India's 'Jai Bhim' overtakes 'The Godfather' in IMDB's list of top films

Tamil star Suriya plays the role of a real-life lawyer, who defended those facing caste-based discrimination.

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Published: Wed 17 Nov 2021, 1:47 PM

Overtaking films such as The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II and The Dark Knight, the recently-released Tamil film Jai Bhim has emerged at the top of the IMDb ratings at 9.6/10.

The film, directed by TJ Ganavel and featuring top Tamil star Saravanan Sivakumar (known popularly as Suriya), has also generated a controversy in the southern Indian state, with political parties joining in the fray.

Suriya plays the role of real-life lawyer Chandru, who defended the oppressed, especially those facing caste-based discrimination. The film is seen as part of a new movement in Tamil cinema, where incidents of repression against the Dalits are highlighted.

“In the last 30 years, beginning with the observance of Ambedkar’s centenary in 1991, the Dalit movement has been growing in Tamil Nadu,” film historian S. Theodore Baskaran was quoted by BBC News. “Forgotten Dalit ideologues of the 20th century were redeemed from history. In the last decade some of the writers made films.”

In an interview to a newspaper, Suriya said he was proud to present the story of courage and faith in justice. Jai Bhim was also released on Amazon Prime Video earlier this month.

Suriya has got threats and the police have provided protection to him in Chennai. The actor has also announced that he will set up a fixed deposit of Rs1 million in the name of Parvati Ammal, whose story inspired the film. He has also donated Rs10 million to the state government for the education and welfare of Irulars, members of a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).

The film is based on a case fought by judge K. Chandru (when he was an advocate) in 1993. The retired Madras high court judge is renowned for his landmark judgements and had disposed of nearly 100,000 cases.

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