Screenplay & Direction
Technical Aspects & BGM
A fun and interesting outing!
Shakti Rajan’s second feature Naaigal Jaakirathai is a fun and interesting thriller made with sensible, no-nonsense approach.
Cast: Sibiraj, Idoh (Belgian Shepard Dog), Arundhathi, Manobala, Balaji & others
Cinematography: Nizar Shafi
Music: Dharan Kumar
Editing: Praveen KL
PRO: Riaz Ahmed
Written & Directed by: Shakti Rajan
Produced by: Sathyaraj & Maheshwari Sathyaraj
Banner: Nathambal Film Factory
Release Date: 21-11-2014
Run Time: 01:54:00
Shakti Rajan’s second feature Naaigal Jaakirathai is a fun and interesting thriller made with sensible, no-nonsense approach. It’s not very often we witness dog-centric films in Tamil cinema. The premise is intriguing. The execution is not so cliff-hanging but is nevertheless satisfying. The film revolves around a simple plot – a hide-and-seek drama between the protagonist and antagonist. But, the protagonist here is Subramani (Idoh), a Belghian Shepherd dog which is the film’s central attraction and it’s so generous of Sibiraj, the other protagonist to share equal screen space with the dog and to bow down before the script without making any qualms.
An unfortunate incident transports Subramani from an army camp in Kashmir to Coimbatore, where a military officer gives refuge in his home. Sibiraj, who plays a police officer, is asked to look after the dog for few days since the military officer travels outstation. Sibiraj, who is skeptical and frighted by the dog’s omnipresence, gets impressed when the training officers explain its potential and how helpful it could be in demystifying and cracking crime scenes.
The first forty odd minutes of the film is nicely made by gradually establishing the camaraderie between Sibi and Idoh with amusing writing. Then the relationship between Sibiraj and Idoh gets sketched naturally on screen before an interesting turn of events form the pre-interval stretch. Sibiraj’s wife, played by Arundhati, gets kidnapped and he has to locate her within a stipulated time period to save her life. The stage is all set for the second half. How Sibiraj, with the inevitable help of Idoh, saves her wife and gets hold of the antagonist form the rest of the story.
The second half moves at a good pace compared to the first half. Now, the story goes on a sort of treasure hunt – where the two protagonists Sibiraj and Idoh get equally challenging parts in solving it. While the screenplay becomes predictable and unstimulating in the second half, the human part of the story lacks enough drama, which is somewhat a letdown considering it’s a thriller.
Thumbs up to Shakti Rajan for depicting the relationship between a man and his dog realistiically. His writing, with the help of Nizar Sharfi’s lens which captures the Idoh’s wide-ranging emotions with warmth – watch out for adorable close-up shots of Idoh, pictures how powerful could be the bonding between a man and his dog.
Brownie points to Sibiraj for taking the back seat in Idoh’s presence and for bankrolling an experimental film like this. Dharan Kumar’s background score is brilliant and Praveen KL’s editing is crisp and absolutely contented with less two than hours of running time, very perfect for an observational film like this.
Written by Surendhar MK