Clint Eastwood

Karthik Subbaraj reveals his most personal moment in Jigarthanda DoubleX, opens up about Clint Eastwood sequence

Karthik Subbaraj said he initially planned to base the sequel to Jigarthanda on the character of "Assault" Sethu's (Bobby Simha) father, who is briefly mentioned in the 2014 film.

Despite starting on a rather subdued note, earning just Rs 2.96 crore on its release day, Karthik Subbaraj’s Jigarthanda DoubleX has been witnessing an uptick in box office revenue, fueled by positive reviews and favourable word of mouth. On the first Monday after its premiere, the film raked in a mammoth Rs 7.04 crore.

Meanwhile, Karthik recently discussed a particularly personal moment in the film and explained its profound significance to him. He pointed to the scene where SJ Suryah’s character Ray Dasan shouts “action” as a director for the first time, causing an electrifying sensation in his body. Raghava Lawrence’s character Alliyus Caesar also undergoes a similar feeling. “I aimed to maintain a consistent theme throughout the film, which is ‘you don’t choose art; art chooses you.’ These characters didn’t choose cinema out of passion or anything but rather due to some personal reasons. This scene illustrates that cinema is gradually drawing them in,” he noted.

Karthik said he initially planned to base the sequel to Jigarthanda on the character of “Assault” Sethu’s (Bobby Simha) father, who is briefly mentioned in the 2014 film.

“That was my concept for the first draft. Later, I considered incorporating a nature theme into the storyline. Hailing from Madurai, which is close to Kodaikanal, I learned during one of my visits that the resorts in the area emerged only 40-50 years ago. Prior to that, it was a forest with many tribal villages. When enquiring about the fate of those tribals, I was informed that they had migrated. This sparked my in-depth exploration of similar instances nationwide. This happened even in the US and is the history of Native Americans,” explained Karthik.

Watch Jigarthanda DoubleX trailer here:

He mentioned that Jigarthanda DoubleX’s entire writing process spanned seven to eight months. “While Jigarthanda was an ode to cinema, focusing on the transformation of one person, ‘Assault’ Sethu, and how cinema/art impacted him, it revolved solely around him. In Jigarthanda DoubleX, my intention was to illustrate the broader influence of art and its potential as a tool for significant societal change,” he observed.

Karthik explained that he decided to depict Ray Dasan as an assistant to Satyajit Ray, rather than a Tamil filmmaker like K Balachander, to prevent others in the film from easily discovering Dasan’s true location. By making Dasan claim to have worked under a director with whom others couldn’t easily connect, the risk of exposing his lies would be minimised.

He also voiced his contentment with the fact that people appreciated the emotional aspects of Jigarthanda DoubleX more than the comedic elements. Karthik revealed that the Clint Eastwood sequence in the film was created using visual effects.

In his review of Jigarthanda DoubleX, The Indian Express’ Kirubhakar Purushothaman wrote: “Karthik Subbaraj’s film tries to be a lot of things at once. It’s Jack of all and King of one — deliciously entertaining meta cinema.”

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