A mundane gangster drama that falls short of greatness.
Story & Narration
Technical Aspects & Music
Karthik Subbaraj and the gangster genre – there’s something in how the director continuously has a relationship with this particular space, and keeps investing his attention there. Jagame Thandhiram is the latest addition to the director’s explorations in the genre, but this time, it isnt as fruitful as how it has to be in the final output.
Jagame Thandhiram traces a young gangster Suruli (Dhanush) as he goes from Madurai to London to do his job of taking people down successfully, only to run into the moral dilemmas that he didn’t notice in the first place. The film is billed as a story that blends two different lands, and also brings in the struggles of the Sri Lankans into the frame. However, Karthik Subbaraj’s film lacks excitement at the important junctures, and does not manage to bind in a compelling narrative with mass moments which make best use of the star he has in hand. The film’s first half is a list of scenes jumbled up together in random fashion, as we see Suruli travel all the way to London and make friends with new groups and carry out his job. The film’s second half has an impactful flashback sequence, but the film returns to ground level after that, and never really regains any sort of momentum.
Dhanush once again rules the roost as the ‘notorious gangster’ Suruli, enjoying himself in a role that has him tracing lots of Rajinikanth mannerisms. The actor does his best to light up the proceedings, but the film has too much going against it than what it has going for it.
Aishwarya Lekshmi gets a punchy role and does a solid job as the Sri Lankan refugee, but actors like Joju George and James Cosmo are reduced to real pawns in the bigger picture. The entirety of the film does not make best use of the cast that it has, and that’s a disappointment.
Santhosh Narayanan’s songs are what actually created the simmering excitement towards the film, and he continues his good form with the score as well. The film has some impressive cinematography by Shreyas Krishna, and also matches up with neat editing.
On the whole, Jagame Thandhiram is a dry and dreary gangster drama that doesnt achieve what it sets out to. The film has Dhanush and Santhosh Narayanan bringing their goods to the forefront, but needed a stronger plot and an unpredictable pattern to help it through. Jagame Thandhiram Movie Review by Siddarth Srinivas