The maverick talented filmmaker Karthik Subbaraj is back with his latest entertainer, Jagame Thandhiram. After directing Rajinikanth in his last film Petta, Subbaraj is now directing the South superstar’s son-in-law, and a superstar in his own league, Dhanush in this gangster caper. Jagame Thandhiram was supposed to have a theatrical release, but thanks to the pandemic, is now having a straight-to-OTT release on Netflix. Aishwarya Lekshmi is the female lead, while the movie also stars Joju George and veteran British actor James Cosmo of Game of Thrones fame. Jagame Thandhiram: Before Suruli, 5 Other Roles of Dhanush Where He Was a Gangster!
Speaking of the young filmmaker, many Tamil fans might be knowing that Karthik Subbaraj’s entry into Kollywood came after winning a talent competition. He earned his breakthrough success though his debut venture itself, the horror-thriller Pizza, that also launched its lead actor Vijay Sethupathi into stardom.
Pizza came out in 2012, and in the nine years that have passed, Karthik has directed six feature length films, including Jagame Thandhiram, and one segments each in two anthologies (Bench Talkies and Putham Pudhu Kaalai). He is also set to direct Chiyaan Vikram and his son Dhruv next after. Putham Pudhu Kaalai: From Sudha Kongara’s Ilamai Idho Idho to Karthik Subbaraj’s Miracle, Ranking All Five Shorts in Amazon Prime Anthology From Worst to Best!
His releases have been eagerly awaited by the movie buffs who know they are in for something different, and most of the times they aren’t disappointed. On the eve of Jagame Thandhiram‘s release, let look back at all the feature-length films that Karthik Subbaraj has directed and rank them from Worst to Best,
Prabhu Dheva in Mercury
You have to say that this horror-thriller had gumption. Karthik Subbaraj dared to go different by making a silent thriller, featuring hearing impaired protagonists and casting Prabhu Dheva as an undead, blind killer. While the ingredients looked interesting enough, the narrative falls apart especially when you realise, apart from its gimmicky setup, Mercury really doesn’t have anything new to offer for the fans of the horror genre. Mercury Movie Review: Prabhu Deva’s Silent Thriller is Gutsy in Execution But Flimsy in Impact.
Rajinikanth in Petta
Karthik Subbaraj directing one of India’s biggest superstars made headlines for a whole load of right reasons. As a film that venerates its lead actor, Petta has some very enjoyable moments, while Rajinikanth truly seems to enjoy his role. Petta, however, falters when after its hero-worshipping, the movie realised it also has a story to tell, and thereby relying on the age-old revenge saga. Also, while the film has a tantalising supporting cast, involving the likes of Simran. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vijay Sethupathi, Bobby Simha, Malavika Mohanan, Trisha, Sasikumar, and Guru Somasundaram, most of them feel wasted in their roles. Petta Movie Review: Rajinikanth Is on a Roll in Karthik Subbaraj’s Drawn-Out but Highly Watchable Entertainer.
Ramya Nambeesan and Vijay Sethupathi in Pizza
Aka the film that launched both its director and lead actor into limelight. The reason why I was disappointed with Mercury (and also excited for it when Karthik announced the film), is truly because how the director shrewdly played around with horror themes to narrate a smart thriller that keeps subverting your expectations. Vijay Sethupathi is a revelation as the pizza delivery man caught in a haunted house, who has some secret aces hidden in his sleeve. Avoid its bland Hindi remake, though.
SJ Suryah in Iraivi
Over the years, my adoration for this Karthik Subbaraj film has grown more and more. Easily the most underrated film made by the director, Iraivi was also his least-successful film and had also received mixed reviews on release. Iraivi is actually his darkest, film about three toxic men and the women around them. It’s grim, brutal, violent and yet sprinkled with sensitivity and dark humour. Also features terrific performances from SJ Suryah, Vijay Sethupathi, Bobby Simha, Kamalinee Mukherjee, and Anjali.
Bobby Simha and Siddharth in Jigarthanda
Coming after Pizza, Karthik Subbaraj’s sophomore film raises a notch and more higher when it comes to the director’s ability to make smart entertainers. Jigarthanda is a hugely entertaining gangster black comedy with a nice meta touch and an unexpected third act twist, that is easily one of the best seen in Indian cinema. Siddharth is great as the filmmaker, modelled after the director himself, looking for that one big launch, but the film is truly owned by Bobby Simha, as a dreaded gangster, earning a National Award for his performance.
(The above story first appeared on Stock Market Pioneer on Jun 17, 2021 04:33 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website stockmarketpioneer.com).