Directed by: Karthik Subbaraj
Produced by: Kathiresan
Starring: Siddharth, Lakshmi Menon, Bobby Simha, Karunakaran
Music: Santhosh Narayanan
Cinematography: Gavemic U Ary
Edited by: Vivek Harshan
A notorious gangster Sethu (Bobby Simha) is a dreadful goon in Madurai and the entire city fears for him. His life takes a turn when an aspiring filmmaker Karthik (Siddarth) decides to make a film based on his life. What unfolds next is a series of unexpected turn in both their lives with an unpredictable climax.
When the tag from ‘the director of Pizza’ became the factor of increasing the expectations of this film, everyone anticipated for a bigger show than the filmmaker’s maiden debut. The film was hitting headlines for many such reasons as this and sometimes for controversies pertaining to the remake buzzes from the Korean film ‘The Dirty Carnival’. The complete first half of this film gives a strong impression of this movie and Karthik Subbaraj somehow tries to eclipse this touch, drafting some unique scenes. The main problem with Jigarthanda is the lengthy duration with some flimsy screenplay that in many places doesn’t engage us. There are scenes that leaves us stunned, say for instance the overpowering performance of Simha as terrible don and humorous spell of Karunakaran. Certain things don’t stick well to the drama and much precisely, the so-called encounters between Siddarth and Lakshmi. There is a lack of emotions and romance during these sequences. But the film scores the best on emotional aspects in very few shots and one among them is the goon shaking hands with a child, whose father was killed by him.
Director Karthik Subbaraj seems to have missed out including some ethnic values of Madurai. Much predominantly, it’s the usage of certain profane words, which are never used by inhabitants of Madurai.
On the performance front, Bobby Simha steals the show with an immense and flawless performance. Karunakaran on his part tickles your funny bones and the one greeting the illusionary character in his bedroom is worthy of claps. Siddarth is okay with his performance, but his characterisation is not substantial as Simha. Lakshmi Menon looks odd with her looks and her role isn’t convincing.
Musical score by Santhosh Narayanan becomes the backbone of script, but it slightly loses its eminence during the second half. Cinematography etches each frame with unique colours and transitions through editing are done with perfection.
Jigarthanda might look visually colourful, but it lacks freshness in treatment of script. It’s not just the reference to ‘The Dirty Carnival’, but it carries similarities with few Tamil films as well and revealing them would be a spoiler.
What works - Bobby Simha, Cinematography, Background score, songs, Karunakaran comedy portions
What doesn’t work - Love portions, lengthy and non-engaging second half, climax
Verdict: Lacks the real taste of Jigarthanda
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