Widely regarded as a groundbreaking filmmaker in the realm of Tamil cinema, Karthik Subbaraj, alongside some of his peers, revitalised the industry at the beginning of the last decade. Since then, he has built a dedicated and distinctive fanbase for himself. A director with a unique filmmaking approach that has seen limited experimentation in the country, Karthik Subbaraj is all set to make a comeback to the big screen with the period action comedy Jigarthanda DoubleX, starring Raghava Lawrence and SJ Suryah in the lead roles.
A spiritual successor to his highly acclaimed film Jigarthanda, the new movie is scheduled to be released on November 10, aligning with the week of Diwali.
Discussing the film, Subbaraj recently shared with The Hindu that Jigarthanda DoubleX serves as his homage to Western films and Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood. “When we made the first promo for the first Jigarthanda, it featured a poster of Clint Eastwood. In the new film, the script lends itself very close to the Western tropes, and I have tried to explore it to the maximum,” he stated.
Elaborating on the Satyajit Ray references in the film, with SJ Suryah’s character being portrayed as a former assistant of the legendary filmmaker, Subbaraj further added, “The story of Jigarthanda DoubleX is set in 1975, and at that time, Satyajit Ray was a working legend, and I wanted to incorporate it into the story. When we introduce the character of a filmmaker as someone who had assisted Ray, the character’s dimensions change drastically — how he behaves, his costumes and so on, it’s also another tribute.”
Watch Jigarthanda DoubleX trailer here:
Regarding the decision to create a spiritual successor to Jigarthanda, Subbaraj observed: “Since a sequel comes with so much pressure, I didn’t have the confidence to do this film earlier. I pitched this story to Lawrence sir back during the time of Iraivi (2016), but the idea I had wasn’t good enough. Given the obvious comparisons, our aim was to match or outdo than the original film. I gave up on that original idea and it took me eight years to arrive at this film’s script.”
“If I had done the sequel earlier, it would’ve been the work of a two-film-old filmmaker. Now, over the years, I’ve learnt a lot of filmmaking aspects and how to handle big-budget productions. I don’t think I would’ve gotten this film’s budget back then either. I think everything came together at the right time,” he reflected, adding: “The soul of the film is still the same; that of a gangster wanting to make a film with a director.”