Karthik Subbaraj is known to be a trendsetter in Tamil cinema. In a recent press conference, he revealed that the script of Jigarthanda DoubleX has been inspired by the old Westerns.
If Clint Eastwood appeared in a poster in the first promo for Jigarthanda, the sequel has maximum references to Clint Eastwood. Alias Caesar (Raghava Lawrence), is a huge Clint Eastwood fan. His theatre is named Clintis Talkies and he carries a camera gifted to him during his childhood, thinking it to be a gun.
Like the first installment, Jigarthanda DoubleX evolves around filmmaking with a gangster at the centre of it all. If Jigarthanda redefined the gangster genre in Tamil films, the sequel goes back to cinema and politics in the 1970s. A periodic action drama set in the 1970s, with Jigarthanda DoubleX, Subbaraj tells the story of tribals and links it with politics. The director is a fan of Rajinikanth and he tries to weave in the thoughts during the 70s and 80s. “Can’t a dark-skinned guy become a cinema hero,” he asks, and brings in the era of cinema in the 70s, taking a playful dig at the existing trends in today’s cinema.
The film opens with an elephant lying dead and a few policemen explaining to their higher official about a forest brigand Shetttani, who targets elephants, the local tribals and the policemen. But the movie isn't about Shetttani, it is about actor-politician Jayakodi. His political rival controls the theatres and enjoys respect in the party. Jayakodi plans to kill the four men who are his rival’s strength. Kirubakar (played by S. J. Suryah), a murderer in prison, is assigned to kill Alias Caesar, a gangster in Madurai.
Suryah as Kirubakar/Ray Dasan is fantastic. Both Suryah and Lawrence bring in much energy and intensity to their performances, although the latter's body language and actions may bore you a bit. Santhosh Narayan’s BGM adds strength to the film. However, there are too many plot points that confuse the audience as the film travels from one template to another, from the hills and tribals to gangsters to politicians and comes back to the hills.
If you had watched the first chapter of Jigarthanda and expected something big from Subbaraj, you are likely to be disappointed.
Movie: Jigarthanda DoubleX
Cast: Raghava Lawrence, SJ Suryah, Naveen Chandra, Shine Tom Chacko, Nimisha Sajayan
Stars : 2/5