A Dragged Mass-Mess
What Is the Film About?
Suruli (Dhanush) is a local don based in Madurai who runs a small hotel that serves Parotas. He kills a rival over a tiff and is hired by a racist don, Peter in London for a one-month assignment to eliminate another Tamil don, Sivadoss. But Suruli finds himself on the wrong side betraying his own people and the realization that dawns later.
How Is Dhanush’s Performance?
Dhanush plays the role of a local don who is ambitious about money and goes to any extent to earn money. There are two shades in the character – obviously when he is on either side of the gang war. In one shade which is the majority of the film, he will be seen as a ruthless gangster who is shrewd. This shade bustle with energy and Dhanush plays it effortlessly. The other shade is more about the human side in him when the realization dawns. But that angle is not explored as much as one would like. But he manages it with whatever he is offered.
Direction by Karthik Subbaraj?
Jagame Thandhiram is a story about the plight of Tamil refugees in England where they are looked at indifferent and are put in private jails. There is one faction headed by Sivadoss who fights for the rights of the refugees and gets into smuggling to fund their fight but in the process gets into the tussle with a local don who is a racist. Suruli was brought in to tackle Sivadoss.
Suruli stays on the wrong side without knowing the intention of his mission but by the time when he realizes it is too late. When we read this part of the story we naturally expect the film to be stressing the struggle of the refugees and atrocities on them. But the director only touches the surface of the issue. The focus is more on highlighting Suruli – the don. A handful of scenes worked on that front thanks to an excellent Background score.
But when the conflict point of the story is revealed, we expect it to be hard-hitting. The natural expectation is that the story should race from there with the hero bashing the goons. But that does not happen, the story does not move for a good time after that. When it finally starts moving, nothing happens. We do not get to see the heroism we will expect and then, the climax arrives. The ending also lacks the power, we expect. We even feel the conclusion to be meek and silly.
Finally, Jagame Thandhiram appeals too little for the target Tamil audience. The director Karthik Subbaraj fails to do justice to the subject which should easily appeal to Tamil people. If not for some scenes that worked big time with excellent BGM, it would have been a big debacle. From a talented director like Karthi Subbaraj, it is natural to expect more but it has been a disappointment this time. For non-Tamil people, it is a forgettable experience except those scenes where the heroism worked. Furthermore, the Telugu dubbing has been really bad.
Aishwarya Lekshmi and Others?
Aishwarya Lekshmi plays the role of refugee, mother, and girlfriend. Except for that one scene where she confronts Dhanush, there is nothing much for her to offer. She performed well in that scene and has been adequate in the other parts. James Cosmo who played Peter, the main antagonist lacks the power to bring the character which is also not written well. We expect the director to delve more into his cruelty but in some parts, we even see him as a joke. Joju George is okay in a limited character as Sivadoss. Vadivukkarasi is good in a scene in which she vents her disappointment with Suruli. The rest of the characters do not make much difference to the proceedings.
Music and Other Departments?
The sole hero of Jagame Thandhiram besides Dhanush is Santhosh Narayanan. We do not know how the songs work in Tamil, but they are completely lost in dubbing. However, Santosh excellent in the background score. Some of the scenes worked really well due to the score and they remained a sole saving grace of the film.
Shreyaas Krishna handled the camera for this film. which appears mostly shot in the night mode maybe to create that rustic feeling. It works at some places very well but becomes tedious watch in later portions when the audience feels the movie is stretched. The editing has been crisp at some places but length is an issue majorly in the second half of the film.
Failure To showcase the depth in the Conflict Point.
Poor Second half
A better focus on the conflict point making audience feel connected to the refugees issue and ironing the dull portions in the second half with a heroic turnaround of Suruli would make the film a better watch.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
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