When Karthik is given a task by his producer to come up with a gripping gangster flick infested with heavy dosage of violence, he focusses on Sethu, a ruthless gangster surrounded by quirky yet scary henchmen. Karthik discreetly tries his best to find out about Sethu to develop a film script, but fails miserably in all his attempts. However when he finally gets the chance to gain an insight into Sethu’s life, disaster strikes as he gets caught in the melee following the discovery of a mole within Sethu’s gang.
Running Time:
171 min
Release date:
1 August 2014
Directed by:
Karthik Subbaraj
Produced by:
Written by:
Karthik Subbaraj
Lakshmi Menon
Bobby Simha
Guru Somasundaram
Prathap Pothen
Music by:
Santhosh Narayanan
Shot by:
Gavemic U Ary
Editing by:
Vivek Harshan
Distributed by:
Sun Pictures

What’s Hot

  • It is a close shave between Siddharth & Simha as to who hogs the limelight more in this film. While Siddharth as Karthik shows his class in scenes where he shows his helplessness & pain, Simha as Sethu is a revelation is his role of a cruel gangster. When Siddharth scores in underplays, Simha revels in the aura bestowed generating shivers with his awe-inspiring modulation.
  • It is to Lakshmi Menon’s credit that she chose to involve herself in a film that does not have a template heroine role. The close-up shots reveal her ability to express emotions that are tough to teach. Karunakaran, plays Oorni, the quintessential friend for the aspiring director. While he is pulled into the researching about Sethu after being promised a second-hero role in Karthik’s film he is delightful with his one-liners throughout. Some of his oneliners, “கண்ணீர் பொய் தண்ணீர் தான் மெய்”, “ஐஸ் கட்டியே நழுவி சரக்குல விழுந்திருக்கு” and the one about TSN Teleshopping stay with you even after the movie.
  • The henchmen of Sethu such as Anthony Daasan & Ramachandran deserve a special mention. They are magnificent in bringing out the dread through their body language & stares, while mouthing quirky dialogues from time to time. Hats off to Karthik Subburaj for sketching their characters beautifully.
  • It is tough to imagine sitting through such a long film without Santosh Narayanan’s electric background score & montage songs. All the other songs fit in perfectly with the script and in fact lift certain sequences by several notches. Only one number, “Pandianattu Kodi” comes as a full-blown song and it has been choreographed brilliantly.
  • It is hard to believe that cameraman Gavemic has just done one film (Mastram) prior to this. His framing and sense of lighting have to be seen to be believed. The blood-flowing violence scenes and particularly the sequence in second half where Siddharth sits distraught contemplating his predicament are sheer magic in his shots.
  • This is Karthik Subburaj’s second film & the amount of attention that he commands from the audience is breathtaking to say the least. But his writing shows that he is worthy of every single applause directed towards him. While many would expect a formula film from him after a bold attempt like Pizza , he has stretched the boundaries even more by convincing an established actor with this second script and casting relative unknowns in heavyweight roles. May his daring attitude remain the same throughout his career.

What’s Not

  • It is basically a film of two halves. While the first half races along glorifying violence and showcasing Sethu in all his ruthless glory, the second is mellower & more focus is given to situational comedy as the script takes a surprising turn. This sudden change in pacing and angle might work against the film.



Verdict Stamp

With its rustic characters, extraordinary script, fabulous camera work & spectacular music, Jigarthanda punches above its weight by overcoming numerous obstacles. It is sure to become one of the cult movies that will be known for breaking clichés & creating new spaces for filmmakers to exploit.