Rajinikanth considered a demi-God of Tamil cinema has now attained the status almost globally with the advent of social media. Rajini is such a rage that he is omnipresent in almost all comparative statements / memes. A very popular saying is that there is nothing that Rajini-kanth (can’t) do. He is someone who can split a bullet mid-air and send them to two different targets!! Lightning speed is still slower than Rajini-speed!!
For all Rajini fans who have grown up watching the Rajini brand of action and his charisma all bundled into his mannerisms long to cherish the same in nothing less than a cinema hall. Jailer is no different, so much so that the buzz is that offices in South India have called a holiday to catch the Rajinikanth entertainer – Jailer.
Muthuvel Pandian aka Tiger (Rajinikanth) is a retired Jailer. He is leading a very simple family life with his wife (Ramya Krishnan), his police inspector son Arjun (Vasanth Ravi), his wife (Mirnaa Menon) and grandson (Rithvik). One fine day, Arjun goes missing / disappears. With all that Muthuvel gathers, it is concluded that Arjun is killed at the hands of Varma (Vinayakan). What follows if Muthuvels’s re-transformation into his ‘Tiger’ avatar to avenge his son’s death. But that’s not all. It is later revealed that his son wasn’t killed but held as hostage as a bait to fulfil Varma’s ambition of acquiring a rare crown with the support of Muthuvel.
The Rajinikanth effect
There are two very obvious facts that come to fore with this film – Rajinikanth playing brain game rather than getting physical and the director’s next most important task of presenting Rajinikanth as ‘the’ Rajinikanth. Every frame, scene, sequence is designed cautiously to present Rajinikanth in the way his fans want him to see. The only disappointment or lack of makeup, if we may say, is his evident age effect that reflects in his frail body language, his walk, et al.
The sequences are designed in such a way that the fans / audience is forced to ‘imagine’ what Rajini must have done or how he would have done something without showing him in actual action through camouflaged direction. That is something that the fans crave for but might miss.
Gory action is not Rajini brand entertainer
Speaking about the Rajini effect, with Jailer, the director has used quite a few sequences that are visually gory, full of violence and bloodshed. It does not stop at that, there is also a scene in which Rajinikanth (shown as a strong Jailer aka Tiger) chops off a prisoner’s ear!! There are a handful of scenes where the action director has used hammer to hit on the victim’s head shown from distance but then there is too much of blood that spurts. Dumping the entire body in sulphuric acid, etc.
There are two scenes where Rajinikanth is shown holding a pointed knife’s edge on the victim’s throat before hitting the other end to kill the person! Such scenes look out of place in a Rajinikanth film which will be seen by a huge population of youth and my send out wrong / negative signals.
Writing about Rajinikanth’s performance may sound quite foolish but the perception that the audience carry about him onscreen still works. One doesn’t see the actual goings on, they perceive what they are seeing.
Vinayakan as the brutal antagonist Varma plays his part with great confidence. His super closeups work wonders to narrate his dialogues.
The only other character that stays with you is the presence of Yogi Babu who plays a sort of sidekick of Jailer Muthuvel / Tiger and he does it well. For Hindi film audiences, he may remind them of our very adorable Johnny Lever.
The rest of the cast, including the senior ones have nothing much to write about. They make their presence registered, exit and the story moves on. Most of them can be termed as supporting cast.
When it comes to superstar like Rajinikanth, who may present an award to the ‘academy’, one can’t afford to miss his film. On a more serious note, Jailer is a crime thriller with intermittent action, twists & turns and surprises popping up periodically, it sure is a one-time watch.
Movie: Jailer (Tamil, dub in Hindi)
Directed by: Nelson Dilipkumar
Cast: Rajinikanth, Vinayakan, Yogi Babu, Shiva Rajkumar, Ramya Krishnan, Mohanlal, Jackie Shroff, Mirnaa Menon, Tamannaah Bhatia, Vasanth Ravi, Naga Babu
Duration: 2 Hour 48 minutes