“I wanted to tell a world story with Jagame Thandhiram”: director Karthik Subbaraj


Famous writer-director Karthik Subbaraj has stated that with his crossover gangster drama Jagame Thandhiram, starring Tamil star Dhanush and Game of Thrones actor James Cosmo, his goal is to reach Indian and international audiences. .

The filmmaker, known for his detective and action films like Jigarthanda, Iraivi and Petta, is an ardent fan of the Mafia genre.

“I thought I should make a movie in New York with a famous gangster face and a Tamil character from Madurai, it should be a world story. The initial idea was to make a cross country film bringing together two worlds. The goal was to make it enjoyable to Indian and international audiences, ”Subbaraj told PTI in a Zoom interview. Based in London, “Jagame Thandhiram” (Tamil for Tricky World) revolves around Suruli (Dhanush), a nomadic gangster who must choose between good and evil in a war for what can truly be called his home.

The 38-year-old director originally shot the film in New York City and had researched the family crime scene in the American city, which also served as the basis for The Godfather, considered the best mafia film ever made.

“The whole gangster scene is totally different, they call it a family, it’s called Cosa Nostra (Our thing in Italian). There are Italian-American gangster families, Irish gangster families, etc. I’m from Madurai and I had explored this world with Jigarthanda and wanted to merge the two worlds seamlessly, ”he said, adding that the film also touches on the topic of immigration. .

He can tell stories set in the world of crime, but Subbaraj has stated that he never tries to glorify villains in his films.

“Most of my protagonists are in gray because when they focus on the good or the bad, you will be able to see the change and identify with it more. Jagame Thandhiram does not glorify evil. There is a reason for them. (the characters) to do certain things and then the change occurs.

Like his last film, Subbaraj’s influence on the craft has also been a mix of Indian and International, with filmmakers like Mani Ratnam, Balu Mahendra, K Balachander, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino being his favorites.

“… You watch their movies, you love it. You are passionate about their films and you keep watching them. And subconsciously, it can come from the style of writing or manufacturing, like visually trying out a shot. Every movie is like learning a book, ”he said.

Thanks to his release on streamer Netflix, Jagame Thandhiram received a wider audience, the director said.

“Any content created here in Tamil, Telugu or Malayalam or Hindi is now watched and rented in North or South India or outside India due to OTT (over-the-top) platforms. It helps to break down borders. For filmmakers it’s about getting a larger audience, while for audiences it’s about watching different content.

Produced by YNot Studios and Reliance Entertainment, the film also features Joju George, Aishwarya Lekshmi and Kalaiyarasan.

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