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A surprise sleeper hit in Malaysia, first-time director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal channels the spirit of Satyajit Ray in this coming-of-age story about a boy growing up in a community of Tamil immigrants in Malaysia during the 1990s. The film introduces us to Appoy (magnificently played by Harvind Raj), a spirited kid who would rather watch gangster flicks and make prank calls than memorize his multiplication tables. Desperately trying to keep his son on the straight path, Appoy's hard-working father becomes increasingly abusive as the boy is inexorably drawn to the criminal lifestyle of his uncle, a henchman for a local Malaysian gang.
Like the best debut features (think Pickpocket or As Tears Go By), JAGAT has the tang and intensity of personal experience, is saturated with style and charm, and is a little rough around the edges. But those rough edges only heighten the panache and impact of the film, which signals the arrival of a major cinematic talent. - Synopsis adapted from NYAFF.
" Mr. Perumal exhibits some assurance in his directing debut and gets a winning performance by Mr. Raj." (The New York Times)