Jigarthanda Review

by Sai Shyam G

If Karthik Subbaraj’s Pizza surprised you, his latest film Jigarthanda will rattle you up. There are movies of different genres, there are also films that crossover two or three genres, and there is Jigarthanda, a film that is a genre by its own. The movie is largely unsettling without getting into a shell, and will keep you guessing throughout. After undergoing few troubles with the release date, the movie has finally hit the screens today (August 1). How has it come out? Read on.


Karthik (Siddharth), a wannabe film-maker travels to Madurai to learn about the famous henchman Assault Sethu (Simha) and make a film on him. After attempting to know about him via various sources, he finally gets to meet him and thereafter, you are in for a ride filled with twists and turns. (Shhh, we are not revealing those!)


Before you head to watch this movie, do tell to yourself that Simha is the protagonist in the film. After watching this film, you would be definitely wondering as to why he was doing trivial roles so far. He drives the film from the first scene to the last, with his amazing performance. As a powerful don, he spells terror with his merciless attitude. Kudos to Karthik Subbaraj for casting him in this role, and yes, we hope that this talent is utilized properly henceforth.

Siddharth’s role is sketched very interestingly, sans any gimmicks. He is down to earth and delivers a pretty neat performance. His scenes with Karunakaran keep the momentum going in the first half. Lakshmi Menon has very limited screen presence, but she is involved in a major twist in the film.  Karunakaran is at his usual self and he scores with his dialogue delivery. The rest of the supporting cast including the henchmen, the acting tutor and the shopkeeper do full justice to their roles. Vijay Sethupathi appears in a cameo role, and director Vetrimaaran also appears for a scene.


Music director Santhosh Narayanan has never ceased to amaze. With the use of interesting instruments and innovative sound recording, the background score looks as invisible as possible. Of course, there is uplifting score in intense sequences, but not everywhere. The interval block is truly spine-chilling, and a major credit should go to the music director for it. The songs gel well with the flow of the movie, and they do not hamper the flow.

Gavemic U Ary’s cinematography is top notch, to say the least. It’s been a long time since a gangster film had such interesting lightings and colour tones. The night shots had a unique yellow tone throughout. Vivek Harshan has done a fabulous job in sharply editing the second half, where the twists are revealed to the audience. Had there been any lag, the audience could have lost patience. However, the overall length of the film could have been slightly trimmed.

Direction – Karthik Subbaraj

First things first. Hats off to director Karthik Subbaraj’s guts to go about this script, that has a complex narrative style. The next best thing he has done is casting the most appropriate people for the roles. As soon as the movie starts, you are introduced to the brutal dons and their lifestyles. With interesting twists, you might be wondering if the second half will have more bloodshed. On the contrary, it turns out to be a complete laugh riot. The movie also has satirical dialogues against TV channels that sensationalise reality shows.

There are few heart-warming scenes in the film too. For instance, the scene in which Sethu’s mother talks to him after 12 years and the scene in which Karthik asks an old man to start the shooting of his film, will go down well with the audience. The dialogues are sharp and relatable like this one – ‘Nee thothiya jeichiya nu aduthavan solla koodadhu’. The movie has its minimal share of flaws too. The love portions do not impress you much, and the major twist involving the making of film isn’t as convincing as one would have liked. However, overall, the movie is definitely a valiant attempt, that deserves a watch.

Written by Sai Shyam G |