Jailer - Movie Review

After a gap of over 2.5 years, Superstar Rajinikanth is back with his entertainer, in and as Jailer. Bankrolled by Sun Pictures, actor Rajinikanth’s 169th film has been directed by a young and energetic director Nelson Dilipkumar, whose previous outings include Beast, Doctor & Kolamavu Kokila. The director, famous for his dark comedy doesn’t disappoint Superstar’s fans in this film as well. 

Muthuvel Pandian (Rajinikanth) is a middle class senior citizen living his life quietly in a small town along with his wife, son, daughter in-law and grandson. ACP Arjun, is his son who is currently investigating a critical case of temple idol thefts. He disappears one day and is considered killed by the perpetrators. And that’s the movie’s plot. 

Varman is a smuggler who has apparently done away with ACP Arjun. Muthuvel finds Varman and chases his men to eventually meet him in person, in his own terms. To avenge his son’s death, Muthuvel clashes with Varman and his men. 

15 years back, Muthuvel was a Jailer at Tihar Jail. His mass scenes with the inmates there, brings out the classic Rajini image back in action, much to the frenzy of his fans from the last row till the front. 

How Muthuvel gets back his son is the rest of the film. Shiva Rajkumar, Jackie Shroff & Mohan Lal play minor roles but impactful in their own ways. Ramya Krishnan plays a mellowed, almost muted role all through in the film, where Neelambari meets Padayappa after 26 years. 

Anirudh’s background score is yet another highlight in the film, though there are no songs where the Superstar breaks in to dancing. The song “Tiger ka Hukum” plays as a montage during the flashback scenes. “Rathamaarey”, sung by Vishal Mehra and penned by Vignesh Shivan touches the raw nerves of the listeners as the song opens up in the first few minutes as the movie begins. 

Kaavala, feat. Tamanna is a song played just after the interval to pep up the mood a bit. A whole lot of distraction from the plot, must admit. Jujubee, sung by Dhee, is yet another foot-tapping montage song.

The actor dons a completely new look in the film sans any make up and one can see the matinee idol of millions worldwide wear a simple kurta-pyjama all through the film, akin to his real life toned down dressing. The cinematography by Vijay Kartik Kannan matches the colour tone atypical of a Nelson film. Editor R. Nirmal has ensured the movie is crisp at most places, though we can see the Nelson’isque way of abrupt scene jumps now and then. 

Fewer punch dialogues, but hard hitting ones is what the Director has aimed for and has got it right, mostly. The climax is short and crisp, which makes the last 10 mins quite palatable.

After the mediocre outings that were Darbar and Annaathhe, Superstar’s fans were quite disappointed. Thereafter, the actor took out time to listen to various scripts and finally decided to work with Nelson. The film was announced in Feb. ‘22 before the release of the Director’s last outing Beast feat. Actor Vijay. 

Though the movie had mixed reviews in the box office, Superstar decided to proceed with the film on the advise of Kalanithi Maran. The two joined together for the 2010 release Enthiran, directed by Shankar. 

Overall, “Jailer” feeds in to the much desired needs of a typical Rajini-fan, who is in their 20s all the way to their 60s and beyond. If there is any one actor in the world who can appeal to a fanbase spanning 4 decades, it is one and only Superstar Rajininakth.

Watch in theatres. The film is expected to hit OTT platforms around the middle of September, perhaps to coincide with Ganesha Chathurthi. Expect a World Television Premier (WTP) for Ayudha Puja during the Dassera season. 


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