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Jagame Tantram Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, June 18, 2021 • Kannada ]
Jagame Tantram Review
Banner:
Y Not Studios and Reliance Entertainment
Cast:
Dhanush, James Cosmo, Aiswarya Lekshmi, Kalaiyarasan, Joju George
Direction:
Karthik Subbaraj
Production:
S Sashikanth
Music:
Santhosh Narayanan

'Jagame Tantram' is currently streaming on Netflix. Let's find out what are its plus and minus points.

Story:

In Tamil Nadu's Madurai, Suruli (Dhanush) is the go-to guy for jungle justice. He is drafted by Peter Sprott (James Cosmo), a British gangster who is determined to establish the might of the White race by getting an anti-immigrant bill passed in the British Parliament. He feels Sivadoss (Joju George), a Tamil-speaking gangster, is coming in his way. Suruli does Peter's bidding because he is not bothered about identity but only money. There comes a day when Suruli will have to change his agenda. In this, Attila (Aishwarya Lekshmi), his girlfriend and a widow, has a role to play.

Analysis:

Writer-director Karthik Subbaraj lets the Kollywood mainstream world move from local politics to a foreign land, where familiar racist politics are situated in a geopolitical and Leftist universe. This is the USP of 'Jagame Thandhiram', more than even Dhanush, the film's stylish desi gangster.

The first act establishes Dhanush's character in a rather done-to-death fashion. He dances to Santhosh Narayanan's super-hit 'Rakita' track with gay abandon. The segment is made to look distinct by the fact that Suruli faces a personal setback after comically struggling to find the difference between 'thambulam' and 'dampathyam'. As the landscape shifts to London, the film assumes a different colour. But Suruli maintains his devil-may-care attitude as is his second nature.

When Suruli becomes the right-hand man to a White gangster with supposedly supreme skills, we expect the plot to thicken, the maneuvers to be exciting. The plot becomes muscular, but the scenes don't pack a punch. The way Sivadoss' forte is breached looks easy and lazy. And, shockingly, the way Peter's fiefdom is stormed in the second half is equally underwhelming.

The performances, the technical aspects (thanks to the composer as well as a cinematographer Shreyaas Krishna) and the somewhat engaging action sequences keep 'Jagame Thandhiram' from looking more regular than it already is. The shoot-out segments could have been choreographed in an edge-of-the-seat manner.

Dhanush's Suruli does many things in a snap, but how does he achieve them? He is not shown to be exceptionally smart. He is gutsy but those ways can make him the unchallenged figure in a small town like Madurai, not in the murky world of cross-border smuggling where weapons are traded and humans are dehumanized. In short, he doesn't come across as the force who can do things that Peter can't.

The fashion in which Aishwarya Lekshmi's character falls for Suruli is replete with cliches. There is too much familiarity in the way the backstory pans out and the one at the receiving end of the truth bomb has a change of heart.

The performances are stunning at the top. Dhanush and James Cosmo (of 'Game Of Thrones' fame) try to outdo each other. The lines spoken by the latter are in English and that's why he looks so unlike the other Western actors in Indian movies.

Verdict:

'Jagame Thandhiram' is not a typical gangster flick in so far as it touches upon racial politics and handles the concerns of stateless people with a little bit of empathy. Otherwise, the film is malnourished in terms of writing. The performances keep the proceedings afloat.

Rating: 2.25 / 5.0

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