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Jailer: Rajinikanth Shines, The Film Doesn’t



Rating: **

Jailer  is  like a trailer of the hit films of the mighty Rajinikanth that you may or may not have seen. It matters  little or  not at all whether  you have seen  the superstar’s  entire body of  work. They all  are designed  for only one thing: glorifying the  Thalaiva  to the point of groveling hagiography.

Seldom has Rajini been in a brilliant film that uses his potential as an actor to  advantage. Jailer is certainly not that film. It is a creaky curious  mix of  an old and not so old  Rajinikanth, not a double role. But  like Tom Hanks in Road To Perdition or nearer home, Dilip Kumar in Shakti, Rajini will have his  pound of flesh from a villain Varma (played by Vinayakan in two shades: black and black) who threatens his family.

Admittedly  the action scenes are designed with  tremendous care, spotlighting the  Superstar’s  enduring prowess as an entertainer while showing a respectful restrain for  his age. Yes, Rajini  can still beat the sweat out of his enemies. But there is also that point of ceasefire where the Superstar will not play to the galleries  beyond a certain limit.

If only this restrain was evident in non-action sequences where the characters are shown either clinging to  every word  the Superstar  utters or if by chance he is  missing from a frame,they are all shown talking about him in hectic huddle.Consequently even actors  of the caliber  of Ramya Krishnan, Vinayakan and the  legendary-in-his-own-right   Mohanlal(in a disappointing cameo) are reduced to props.

This is a film about a the hero protecting his family.  But the family is such a  blur of annoying blah ,  one wonders if they deserve protection!

Yogi’s ‘comic relief’ is  excruciatingly non-entertaining.This ubiquitous comedian needs to be banned for  at least five years  from Tamil and  Telugu cinema.

Nelson’s  writing and  direction are mutually obsequious. Over the years, I’ve come to  believe that  fanboys should not direct Rajinikanth. But then, who ? Is there any director  in  Tamil Nadu who is  not a Rajini fan? Please raise your hand. Your services can save a legend  from plunging deeper into selflove.

As for Tamannaah Bhatia’s  item song, sorry special number,  Annirudh Ravichander’s tune is peppy but pointless.The dance steps are a drag.Ditto  the the film. The intention is to  eulogize Rajinikanth. The execution is strictly turgid.

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