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'Jackson Durai' Review: A Comedy Without Any Horror

Karthik Keramalu | News18 Specials @KarthikKeramalu

First published: July 2, 2016, 11:38 AM IST | Updated: July 2, 2016
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'Jackson Durai' Review: A Comedy Without Any Horror
'Jackson Durai' begins as a comedy and also ends up as a comedy. Just that Dharani Dharan’s horror elements do not find a place in the film.

Cast: Sibi, Karunakaran, Sathyaraj, Rajendran, Bindu Madhavi

Director: Dharani Dharan

Horror comedy is the new Sambar in Tamil cinema. It’s present everywhere. There’s at least one horror comedy running in the theatres all year round. And, Sundar C. and Raghava Lawrence, have their own ‘Aranmanais’ and ‘Kanchanas’ that keep coming with the sole purpose of damaging our brain.

Yes, some horror films are lovely and some comedies are a delight. When the two genres are combined, they make a great pair. But the makers have to dig a little deeper to make us feel awesome about watching them. Sadly, that happens only for a few movies, and that is the single most disadvantage of this genre.

Jackson Durai stars father – son duo Sathyaraj and Sibi along with the regular comedy guys Karunakaran, Rajendran, and Yogi Babu. Rajendran’s entry scene resides at a level higher than Sibi’s introduction scene. Sibi, a police officer, is told to visit a village to verify the presence / absence of a ghost by ‘Mahanadhi’ Shankar. Shankar’s voice, like Rajendran’s, is a cue to make us giggle. The ghost of ‘JD’ happens to be an Englishman who reads English newspapers.

Sibi hops on his bike and goes to the village. Somehow, our makers make it a point to include romance in whatever they do. So, Sibi falls in love with Bindu Madhavi, in the haunted village. The actress is seen in about a dozen scenes in the movie. It isn’t even a supporting role, it’s a cameo.

Karunakaran doesn’t play a sidekick here. He’s seen as an equal; still the heroine is made to choose Sibi, because Sibi is the hero.

Karunakaran and Sibi stay at a haunted house for a week where all the drama unfolds. At the beginning, it’s just a series of gags. The film takes its time to drop the horror bomb on us. A flashback episode set before the Independence is brought on later. Demonte Colony’s backstory was better. It connected the past and the present well. Jackson Durai fails to do that as all the ghosts are stupid. In wanting to be humorous and scary, the ghosts fail to understand their own goals.

Sathyaraj as the leader of a rebel group looks convincing. His ghostly expressions made one chuckle. The way he yells “Jackson” in the climactic portion will crack you up. But one has to wait till the end for the big laughs, and that’s not an asset for a horror comedy.

The father and son share a scene in which Sibi says he’s like a son to him, and that’s probably the only scene that reminds us of their true relationship. Rajendran tries to be a Nagesh sometimes and a Senthil sometimes. It does work, though. Karunakaran’s one-liners need more polishing. They aren’t as effective as they should be.

Jackson Durai begins as a comedy and also ends up as a comedy. Just that Dharani Dharan’s horror elements do not find a place in the film. It’s a comedy without any horror.

Rating: 2.5/5

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