Jigarthanda (2014)
Movie: Jigarthanda (U/A)
Cast: Siddharth, Lakshmi Menon, Karuna, Bobby Simha
Direction: Karthik Subbaraj
Producer: Kathiresan
Banner: Group Company
Music: D Imman
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Run Time: 171 Mins
Release Date:

Jigarthanda (2014)

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After Pizza, Karthik Subbaraj decided to make a movie on the very first script he ever wrote for a debut film, which is now Jigarthanda. When creators are hindered by the writer’s block, they make the actual process involved in making a product, the final product.

The film has Siddharth and Lakshmi Menon in the lead, along with Bobby Simhaa and Karunakaran in significant roles.


Jigarthanda is a totally unpredictable film. There is reality mixed in with creativity, terror with undercurrents of humour, sentiments, fleeting romance and loads of fun.

Jigarthanda opens to an encounter scene, and immediately goes into flashback mode. Karthik (Siddharth) is an aspiring director, who is a short filmmaker determined to graduate to mainstream cinema. He lands his first project with a producer (Aadukalam Naren).Though he finds a producer to back him, it is on the condition that he will make a violent gangster flick.

Karthik now needs a good script to impress his producer. For the script to be authentic, Karthik decides to find a real-life gangster and base the story around his life. After much research, Karthik zeroes in on Sethu (Simhaa), a ruthless killer, who rules Madurai with an iron hand.

Karthik has a friend in Madurai, Oorini (Karunakaran) and together they decides to shadow Sethu and do proper research to get to know him completely. They begin to track Sethu and his everyday activities. Here, he slowly begins getting to know all the intricate details of Sethu’s life and how mean and ruthless he is. Kayal (Lakshmi Menon) and her mother, cook for Sethu and his men. Karthik decides to use her to gather information and pretends to be in love with her.

Using love as a ruse, Karthik gets to know Sethu’s story through Kayal, but he also gets in touch with one of Sethu’s men and is getting all the information he needs through this guy. After a few double crosses, Sethu comes to know that Karthik and Oorni are gathering information on him and round him up. This happens in a brilliant and explosive interval block.

Sethu hears through his grapevine that the police have plans to close his case with an encounter incident. He becomes more cautious and even as the first half comes to an end, Karthik and Oorini are caught red-handed trying to overhear their plans with a hidden speaker.

Sethu finds out the tap placed in the music player that Sounder was carrying and quickly locates Karthik and Oorani. When about to die at the hands of Sethu, Karthik confesses that he was spying on Sethu so that he could make a movie about his life, along the lines of Nayakan and Thalapathi. Sethu is enamored by the prospect of his life being portrayed on the big screen and initiates Karthik and Oorani into his gang so that they can document his life. He and his gang members boast of their crimes and take Karthik along for their gang activities.

Karthik gleefully documents everything and is ecstatic that he has a fantastic story in hand for his debut movie. When he is ready to leave Madurai with all the information that he ever needed Kayal discovers that Karthik used her for information and is vengeful.

Sethu invites him for a send-off party. During the partying, Kayal remarks that Sethu himself should act as the main character in the gangster film about his life. Sethu takes this seriously and threatens Karthik to direct the film with Sethu playing himself on screen. Distraught at the sudden turn of events, Karthik tries to escape out of Madurai but is caught by Sethu’s gang. They also kidnap the producer of Karthik’s film and force them both to make the gangster movie.

The rest of the story is all about how Karthik gets himself out of this mess.

6 Reviews

  1. Indiaglitz

    Jigarthanda is served, deliciously! Jigarthanda will take through the main course and desserts.

    Taking a total U turn from his previous flick Pizza, Karthik takes the sails of a gangster movie and predominantly strikes chord with Simha who easily is the star performer. His menacing looks and body language is a treat to watch. Considering the plot of the movie, the less you know before you enter the theatres, the better.

    This Movie gives Siddharth a chance to showcase the rugged side of this actor, all round performance indeed. He is complimented quite awesomely by Karunakaran, who enters silently and finishes with a larger share of applause. Lakshmi menon‘s character as Kayal looks more like an extended cameo than a mainstay character, could have etched better. There is no single central character that weighs the burden through the movie with the story and screenplay taking the plum factor.

    The length is arguably one of the letdowns of the movie, with 2h50m on the clock, even though there are no yawning moments; one tends to feel small kicks of the drag in the second half. One of the reasons could be the songs which usually bring relief in lengthier movies; they seem to appear occasionally. Santhosh Narayan’s music is phenomenal, for BGM is the backbone without a hint of doubt for it electrifies the screenplay.

    Karthik Subburaj is here to stay, his lateral thinking on taking a leaf out of a gangster tale, changing elements of nature and serving the dish with the right amount of ingredients is no easy task, however he leaves his signature all over!

  2. Rediff

    Jigarthandais definitely a must watch. Engrossing gangster film with a series of bizarre twists and turns that keeps you guessing

    The director has chosen his characters and technicians with much care and the results are exceptional.

    Though Siddharth gives a commendable performance, Simhaa steals the show. He is chillingly menacing at times, while completely hilarious in others, but equally convincing in both. A truly remarkable performance.

    Director Karthik Subbaraj’s brilliant script is complemented by excellent performances, compelling dialogues, perfect cinematography, and stimulating BGM. He has executed it perfectly too maintaining the fun and entertainment quotient throughout.

    It comes as no surprise that the film was featured in the list of the Five Indian Films to watch in 2014 by Forbes India Magazine published in December last year.

  3. Behindwoods

    A raw, gritty & imaginative crowd-pleaser

    Jigar means HEART. Thanda means COLD. A tale of a cold hearted murderer sophistically narrated and quintessentially delivered. The director has utilized the nuances and aspects of filmmaking to tell a gripping tale of hope, dream, vengeance and an out wittingly smart filmmaker. Jigarthanda scores more on the sound design and close to the real art set-up, confirming it to be a highly qualifying outcome silencing the technically inclined film buffs.

    With the story, screenplay and the direction at its best of astuteness, Jigarthanda will be one of the most easily interpretable movies of this year. There are no unwanted jabbers or hiccups in the non-linear narration making it a strain or disengaging the audience.

    Somebody like Siddharth agreeing to be a part of a movie where it is all scored by the antagonist needs special mention. Widely known for his professionalism, Siddharth’s effortless acting comprehends his character. Bobby Simha, playing a margin over his actual age is bound to grab the attention of biggies for this lifetime role of a soul sucking, villainous gangster who just can’t stand being a ploy for laughter.

    The only complaint that can possibly be raised against the movie, is its two hours and fifty minutes length. But Karthik’s ability to make us glued to the seats with vicious cycles of extremely interesting twists and turns is truly outstanding.

    With a list of actors, tons of shots and hundreds of applause evoking dialogues, Jigarthanda is a beautifully orchestrated story.

  4. Sify

    Jigarthanda is still a good appetising drink, that you can sip on.

    The highlight of the film is the performance of its lead actors. Siddharth is earnest and convincing as the meek assistant director. He is simply terrific in the scenes where he plays a cat and mouse game with the gangster. Lakshmi Menon without any make-up nails the characters grey instinct in a telling manner. Karunakaran raises quite a few laughs with his comic antics. But truly the film belongs to Simhaa. He is electrifying especially in the first half, where he brings out the viciousness and violent streak of the character along with that eerie laughter.

    Santosh Narayanan’s background score is the major plus of the movie, as he is able to capture the mood of the film. The songs are good, short and mostly in the background. The cinematography of Gavemick takes it to a different level, he has beautifully captured the outdoor and night-effect rain scenes giving the story the right tone. The first half of the film sails through effortlessly, but it is the change in genre and the ‘surprise twist’ that slows down the film in the second half.

    The characterisation of the lead actors change, and it sort of becomes a satire laced with black comedy. Definitely the film needs trimming. 171 minutes is an over indulgence by the director, if he was a bit more concise it would have been nothing short of a classic.

  5. Galatta

    This Jigarthanda is sure to quench your thirst for a gripping movie.

    Right from the title to the tagline – “A Cold Heart”, Karthik Subbaraj has put in a lot of effort to make sure that it stands out. The storyline and screenplay are very good, though one feels that the movie could have been a bit faster and a little shorter in length.

    The emotional bonds that develop between people and the subtle, dark humour in the dialogues need a special mention. Siddharth has returned to Tamil cinema with a bang. Lakshmi Menon is impressive with her emotions. Karunakaran has gotten a very meaty role and he has pulled it off exceedingly well. However, the star of the show is Simha. He is an absolute treat to watch. His acting is fabulous and the way he has transformed into Sethu is just astounding.

    A lot of stars have been given breezy roles – Vijay Sethupathi, Nasser, Bhagavathy Perumal, Vigneshwaran, Ambika amongst others and they excel in it.

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