Muthuvel Pandiyan (Rajinikanth), now in retirement, resides in tranquility with his family, engaging in various household tasks while lamenting the lack of respect for a ‘retired man.’ His days are filled with running errands and assisting his charmingly confident grandson in producing YouTube videos. This peaceful existence is disrupted by an ominous hint of the conventional clash between law enforcement and criminals – Muthuvel’s son, the policeman Arjun (Vasanth Ravi), is hot on the trail of a network involved in stealing and trafficking religious idols.

This audacious pursuit is destined to bring about imminent violence for his family, as often seen in such films.

When Arjun mysteriously vanishes, his father is roused from his chosen repose to reclaim his moniker, ‘Tiger’ Muthuvel Pandiyan. In “Jailer,” Rajinikanth is at the pinnacle of his prowess, with his charisma exuding a divine rather than infectious aura. His real-life colossal stardom casts a shadow over the entire film, resulting in several impactful, whistle-worthy moments.

‘Tiger’ Muthuvel Pandiyan commands a legion of followers poised to spring into action at his slightest command. While Tiger’s background might appear somewhat implausible, struggling to justify the reverence he commands, the figure on the screen is none other than Rajinikanth – and reverence seems only natural.

Appearances by actors like Mohanlal, Shiva Rajkumar, and Jackie Shroff enhance the film’s pan-India appeal, seamlessly woven into the narrative fabric to create a visually spectacular climax. The allure of these actors, combined with the insightful cinematography by Vijay Kartik Kannan, enhances the film’s impact.

A climactic scene featuring Mohanlal and a fleet of trucks is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Nelson’s skill lies in crafting peripheral characters, particularly given his involvement in the intricate realm of dark comedy. While the film often succeeds in its comedic elements, the supporting characters seem to be relegated to the background this time.

Aranthangi Nisha, who delivered a memorable performance in Nelson’s “Kolamaavu Kokila,” finds her presence diminished within the story. Established comic talents like Redin Kingsley and Yogi Babu, who previously collaborated with the director in “Doctor,” are regrettably underused.

One cannot help but wonder how Ramya Krishnan (portraying Muthuvel’s wife), a commanding and magnetic star in her own right, finds herself reduced to a trembling figure at the dinner table as an action sequence unfolds around her.

Why does the filmmaker behind “Kolamaavu Kokila,” who showcased a different approach, now propose that a man can only attain true superhero status when the women in his family fear him? Why is the notion of an equitable partnership not even remotely considered?

Yet, Jailer’s most potent asset also reveals its most glaring flaw. While Rajinikanth is more than capable of carrying an entire film, in this instance, an excessive reliance on his star power leaves much of the movie feeling lackluster. The plot itself is overly simplistic, resulting in the inclusion of a heist subplot, a romantic triangle set within a film shoot, and songs that seem out of place.

On a related note, the track “Hukum – Thalaivar Alappara” by Anirudh Ravichander and Super Subu serves as a commanding leitmotif, enhancing some of the film’s most impactful scenes.

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