'Jagame Thandhiram' review: Dhanush's action drama entertains, makes you empathize
Suruli aka the "world's most arrogant gangster" is the axis of Karthik Subbaraj's globe called Jagame Thandhiram. The line, "I'm my own king," from his introductory song Rakita Rakita perfectly summarizes him. Be it Madurai or London, Dhanush as Suruli appears majestic and eats up every frame. It is indeed a shame that this movie missed a theatrical release. Here's our review.
Not a simple gangster drama, goes deep into illegal immigration
A racist, white supremacist gangster/businessman Peter (James Cosmo) scouts Suruli from Tamil Nadu to come and eliminate rival Sivadoss (Joju George), a Tamil smuggler of weapons and gold in London. However, the story is not a simple gangster drama between three crucial figures. It goes deeper and deals with the issues of refugees, the value of identification papers, and how the world sees immigrants.
Dhanush is rightly Rajinikanth-ish in his portrayal of Suruli
Subbaraj has written all the three characters with care, but Suruli becomes your darling from the get-go. He is fearless, cheeky, smart, and decidedly a villain. But, he is an antagonist with his own set of morals, and corrects his conduct when apprehended. Earlier, the National Award-winning actor had talked about adopting Rajinikanth's mannerisms for the film and, luckily, he does him justice.
Dhanush received greetings from many, including the Russo brothers
"Super da thambi!" wrote Anthony and Joe Russo as they wished Dhanush luck a day before the release of Jagame Thandhiram. The directors and the Tamil superstar are collaborating in The Gray Man. Anirudh Ravichander, Amitash, Vikram Prabhu had also extended greetings.
The supporting cast is dependable; music, cinematography impress
Although the director initially wanted to cast Robert De Niro as Peter and base the story in New York, Cosmo is thoroughly enjoyable. George as the "Robin Hood" gangster is charismatic. Aishwarya Lekshmi is not just the female lead, but also connects the surface-level gang war to the deep-rooted immigration problem. Santhosh Narayanan's music is exceptional. You are bound to love Shreyaas Krishna's cinematography.
Subbaraj uses colors, words as symbols in abundance
Subbaraj has developed the film for six years and the craft proves that. Peter rides a white car, with "White Power" written on his plate. Sivadoss bears the color red and Suruli is adorned with yellow shades. I loved the scene when the three gather for a faux peace offering and the camera rotates continuously. The tension maxes out and all hell breaks loose.
Second-half loses pace momentarily, overall experience worth it; gets 4/5
The messaging of the film is novel and important, but the talk often gets preachy. While the first half is extremely engaging, the second half slacks considerably, which has been probably done to set the ground for the upcoming explosion. Final verdict: 4/5 bytes.