Deccan Chronicle

Jailer Movie Review: Rajinikanth's Vigilante Flick Fails to Pack a Punch

Deccan Chronicle.| BVS Prakash

Published on: August 10, 2023 | Updated on: August 10, 2023

Nelson Dilipkumar's attempt to bring back vintage Rajini failsmiserably

A scene from Jailer movie

A scene from Jailer movie

Cast: Rajinikanth, Ramya Krishna, Vasanth Ravi, Mirnaa Menon and others

Director: Nelson Dilipkumar

After the not-so-impressive ‘Annaatthe’, Kollywood superstar Rajinikanth returns with an action film ‘Jailer’ and his transition from a timid person into a raging vigilante has its moments.

Talking about Jailer Plot, Tiger Muthuvel Pandian, a dreaded jailer in Tihar, is now spending retired life with his loving family.  Everyone in his family, including his grandson, makes fun of his softness. All goes well, until his son and a cop (Vasanth Ravi), who was chasing an idol-stealing gang, goes missing. The police who are also hand-in-glove with the gang, try to cover up the case claiming he died by suicide.

The incident forces Rajini to take up the mission of finding his son, for which he has to first trace the dreaded gang involved in it. Kollywood director Nelson Dilipkumar, instead of packing his screenplay with comedy scenes, should have focused on the reactions of people to the missing idols (quite a sensitive issue for administration and god-believers.) That way the plot would have eventually turned into a fight for a social cause. However, in Jailer, Rajnikanth wages a battle only to protect his family, which limits his larger-than-life image.

Like mentioned earlier, the story is simple—a retired police officer—Rajnikanth, who is living with his wife (Ramya Krishna), son (Vasanth Ravi) and daughter-in-law (Mirnaa Menon) and grandson. He believes in honesty and simple life. He even spares a cab driver (Yogi Babu) who keeps irritating his family by parking his car near their house. The rest of the story is about how he turns into a vigilante and accomplishes a mission.

The Director of Jailer brings in superstars like Mohan Lal, Shiva Rajkumar and Jackie Shroff, as ex-convicts from different states, in special appearances to extend help to the hero's mission. Their massive presence brings some majesty to the film, but they don’t need to help an upright and fearless ex-jailer, who could have otherwise single-handedly decimated the villain group with his brawn and brain.  

Rajinikanth's charisma and mannerisms are intact and he pulls off the role effortlessly. But he does look stiff at times. Ramya plays a dutiful wife. Vasanth Ravi showcases shades of grey, while actor Sunil fails miserably. Tammanaah’s flashy number ‘Kaavaaalaa’ peps up the proceedings. Composer Anirudh's background score is noteworthy while the cinematography of Vijay Karthik Kannan is elegant.

Director Nelson tasted success with Siva Karthikeyan's ‘Doctor’ in which the hero forms a team with different people to trace down kidnappers of girls. He uses a similar pattern for Rajinikanth and adds humorous scenes and characters to tread the same path. But the comedy scenes fail to evoke laughs and Telugu actor Sunil’s comedy role is out of place and silly. Nelson seems to have drawn inspiration from films like ‘Vikram’ for slam bang action. But he could have come up with a good plot and also handled the father-son conflict better. In its present form, it looks more contrived than real.

Verdict: Even Rajinikanth's swag can't save this overcooked potboiler!

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