2 hour 52 Minutes | Period - Action - Drama | 10-11-2023
Cast - Raghava Lawrence, SJ Suryaj, Shine Tom Chacko, Nimisha Sajayan, Naveen Chandra, Sathyan, Aravind Akash, Ilavarasu and Others
Director - Karthik Subbaraj
Producer - Kaarthikeyan Santhanam, S Kathiresan
Banner - Stone Bench Films, Five Star Creations
Music - Santhosh Narayan
Jigarthanda (2014) featuring Siddharth and Bobby Simha earned a cult status and won accolades including two National Film Awards. It is also remade into Telugu as Gaddalakonda Ganesh (2019) with Varun Tej. Nearly a decade later, director Karthik Subbaraj came up with a sequel with Lawrence and SJ Suryah. Has Jigarthanda Double X lived up to the reputation of the franchise and the hype? Will it become the perfect Diwali watch? Here is our take on the film.
What is it about?
Set in the backdrop of the 1970s, the story revolves around two central characters – Allius Caesar (Raghava Lawrence), a criminal aspiring to become a film hero and Ray Dason (SJ Suryah) who poses as Satyajit Ray’s assistant and secures the role of director for Caesar’s debut film. Despite having a dark tone and facing insults, Caesar is unperturbed in his aim to be India’s first dark-skinned hero and wants to create films in the style of Eastwood. However, Caesar has no clue about Dasan’s true intentions. How does Caesar’s life dramatically change and what unfolds later forms the film?
Lawrence, who disappointed with Chandramukhi 2, banks upon Jigarthanda Double X. Director Karthik gets best out of Lawrence but the writing as a whole SJ Suryah keeps it very subtle. His acting is on the dot. The camaraderie between the duo worked out well, particularly in the latter portions. Naveen Chandra as a cop delivers what is expected of. Nimisha Vijayan, Tom Chacko and other cast meet the requirements. Karthik once again proves that he gets the best output from his cast.
Karthik succeeded in taking audiences into the world of Jigarthanda. But what is lacking is better writing. The first half is unimpressive and the second half occasionally worked. The cinematography work is truly commendable. Songs failed to engage. But Santosh Narayan delivered a compelling background. The film deserved further trimming in portions.
World of Jigarthanda
Uninteresting First Half
In the sequel (Jigarthdanda Double X), director Karthik Subbaraj follows a narrative structure similar to the original. Similar to Jigarthanda, the two characters here are a criminal and a filmmaker. Dayson (SJ Suryah) captures Caesar (Lawrence) activities for a film and how it transforms his life.
The first half of the film is largely wasted on the setting up of characters and the theme. The real story and conflict are unravelled in the second half. There’s the backstory for this. In the film director shows his love for western cinema. He also weaved socio-political elements in it. The portrayal of elephants and their brutal killing is well depicted. The action scenes give a spine-chilling experience, particularly in the forest. The villain who is untraceable by the entire police department gets caught by just one man Caesar. This goes overboard and here director takes many cinematic liberties.
Karthik Subbaraj tries so hard to bring Jigarthanda experience, but half-baked writing pours cold water on the hopes. He shines here and there, like interval and climax portions. But that is not all enough. The film is loud. It also tests audiences’ patience at times. Especially, the two songs in the second half force the viewers to step out. The film picks up towards the climax. Emotionally it connects. However, as mentioned earlier, it is not a complete film and not a better experience than Jigarthanda. It just falters.
To sum it up, Jigarthanda Double X fails to crack fireworks this Diwali festival. All those who expected this to happen leave half-hearted. It could be better, well yes.
Verdict: Bore To The Core