Karthik: OTT allows you to explore sensitive subjects

Karthik: OTT allows you to explore sensitive subjects

Dhanush plays quirky gangster Suruli in ‘Jagame Thandhiram’.

The much-anticipated ‘Jagame Thandhiram’ opened to mixed responses. The Tamil film that dropped on Netflix last week, talks about the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and immigrants in London.

Director Karthik Subbaraj is glad that he could finally talk about immigrants and the hostility they face in markedly liberal societies of the West — a topic he has been researching for a while now.

Dhanush’s wacky performance as a gangster from Madurai who is caught in a moral dilemma garnered praise from critics and fans alike. Karthik, who worked with ‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth in ‘Petta’ (2019), told Showtime that he always wanted to direct Dhanush. “I narrated the film’s script to Dhanush five years ago and he loved it. I feel this is a well-researched subject that has deep-rooted repercussions globally. I wanted an actor who could convey that message flawlessly, without increasing the sentiment among the people. Dhanush has played the role perfectly,” Karthik said.

The movie, shot in India and London, is visually flamboyant. Its action sequences are well choreographed. Dhanush said that the film would ‘have been a great theatrical experience'. 

Karthik said the direct-to-OTT release has taken the film to a global audience. “In a big-budget theatrical release, you can’t touch upon sensitive subjects at length. I have always been against people judging the content even before its release. OTT platforms give you the freedom to express what you want and say it the way you want,” explained Karthik.

Aishwarya Lekshmi is impressive as a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee residing in London. She plays a crucial role in deciding the hero’s fate. “It was interesting to play this Sri Lankan girl who is under constant threat of being deported,” she said. She added that Karthik gave her a free hand while performing.

Kalaiyarasan, known for his roles in Pa Ranjith’s ‘Madras’ and ‘Kabali’, is a gangster in the film. “Every actor has a substantial part. It is not easy to get a huge cast and give each actor a substantial role. However, Karthik has managed to achieve that here. ‘Jagame Thandhiram’ has touched upon important issues that have social and political implications on a global level,” said Kalaiyarasan.

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