U/A, 2h 52m
What Is the Film About?
Jaya Krishna, an actor and director’s political dreams are crushed by his rival in the party. In a fit of rage, he asks his police brother to help him by eliminating the threat.
The biggest obstacle to Jaya Krishna’s ambition is a powerful goon from Kurnool, Alias Ceaser (Raghava Lawrence). How Krupa (SJ Suryah) gets entangled in the mess and did he help solve the problem is the movie’s basic premise.
Raghava Lawrence is a proper hero in the movie with a classic anti-hero-to-hero arc. The change in the character is neatly brought by the actor and that’s the best thing about him.
The other observable thing is the lack of usual shenanigans featuring Raghava Lawrence. It helps in giving the role a different outlook. The emotional scenes are better than what he has done in the past as he doesn’t go overboard. It’s a different outing for him in general and that’s what makes the character register.
SJ Suryah delivers another commendable performance. It is a subtle act one where he lets his eyes and face do the talking.
The loudness that’s helped SJ Suryah make a huge splash commercially in the last few outings is missing here. That he still manages to come up with an intense and gripping act shows his versatility, and potential as an actor.
Karthik Subbaraj, the man behind a few cult movies like Pizza and Jigarthanda directs the movie. The title Jigarthanda DoubleX might suggest a sequel to the original movie. It is so, but only in spirit.
The beginning of the movie takes its sweet time in establishing the principal characters, their motives, and the overall setting. It would be a problem usually, but it’s so stylishly done with a Western touch that one is sucked into the narrative irrespective of the lag.
The problem starts once the main plot of the movie is established. It drags until the interval mark with predictable moments. They carry such a feel because of their close narrative resemblance with the first part. It’s the same but with different actors.
The interval block is neatly designed with a small necessary tweak to the proceedings. It is interesting to those who have seen the Jigarthanda or haven’t.
The second half takes a different turn altogether as the proceedings shift to the tribal village in the forest. Although the action and drama are grippingly shot, the air of predictability surrounding it makes it boring and flat.
A twist in the tale comes much later, but it isn’t all too unsurprising. It is expected given the director’s past outings. But, more than that, the politics and its presentation look far too simple and straightforward. Coming from Karthik Subbaraj one expects more.
The ending too gives a similar feeling. The message about the power of cinema feels too in your face. It is still alright considering what just transpired before it. Also, as a spiritual sequel to Jigarthanda, where a similar message, but in a different way was conveyed, it feels okay.
Overall, Jigarthanda DoubleX has flashes of director touch with solid making all around, and a message on the power of cinema, but they can’t overcome the lengthy, predictable, and boring narrative.
Performances by Others Actors
Nimisha Sajayan has less presence run time wise, but she gets a decent role that has good dramatic moments. She nails them as usual and gives the movie much-required emotional depth.
Naveen Chandra looks like is coming straight from the sets of Ammu (another Stonebench production ) playing a brutal abusive cop. He does his part well with sincerity.
Shine Tom Chacko feels wasted though. Ilavarasu is dependable as always and delivers the needed. Sathyan as SJ Suryah’s friend is okay. The rest of the cast is good in whatever little they get. The actor playing Chatturi stands out among them.
Music and Other Departments?
Technically Jigarthanda DoubleX is a solid product. Santosh Narayan’s background score elevates the proceedings whereas Tirru captures the rustic period locales and forest lands expertly.
Again, the pace is a massive issue. But, more than the editing by Shafique Mohamed Ali, it has more to do with the script. Things should have been crispier on the paper itself rather than sharpening it later. The writing is good in parts.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Jigarthanda DoubleX Movie Review by M9