Jailer Movie Review: An out and out Rajinikanth show with dynamic cameos of Mohanlal and Shiva Rajkumar

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By Webdesk

Rajinikanth films are like a festival – They open to packed houses on the shows as early as 6 am, even in a city like Mumbai. It’s a surreal experience to watch his cinema in packed houses, as fans celebrate, the walk, and every appearance, which at times even makes up for the slips and flips in the screenplay. The experience and the slips in screenplay is what Jailer is all about. Here’s our review.


Jailer revolves around Tiger Muthuvel Pandian (Rajinikanth), an ex-jailer, who is on a mission to seek revenge for the death of his son, ACP Arjun (Vasanth Ravi) against a mafia dealing in temple antique artifacts. However, he encounters several unexpected conflicts that puts his own family – Vijaya (Ramya Krishnan), Shwetha (Mirnaa Menon) and grandchild Rithvik – in danger. Through the journey, he gets support from old alleys, Mathew (Mohanlal), Narasimha (Shiva Rajkumar) and (Jackie Shroff). Does he succeed to save his family and avenge his son? All of this unfolds in Jailer.

What works?

Jailer celebrates the aura of Superstar Rajinikanth. He gets some of the biggest crowd-pleasing moments in the drama space – be it the extended introduction block, or the pre and post interval sequence, the pre-climax twist and the climax. The film has enough ‘Rajini-Moments’ which will be enjoyed by the hardcore fans.

The plot is driven by father and son emotion, which is relatable and Nelson does well to add an interesting dynamic to the screenplay as the film progresses. It’s a film that rides primarily on the emotion, and drama rather than the action. The comic track featuring Rajinikanth with Yogi Babu work’s brilliant in the narrative, and we wished the comic talent had more to do, especially in the second half. Much like the film, the humour of Jailer also works in bits and pieces.

Anirudh’s background score is one of the biggest pluses of the film and elevates the mass moments to another level. The aforementioned 4 blocks leave an even better impact due to the background score of Anirudh, which does complete justice to the aura of Rajinikanth. The dialogues ensure enough claptrap moments. The family angle, especially in the initial few frames are done well and brings a smile on your face.

The entire villain track, led by Vinayakan, is also done well, when in the intense space.

What doesn’t work?

Jailer is tad too long for the plot that Nelson has in his hand. The filmmaker could have easily put out a crisper version of the same film for a better impact. While the film has enough in terms of standalone moments, it does go off the track for a major part of the second half, which is thankfully lifted by a good climax. While the entire track of heist would have read great on paper, it is not well executed and hampers the pace of the film in a big way. The Blast Mohan (Sunil) subtract also doesn’t click as well as expected. While the humour works in the first half, the film gets derailed on the comic front in the second half.

Some of the sub-plots are left unexplored – be it the entire nexus of the police department working hand-to-hand with the stolen artifact’s mafia, or the arc of Tiger Muthuvel Pandian’s family members. The antagonist track doesn’t work when Nelson attempts to marry the intensity with his dark comedy. The entire psychiatrist angle in the first half doesn’t land well. Pacing is also an issue through the film, as there are a lot of moments which drag and there are also some sequences which add nothing to the narrative.


Jailer is a superstar Rajinikanth show. The film isn’t just about the display of Rajinikanth’s superstardom and antiques, but also has enough scenes that puts forward Rajinikanth – The actor. He aces the emotional, dramatic, comic and heroic scenes with perfection and has a screen presence that very few in Indian can command. The film rides on Rajinikanth’s shoulders and they are strong enough to take the film through.

Vinayakan is menacing in his part of a dangerous antagonist, Verma and does well to be the baddie alongside a force like Rajinikanth. Mohanlal has a stellar cameo and his appearance is sure to be greeted with seeti’s and taali’s all across the board, especially in Kerala. He has a dynamic presence. Same for Shiva Rajkumar, who gets an excellent introduction to this tale. Jackie Shroff is decent in his appearance. Ramya Krishnan has limited screen time, but she does well in the allotted role. Same for Mirnaa Menon and the child artist, Ritvik. Tamannaah’s cameo is decent, but her track is a complete let down.


Jailer works, but in parts. When it’s good, it’s very good. But when it’s bad, it just drags. Nelson succeeds in his attempt to celebrate the stardom of Rajinikanth and blends it with a performance driven character, however, the film warranted a better screenplay to drive the proceedings. It’s a decent entertainer that works due to the aura of Rajinikanth in mass blocks alongside the dynamic cameos by Mohanlal and Shiva Rajkumar and has enough moments to emerge a box office winner. 

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