Sruthi Ganapathy Raman
The ‘DoubleX’ in Karthik Subbaraj’s Jigarthanda DoubleX unexpectedly dawns on you once the film’s credits roll. The spiritual successor shares the same bones that made the director’s clever action film Jigarthanda (2014) stand tall.
A filmmaker (SJ Suryah) is forced to make a sour-faced Madurai rowdy (Raghava Lawrence) a venerated Tamil film hero of the 70s. The only difference here is that if Jigarthanda used cinema as a tool to express ideas of acceptance and second chances.
Jigarthanda DoubleX, doubles down on the idea and goes a step further by making cinema a tool for revolt. It is a goldmine of ironies — a playground that Subbaraj is more than familiar with.
Subbaraj strews such tiny throwaway details for us to connect the dots in its first half, which eventually gets their intended meaning in the last act. But what it ultimately achieves is pretty bare minimum as far as efficient world-building goes.
Perhaps Subbaraj intended it to be that way — with the first half being a metaphor for empty action film fluff (the kind of cinema that Ray detests) and the second half being the “Oscar” equivalent of a film (that Ray aspires to make).