|Directed by||Karthik Subbaraj|
|Produced by||S. Sashikanth|
|Written by||Karthik Subbaraj|
|Music by||Santhosh Narayanan|
|Edited by||Vivek Harshan|
Jagame Thandhiram (transl. The Universe is a ruse) is a 2021 Indian action thriller film written and directed by Karthik Subbaraj and produced by S. Sashikanth and Chakravarthy Ramachandra of Y NOT Studios, along with Reliance Entertainment. The film stars Dhanush, Aishwarya Lekshmi and James Cosmo, while Joju George and Kalaiyarasan portray supporting roles. It marks the Indian film debut of Cosmo. The songs and background score was composed by Santhosh Narayanan, and editing by Vivek Harshan.
The project was initially announced in April 2016 with Thenandal Studio Limited bagging the project, but eventually got shelved due to the financial problems surrounding over the production house. It was revived once again in February 2018, with YNOT Studios acquiring the rights for film production. After an official launch in July 2019, the film began production in September 2019, with shooting taking place across London, Madurai, Ramesswaram and Jaipur and wrapped within December 2019.
Jagame Thandhiram was scheduled for a theatrical release on 1 May 2020, but was delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the makers initially planned on releasing the film only in theatres, this decision was dropped in February 2021 in favour of a worldwide digital release. It eventually released on Netflix on 18 June 2021, and received mixed to positive reviews.
Suruli is a gangster from Madurai who runs a parotta restaurant. Due to his thug-like behaviour, he is unable to find a bride and even when his marriage is fixed, the bride runs away when she finds out about his criminal background. His notoriety comes to the attention of an Englishman named John, who is a right-hand man of a London-based white supremacist don named Peter Sprott. John offers £2,00,000 per week to Suruli if he works for Peter against a rival don Sivadoss, who is Peter's arch-nemesis and has considerable influence among London's Tamil-speaking population. Suruli accepts the offer with the intention to use the money to eventually settle down and give up his criminal activities, and leaves for London.
In London, Suruli learns more about Sivadoss and his gang as well as their activities which involve smuggling weapons from conflict-ridden countries in exchange for money. Peter's gang, led by Suruli and John, raid Sivadoss's boat yard where the smuggling is in process under Sivadoss's right-hand man Rajan. During the raid, Suruli kills Rajan as well. Sivadoss and his gang realise that Suruli is responsible for killing Rajan and kidnap him. At Sivadoss's hideout, Suruli negotiates with him to kill Peter under the ruse of inviting him for a "peace talk" to end their feud, in exchange for £6,00,000 as well as a parotta restaurant in London. But during the "peace talk", Suruli betrays Sivadoss and hands over an aruval to Peter, who uses it to hack Sivadoss to death. As a reward for Sivadoss's death, Peter offers Suruli a designated area in London to start his business and allow Tamils to live there, and christens the area "Little Madurai".
Meanwhile, Suruli falls in love with Attila, a Sri Lankan Tamil singer. When he initially approaches Attila, she reveals that she is a widow with a seven-year-old son named Dheeran. However, she soon reciprocates Suruli's feelings. While on a date at a park, they are attacked by Sivadoss's remaining henchmen Deepan and Dharani, who have sworn to take revenge on Suruli for betraying Sivadoss. Deepan shoots Suruli, leaving him critically wounded. However, he soon manages to recover under Attila's care. But one day, he notices her injecting a mysterious drug into his drip bag with the intention to kill him. When confronted, Attila reveals why she wants to kill him.
Attila, Dheeran and Attila's brother (who is Dheeran's father) are the only survivors of an aerial attack on their village in Sri Lanka during the Sri Lankan civil war. At a refugee camp, they are convinced by Sivadoss's aide to join Sivadoss's gang, who would help them move to London under the guise of husband, wife and child and are offered fake passports. On the way, Attila's brother is caught and thrown into Peter's private prison which is used to hold refugees and other illegal immigrants, but Attila and Dheeran safely make it to London. Attila further reveals that Sivadoss was involved in smuggling with the intention to use the money to help the illegal immigrants and refugees from all countries financially and legally, and was planning to fight for her brother's release as well. Sivadoss, on hearing about Suruli's love for Attila, decided to offer him protection and get him married to Attila. But due to Sivadoss's death, the money to fight for the immigrants' rights had dried up and Attila's brother has no chance of being released from prison as a result. Hence, Attila had planned the encounter in the park between Suruli, Deepan and Dharani with the intention to kill Suruli, but she still saved him due to her love for him. Suruli also learns about a bill pending in the British parliament called BICORE whose purpose is for restricting immigration and is being pushed by Peter and a few other lawmakers. If passed, most of the refugees and illegal immigrants would be deported or thrown into prisons, which would benefit Peter. On hearing this, Suruli has a change of heart and decides to help Attila, Deepan and Dharani in their fight against Peter and BICORE. With the help of Deepan and Dharani, he manages to recover the money which Sivadoss had acquired for the immigrants, and this money is used to release some of the immigrants, including Attila's brother. Suruli and Attila resume their relationship.
Meanwhile, Peter asks Suruli to travel to Birmingham to kill Andrews, a minister who is against BICORE. Suruli realises that Peter wants him to kill Andrews so that his death can be blamed on an immigrant and thus BICORE would gain more support and be passed in Parliament. He refuses to kill Andrews. In retribution, Peter, John and their men attack Little Madurai and in the process, kill Suruli's close friend Murugesan. With no other option, Suruli's accepts Peter's demands and leaves for Birmingham. However, during the journey, Suruli, Deepan and Dharani kill John and head for Peter's mansion instead. They manage to subdue Peter's goons and barge into Peter's room. Despite Deepan and Dharani wanting to kill Peter, Suruli decides against it and instead transports Peter to a remote land somewhere in the Middle East. Suruli, Deepan and Dharani then destroy all proof of Peter's British citizenship, offer him a fake passport from the "Republic of Mattuthavani", and leave him there to live as a stateless refugee forever.
In April 2016, director Karthik Subbaraj announced that he would make a film starring Dhanush in the lead role, and produced by the actor's home banner Wunderbar Films. The gangster film was initially set in New York, and the makers unsuccessfully approached Hollywood actors Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino about playing a key role in the film during October 2016. Subbaraj later lamented that the process of reaching out to the actors was difficult, and that it was often difficult to get past casting agents. The rights for the film's were later exchanged to Thenandal Studio Limited in April 2017, and the company, opted to prioritise the making of other big-budget films such as Mersal and Sangamithra. The film was further delayed after the production house ran into financial problems and exited the project.
In February 2018, S. Sashikanth of YNOT Studios, acquired the rights for the film's production. In April 2018, Subbaraj revealed that, he decided to make changes in the story as well as the location settings, in order to reduce the film's production costs. He also added that the film's shooting will take place after his completion of Rajinikanth's Petta as well as Dhanush's commitments in other projects. On 19 July 2019, Sashikanth officially announced the project's launch, titled as #D40 with Subbaraj's regular collaborator, Santhosh Narayanan scoring the music, as well as cinematographer Shreyaas Krishna and editor Vivek Harshan, who worked with the director's previous projects Jigarthanda, Iraivi, Mercury and Petta.
While the film was tentatively titled as #D40, there were rumours claiming that the film's title was Suruli or Ulagam Suttrum Vaaliban (referring to the 1975 film of the same name), whereas Sashikanth claimed that there is no official announcement regarding the film's title. The film's title Jagame Thandhiram was announced during the release of the film's motion poster on 19 February 2020, referring to a line from the song "Sambo Siva Sambo", written by Kannadasan, from the 1979 film Ninaithale Inikkum. Karthik Subbaraj initially considered Suruli as the film's title, but one day, he happened to listen to the Ninaithale Inikkum song, and also being a fan of Rajinikanth, the director felt that the Jagame Thandhiram would be the apt title for his script.
In an interview with The Times of India, Karthik Subbaraj eventually stated that "The process of finalising an actor in Hollywood is going through an casting agent. Once the casting agent is impressed with the script, the makers need to make an offer and the number of days required for shooting, after which the actor will have three weeks time to accept of rejecting the offer. Only after the three weeks, can the makers approach another actor." In mid-April 2018, Pierce Brosnan was reported for a role in the film, after Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, but it was later claimed to be false. During the official announcement of the project, it was reported that Malayalam actress Aishwarya Lekshmi will play the female lead, in her second Tamil film, after Vishal's Action (2019). In September 2019, British actor James Cosmo (of Game of Thrones fame), signed in for the character Peter Sprott, in his Indian film debut. Joju George, Kalaiyarasan and Roman Fiori were also confirmed in the film's cast in the same month.
Initially SJ Suryah was approached to play the main antagonist Sivadoss, but the role went to George, marking his Tamil debut. George initially stated that he admired Karthik Subbaraj's works after his directorial debut with Pizza (2012) and tried to approach Subbaraj, but he could not get a chance. He stated that "Karthik Subbaraj asked for an audition to the character since it has a pivotal role in the film. He narrated a scene and asked me to act. I acted it out and said the dialogues in broken Tamil. He simply smiled at me, and I was so happy." Similarly Cosmo who made his Indian film debut with this film had said that he was impressed by the narration of Karthik Subbaraj and decided to act in the film. He also shot for few scenes in Rajasthan during this schedule. About his character, he stated that "The character I play is that of a powerful gangster in London. He employs the character played by Dhanush to fix the problems created by Indian gangs in London. During the course of this, he grows fond of Dhanush, which changes the whole dynamics of his gang. That's how the story moves forward."
Principal photography began on 16 August 2019, in Faversham, Kent a village in the south-east of England. The crew filmed for about a week, before the makers planned to shoot the entire stretch of portions in London, within a single schedule of 20 days. However, on 7 November 2019, the makers announced that they have completed the London schedule within 64 days. In 9 November, the makers headed to India, to shoot major portions of the film in Madurai and parts of Rajasthan. The entire principal photography process wrapped on 29 December 2019, with Dhanush, stating it as one of his "quickest film in his career" as the film was shot within a span of four months. The film's post-production process took place in London in January 2020, post the completion of the film's shoot. However, it was put on hold, as the production house suspended the works of their projects, including production and promotional activities, due to the COVID-19 pandemic; It later resumed in May 2020, as the Tamil Nadu government granted permission for the film industry to resume post-production works.
Karthik Subbaraj revealed in an interview that Jagame Thandhiram, apart from being a gangster film, it explores the themes of xenophobia, cultural shifts, and also what the meaning of ‘home’ is to different people. He added "The film started off as a gangster story initially, where two explosive personalities face off against each other; one from the Western world and one from Madurai. After that, the script demanded we go to a foreign land and shoot there; we didn’t travel to London just for the sake of fancy locations. The themes explored in the film are very, very real and something that is very relevant and happening to all of us right now. Most of us... we’re all lucky to say that this is the land we belong to and this is our home country. But there is a different world, where it is tough for many people to even identify what their idea of ‘home’ is, where they come from and most importantly, where they belong."
In a live conversation of his fans through Twitter Spaces, Dhanush said that the character Suruli will have "shades of Rajinikanth's mannerisms in the film", since the director, actor and the antagonist Joju George were fans of Rajinikanth. Eventually Dhanush stayed away from imitating Rajinikanth's mannerisms in his earlier films, due to his change in script selections, but Karthik Subbaraj had said "Let Rajini be there".
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||7 June 2021|
|Recorded||2019 - 2020|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Santhosh Narayanan chronology|
|Singles from Jagame Thandhiram|
The film's soundtrack is composed by Santhosh Narayanan, with lyrics written by Vivek, Dhanush, Anthony Daasan and Richard Harvey. Though the album was originally slated to release under the record label YNOT Music, the subsidiary of YNOT Studios, the audio rights were acquired by Sony Music in mid-July 2020.
The theme music which was featured in the film's motion poster, received a positive response from fans, and the makers decided to release the song as a single, titled "Rakita Rakita Rakita" in March 2020, but eventually postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The song was released as the film's first single on 28 July 2020, coinciding with Dhanush's birthday. Dhanush himself sang the song, with additional vocals provided by Santhosh Narayanan and Dhee. The second single titled "Bujji", sung by Anirudh Ravichander, was released during the eve of Diwali day, on 13 November 2020.
The remaining songs alongside the film's album in Tamil and Telugu was released on 7 June 2021, through audio streaming platforms.
|1.||"Rakita Rakita Rakita"||Vivek||Dhanush, Santhosh Narayanan, Dhee||4:07|
|2.||"Bujji"||Vivek||Anirudh Ravichander, Santhosh Narayanan||4:27|
|4.||"Aala Ola"||Vivek||Anthony Daasan, Santhosh Narayanan||3:31|
|5.||"Theengu Thaakka"||Arivu||Arivu, GKB, Santhosh Narayanan||2:52|
|6.||"Theipirai"||Madurai Babaraj||Meenakshi Elayaraja||5:46|
|7.||"Kalarey Kalarvasam"||Vivek||Anthony Daasan, Santhosh Narayanan||3:06|
|8.||"Naan Dhan Da Mass"||Arivu||OfRo, Arivu, Santhosh Narayanan||3:49|
|1.||"Rakita Rakita Rakita"||Bhaskarabhatla||Ananthu, Santhosh Narayanan, Susha||4:08|
|4.||"Rela Rela"||Bhaskarabhatla||Anthony Daasan||3:31|
|5.||"Veta Veta Veta"||Bhaskarabhatla||Santhosh Narayanan||2:52|
|8.||"Naathoti Race-u"||Bhaskarabhatla||OfRo, Santhosh Narayanan||3:49|
|1.||"Rakita Rakita"||Aniruddha Sastry||Ashwin Sharma, Divya Ramachandra, Velu Krishnamurthy||4:07|
|2.||"Dhimta Taka Taka"||Vybhav||Ashwin Sharma||2:34|
|3.||"Nane The Massu-u"||Aniruddha Sastry||Rapper Ro||3:50|
|4.||"Kanase Karagogi"||Varadaraj Chikkaballapura||Velu Krishnamurthy||3:07|
|5.||"Nethi Mele Thoogo Kathi"||Ghouse Peer||Divya Ramachandra||3:53|
|1.||"Rakita Rakita"||Deepak Ramakrishnan||Renjith Unni, Sannidhanandan, Surmikhi||4:07|
|2.||"Dheengu Thaakka"||Deepak Ramakrishnan||Vishnu Sukumaran||2:34|
|3.||"Njan Ennaal Mass"||Deepak Ramakrishnan||Shenbagaraj||3:50|
|4.||"Nnniramo Thelirkanthi"||Engandiyoor Chandrasekharan||Sannidhanandan||3:07|
|5.||"Neela Nilaa"||Engandiyoor Chandrasekharan||Savitha Sai||3:53|
Without any pre-announcement, on 22 February 2021, the teaser trailer for the film was unveiled by Netflix India, through their official YouTube channel, thus confirming the release through the streaming platform. In interviews with online portals, Karthik Subbaraj expressed his disinterest on not crediting the creators of the film on its promotional posters released through Netflix's social media handles. He added that "it is the platform's policy not to include credits of the directors and other artists", which led Subbaraj to promote his own poster designs through his media sites. He further added that "it would be nice to see Netflix changes their policies in future".
A graffiti art for Jagame Thandhiram was created by graffiti artist Nme. Netflix India released the graffiti tribute video through the social media handles in May 2021, which opened to positive response from fans. Dhanush's Jagame Thandhiram look was recreated by Medha Srivastava, a makeup artist. The look and the video went viral on the internet and the video was shared by the official Instagram handle of Netflix India in May 2021.
Amul India released a doodle which inspired a still from the film. A Twitter emoji was also unveiled ahead of the release, becoming Dhanush's first film to do so. A group of Nigerian boys popularly known as Ikorodu bois recreated the trailer in their own amusing way. These are the same Nigerian boys who rose to fame for recreating the promo of popular web series, Money Heist and other OTT shows. Their video has been posted on their Instagram page. One day prior to the film's release, Dhanush's fan PP Samy from Theni, Tamil Nadu, erected a huge cutout of Dhanush.
Jagame Thandhiram was initially scheduled to release on 1 May 2020, but was then indefinitely delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The producers themselves confirmed that the film will be scheduled for a theatrical release, refuting the rumours of releasing through over-the-top media service platforms. In January 2021, the film was planned for a release on 5 February 2021 which did not happen, as media reports claimed that the film will be scheduled for a direct release through the streaming platform Netflix.
The digital rights of the film were sold for ₹55 crore (US$7.7 million), thus becoming the highest paid Tamil film for direct digital release. It was initially slated to be released on 26 March 2021, However, the release was not confirmed during their announcement of Indian originals for the 2021 slate of Netflix.
On 27 April 2021, the makers announced that Jagame Thandhiram will release on 18 June 2021. Irrespective of being dubbed in Telugu (as Jagame Tantram), Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi languages, the makers further announced that the film will be dubbed and released in 17 languages, the first time for a Tamil film, so as to be premiered in over 190 countries through Netflix. The film released on 18 June 2021, along with dubbed versions in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Brazilian, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Neutral), Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese.
The satellite rights of the film were purchased by Star Vijay with the television premiere being held only after two months after its digital release. During an interview, Karthik Subbaraj said that the songs "Bujji", "Nethu" and "Aala Ola" were removed from the film's original cut to follow Netflix's guidelines and that the songs will be featured only during the television broadcast of the film.
Jagame Thandhiram was in the news for controversies surrounding over the release plans, whether the film was speculated to have a digital or theatrical release. Dhanush was upset over producer Sashikanth, as the latter accepted for digital release, irrespective of theatres being reopened and operated with 50% seating capacity due to the pandemic restrictions. This caused a rift between Dhanush and Sashikanth, as the producer unfollowed Dhanush in Twitter and Instagram. After the central government granted permission to increase the seating capacity in theatres, on 1 February 2021, Dhanush took to Twitter the following day, 2 February, stating the demand for theatrical release in support of theatre owners and distributors. Similarly, their fans also demanded the film's theatrical release by sticking wall posters across Tamil Nadu. However, Sashikanth continued negotiating with Netflix for digital release.
With the film's teaser released on 22 February 2021 confirming the digital release through Netflix, fans of Dhanush expressed their disappointment as they intended to watch the film in theatres, despite the teaser being positively received by fans. Dhanush decided to stay out of the film's promotional activities online, after being upset with the producer's decision for digital release, although he shared the film's trailer through his tweet expressing his unhappiness over the film releasing on Netflix and not in theatres. Similarly, YNOT Studios faced a red card from the distributors, in response to the issue, thus resulting in their other projects Aelay and Mandela to be released through online platforms.
The title Jagame Thandhiram, which roughly translates to this universe is a ruse, is also borrowed from Rajinikanth’s oeuvre.
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-06-25 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=61876323