) as not being capable of being loved, he challenges him that he would get
three girls of his choice to say "I Love You" to him. Kaushik picks Jeeva(Meera Vasudevan), a
policewoman, Janani(Mumtaj), an actress and Janaki(Sruthi), a girl from their college, who is not
on the best of terms with Jery. So Jery starts trying to make them fall in love with him.
'Crazy' Mohan is best known for his way with words. He has an amazing ability for wordplays and
extracting new jokes out of old phrases and has consistently surprised us with this ability in movies
like Pammal. K. Sambandham, Panchathanthiram
and ofcourse, classics like Michael Madana Kamarajan. But that ability seems to have deserted him
in Jery. There are too few really funny dialogs that amaze us with their cleverness. There are
some like the Barbara D'Souza exchange, the "Muncome-Pincome" line, etc. but they fail to have a strong
effect. Jokes usually need to flow fast and furious so that the weak ones are hidden by the successful
ones but here the good jokes occur so far apart that the chuckles die down pretty quickly.
Eventually, it is Crazy's talent at coming up with a good screenplay that rescues the movie. Mumtaj
and Meera are usually brought together in some unexpected and clever ways and the way Ramesh deals with
that (like how he ends up giving a rose to both or manages to talk to both on the cellphone) leads to
some of the funnier sequences in the film. Though the feeble jokes prevent such sequences from reaching
great comic heights, there are enough laughs generated from the chaos inherent in the situation itself.
The segment where the families of the three different women go to Ramesh's house one after the other is
the cleverest in the film and proves that a clever screenplay can be funny without funny lines. We just
wish there were more such segments.
Logic is usually the last thing we look for in a comedy but that is the case only when the comedy is
funny enough to make us overlook the lack of logic. When the comedy is weak, the absence of logic and
plausibility come to the fore and make the proceedings seem silly. That is what happens with Ramesh's
romance with Meera and Mumtaj here. His plans to get close to them and their reactions to his advances
are pretty silly and lack even an iota of believability. Ramesh's romance with Sruthi fares somewhat
better since they have a little history but it is still not convincing.
All the characters are brought together at the end and movie seems to be setting us up for the kind of
confusion and chaos that Crazy usually revels in. But the knots are unraveled too soon before the
comedy gets a chance to take off. So the climax is too low-key and disappointing and the movie limps
to the finish line. Another reason for the climax not working is that we really dislike Ramesh by then.
He seems to be leading the women on way beyond reasonable limits and so earns our dislike.
Ramesh is a bad choice for the role of a leading man in a comedy. His face is not expressive and he is not
enough of an actor to provide the manic energy needed for the role. Many sequences with comic potential
are wasted because of his wooden acting and monotonous, irritating voice. All 3 actresses fare better
than him. A thinned-down Mumtaj for once plays a role where she doesn't have to seduce anyone! She
plays the role right and even displays some comic timing. Meera Vasudevan comes off better than Sruthi
among the other two since the latter seems very close to overacting whenever she is angry or sad.
En Swaasathil... is a very melodious number and deserves better picturization.