In a mesmerizing blend of action, drama, and humor, Nelson Dilipkumar’s latest offering, “Jailer,” brings back the essence of Kamal Haasan’s iconic “Vikram,” with a fresh and exciting twist. However, labeling this masterpiece as a mere imitation would be a grave injustice. “Jailer” stands tall as a testament to the brilliance of Indian masala cinema, proving its ability to rival even the most serious and thought-provoking films. The movie serves as a powerful reminder that when executed skillfully, the alchemy of a good masala film can captivate audiences like no other.
Reviving the Forgotten Art: A Nod to Rajinikanth’s Stature
Nelson Dilipkumar, through his directorial prowess, has reignited the spark of the masala genre that had seemingly dimmed in Tamil cinema. With Rajinikanth as the flagbearer, “Jailer” becomes an embodiment of this genre’s true essence. What sets this movie apart is the infusion of an often-overlooked ingredient in modern commercial cinema – ‘respect.’ Nelson’s unwavering reverence for the masala genre resonates throughout the film, and his injection of deadpan humor and dark wit creates an irresistible concoction that leaves the audience craving for more.
A Genre-Bending Journey: The Unpredictable Path of “Jailer”
In a bold move that echoes the very definition of a masala film, “Jailer” defies categorization, transitioning seamlessly between various genres. The journey takes us through a heartwarming family drama, a gritty tale of revenge, and a surprising twist that shall remain shrouded in mystery to avoid spoilers. The surprises never cease, accompanied by delightful cameos that add to the overall enjoyment. Much like a dialogue from the film itself, “I am the king here. My words are the rules. And I will keep changing it on a whim,” Nelson masterfully orchestrates the ever-shifting rules and genres of “Jailer,” resulting in an unabashedly entertaining cinematic experience.
The Evolution of Rajinikanth: A Role Beyond the Ordinary
Departing from his conventional roles, Rajinikanth shines as Tiger Muthuvel Pandian in “Jailer.” Unlike the prototypical protagonist, Muthuvel leads a quiet life, creating YouTube videos alongside his entitled grandson. However, fate propels him into action when his son, Assistant Commissioner Arjun (played brilliantly by Vasanth Ravi), disappears while investigating a notorious mafia gang led by Varma (a standout performance by Vinayakan). Muthuvel embarks on a gripping revenge saga, enlisting the support of his friends from his past as a jailer. This decision results in memorable cameos from industry luminaries such as Shivarajkumar, Mohanlal, and Jackie Shroff, elevating “Jailer” to a grand theatrical spectacle.
An Ode to Entertainment: Jailer’s Unique Narrative
While parallels with Kamal Haasan’s “Vikram” are evident, “Jailer” diverges with its lighthearted approach, in stark contrast to Lokesh Kanagaraj’s somber rendition. Nelson’s commitment to maintaining entertainment at the forefront is commendable. The film fearlessly navigates delicate situations, employing humor to create an engaging experience. What truly sets “Jailer” apart is Nelson’s masterful balance of Rajinikanth’s superlative aura within a defined boundary. Even in instances where Rajini’s involvement could have been excessive, Nelson exercises restraint, preserving the narrative’s integrity and adding depth to character interactions. Such a nuanced approach distinguishes “Jailer” from conventional masala offerings.
Supporting Cast: The Pillars of Humor
Nelson’s artistry extends to his adept utilization of the supporting cast, particularly for comedic relief. Characters like Yogi Babu, Reddin Kingsley, and Jaffer Sadiq evolve into remarkable performers under Nelson’s guidance. Notably, Harshath’s portrayal of Varman’s henchman leaves an indelible mark, a testament to the unique nature of characters within Nelson’s cinematic universe. Accompanied by Anirudh Ravichander’s evocative compositions, “Hukum” and “Jujubee,” the film’s momentum accelerates to new heights. Anirudh’s music is an integral part of “Jailer’s” soul, enhancing its impact and resonance.
The Duality of Entertainment and Violence
While “Jailer” excels in delivering entertainment, it grapples with a conspicuous issue – its violence. The film’s unflinching portrayal of bloodshed is both gripping and disturbing. However, the contention arises from the film’s UA certification, a classification that might not entirely encapsulate the intensity of its gore. An argument could be made for a more fitting A certification, acknowledging the film’s unabashed embrace of visceral elements while retaining its status as a comprehensive entertainer.
Source: The Indian Express