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Jailer (2023 Tamil film)

Jailer (2023 Tamil film)

Jailer is a 2023 Indian Tamil-language action comedy film directed by Nelson Dilipkumar and produced by Kalanithi Maran of Sun Pictures. The film stars Rajinikanth in the lead role, alongside Vinayakan, Ramya Krishnan, Vasanth Ravi, Mirnaa Menon, Yogi Babu, Tamannaah Bhatia and Sunil in supporting roles. Mohanlal, Shiva Rajkumar and Jackie Shroff play guest appearances. It revolves around a retired jailer seeking to apprehend an eccentric idol smuggler.

The film was officially announced in February 2022 under the working title Thalaivar 169, being the 169th film of Rajinikanth, while the official title was announced in June that year. Principal photography commenced in August 2022 in Chennai followed with schedules in Cuddalore, Jaisalmer, Mangalore, Kerala and wrapped by early-June 2023. The music is composed by Anirudh Ravichander, while the cinematography and editing were handled by Vijay Kartik Kannan and R. Nirmal.

Jailer was released theatrically on 10 August 2023 to positive reviews from critics and became the highest-grossing Tamil film of 2023, sixth highest-grossing Indian film of 2023 and second highest-grossing Tamil film of all time.


Muthuvel Pandian is a retired police officer who lives in Kodambakkam with his family. Muthuvel's son, ACP Arjun, is investigating Varman, an eccentric gangster operating from his base of operations in Arakkonam, who smuggles idols of gods and sells them to buyers overseas. Arjun confronts Varman's henchman, Seenu, and demands him about the whereabouts of Varman. While getting close to nabbing Varman, Arjun suddenly goes missing, and the police department covers this up by spreading word that he may have committed suicide due to the stress of the job.

Grieving the loss of his son and partly blaming himself for raising him to be honest and fearless, Muthuvel goes after Seenu and murders him, disposing the body by coercing a clueless local taxi driver, Vimal, into helping him. In retaliation, Varman's men attempt to kill Muthuvel's grandson, Rithvik, but Muthuvel manages to save him. Muthuvel tries to convince Varman to leave him and his family alone, but to no avail. Enraged, he decides to fight back.

First, Muthuvel blackmails a psychiatrist, S. Dhandapani, into providing asylum for his family. He then visits Narasimha, a reformed criminal living in Mandya, who loans him four of his sharpest shooters. With the help of Narasimha's men, Muthuvel steals Varman's idols that were being smuggled and uses them to blackmail and humiliate Varman, who was about to kill his family. In response, Varman thires a Bihari gangster named Kamdev to send people to kill Muthuvel and his family at his home, but Muthuvel and Narasimha's men finish them off. On discovering Varman's target to be Muthuvel, Kamdev reveals to him that Muthuvel was the former ruthless and charismatic jailer of Tihar prison who disciplined the criminals harshly but also helped them reform, thus gaining a massive network of allies, including Kamdev.

Muthuvel corners Varman in his base along with a hundred men sent by another former criminal, Sikandar Singh, but Varman reveals that Arjun is still alive and threatens to kill him. Both of them ultimately compromise: Varman will release Arjun in exchange for retrieving a famous antique crown currently secure in a temple in Mangalagiri. Muthuvel plans a heist involving the Telugu actor Blast Mohan, a temple trustee where they keep the crown. After various deceptions and with the help of a smuggler in Mumbai named Mathew, Muthuvel eventually comes into possession of the crown and sends it to Varman. However Varman discovered that the crown was fake.

Varman frees Arjun, who reveals himself as a corrupt police officer wanting to be cut in on Varman's operations, willing to kill his own father for money. However, the fake crown also conceals a hidden camera, and Muthuvel sees their entire conversation. He attacks Varman's hideout with Kamdev, Vimal, and his allies, killing Varman and his men, while Narasimha protects Muthuvel's family and Mathew destroys Varman's smuggling operations. Later, Muthuvel gives Arjun one chance to surrender, but Arjun refuses and attempts to kill Muthuvel. However, the former is shot and killed by Narasimha's men while Muthuvel solemnly walks away, recalling memories of himself with Rithvik and Arjun.


Cameo appearances



In December 2021, Nelson Dilipkumar was reported to direct Rajinikanth's 169th film as the lead role after finishing his commitments to Beast (2022). On 10 February 2022, Sun Pictures officially announced their next film starring Rajinikanth and to be directed by Nelson. As Rajinikanth's 169th film, it was tentatively titled Thalaivar 169. The title Jailer was announced on 17 June 2022, with the posters revealing Nelson as the sole writer, dismissing earlier reports that K. S. Ravikumar would be writing the screenplay from a story written by Rajinikanth. Nelson retained his crew from Doctor (2021) and Beast, with cinematography by Vijay Kartik Kannan and editing done by R. Nirmal. This also marks the first collaboration of Nelson with Rajinikanth.


In April 2022, Ramya Krishnan was reported to play a role in the film. In May, there were reports suggesting that Kannada actor Shiva Rajkumar would be seen in a pivotal role. That speculation was confirmed the following month. It marks Shiva Rajkumar's debut in Tamil cinema. In early August, Vasanth Ravi was confirmed to be part of the film. Shortly thereafter, on 10 August, Ramya Krishnan confirmed her participation, and on 23 August, Malayalam actor Vinayakan was confirmed. According to Vinayakan, Mammootty was the original choice for his role. In July 2022, there were reports suggesting that Yogi Babu would be a part of the film. That speculation was confirmed on 24 August 2022 by Sun Pictures. On 6 January 2023, it was announced that Mohanlal would be acting in the film in a cameo role. Almost two weeks later, Sunil and Tamannaah Bhatia were announced as part of the cast for brief roles. In February 2023, Jackie Shroff was announced to be a part of the film.


Test shoots took place in late July 2022 in Chennai, and principal photography was set to commence on 3 August in Hyderabad. However, the start of filming was indefinitely delayed due to a strike in Hyderabad which was expected to last at least three weeks. Filming ultimately began on 22 August in Chennai. By October, filming was also taking place in Cuddalore. In January 2023, a small filming schedule began in Jaisalmer. The following month, filming began in Mangalore. In March, the climax of the film was shot at Athirappilly Falls, Chalakudy in Kerala. Principal photography wrapped by 1 June 2023.


The music is composed by Anirudh Ravichander in his third collaboration with Rajinikanth, after Petta (2019) and Darbar (2020) and fourth collaboration with Nelson after Kolamaavu Kokila (2018), Doctor (2021), and Beast (2022). The first single titled "Kaavaalaa" was released on 6 July 2023. The second single titled "Hukum – Thalaivar Alappara" was released on 17 July 2023. The third single titled "Jujubee" was released on 26 July 2023. The album featuring 8 tracks was released on 28 July 2023.


In July 2023, a YouTube video was released teasing a "Kaavaalaa" lyrics video featuring Tamannaah and Rajinikanth, which was later released on 6 July. The hook step performed by her in the song went viral on social media. The film's audio launch—which aims to promote the music—took place at Jawarhalal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai, and later broadcast on Sun TV. On 2 August 2023, the film's trailer was released.

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Jailer released theatrically on 10 August 2023. The film's Kerala distribution rights have been bought by Gokulam Gopalan. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana theatrical rights were bought by Asian Cinema, while the overseas rights were acquired by Ayngaran International. The film will be released by MCC Group in Sri Lanka.

Home media

The film began streaming on Amazon Prime Video from 7 September 2023.


In July 2023, director Sakkir Madathil claimed he registered the title Jailer first for his Malayalam film in the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) in 2021 and requested producer Kalanithi Maran to change the title of the film. Later, the director took the issue to the court and filed a legal complaint against Sun Pictures over the same title.

In August 2023, the makers were ordered to alter one scene where a misogynistic contract killer is seen wearing a Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) t-shirt, based on a plea filed by the RCB that this was an act of copyright infringement and slander. Sun Pictures agreed to the demands, and said the edited version would be available from 1 September onwards.


Box office

Jailer grossed an estimated 95 crore on its opening day worldwide of which 52 crore crore was from India. The opening day grosses were 23 crore in Tamil Nadu, 5.85 crore in Kerala, 10 crore in Telugu states, 11 crore in Karnataka, 4.5 crore in North India, 40 crore internationally. As of 21 August 2023, Jailer had grossed ₹194.7 crore in Tamil Nadu, ₹75 crore in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and ₹60 crore in Karnataka. It has also grossed ₹166.31 crore at the overseas box office. While PINKVILLA reported the box office collection to be at 607 crore, India Today reported the box office collection of Jailer to be at 650 crore in its total theatrical run, making it the highest grossing Tamil film of the year 2023 and the 2nd highest grossing Tamil film of all time after 2.0. Jailer created various records which includes being the highest grossing Tamil film in North America and the highest grossing Tamil film in Karnataka.

Critical response

Jailer received positive reviews from critics. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 50% of 6 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.7/10.

Sridevi S of The Times of India gave 3/5 stars and wrote "It’s director Nelson's show in the first half, superstar Rajini takes the baton in the second half." Janaki K of India Today gave 3/5 stars and wrote "With solid performances and good camera work, Jailer is strictly a theatre watch." Gopinath Rajendran of The Hindu wrote "Jailer might be far from perfect, but with the towering presence of Rajinikanth standing tall along with Nelson’s fortified writing, this is a commendable comeback for both the actor and filmmaker." Kirubhakar Purushothaman of The Indian Express gave 3.5/5 stars and wrote "[the] Nelson Dilipkumar film is Rajinikanth's version of Kamal Haasan's Vikram, but with a twist. Saying that doesn't take away anything from this fun-filled entertainer.

Manoj Kumar of OTTPlay gave 3.5/5 stars and wrote "Jailer is a highly entertaining crowd-pleaser. Nothing path-breaking but it is sure to become an enjoyable delight for the masses." Pratikshya Mishra of The Quint gave 3/5 stars and wrote "Without Rajinikanth, Jailer might not have had the same magnetism as it does but since the star is on screen, flicking his shades and throwing lighters in the air, it’s a whole different story." Priyanka Sundar of Firstpost gave 3/5 stars and wrote "One of the most memorable things about Nelson’s directorial Jailer, starring Rajinikanth, is the fact that the superstar doesn’t get into a zone where he performs unbelievable action sequences".

Divya Nair of Rediff gave the film 3.5/5 stars and stated that "This is an altogether different version of a brutal Rajinikanth, something you and I had probably never imagined before." Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave 2.5/5 stars and wrote "The guest stars do their bit and move on. It is left to Rajinikanth to shoulder the weight of the erratic script." Sidharth MP of WION wrote that "Jailer is an entertaining film that offers glimpses of the vintage Rajini and the contemporary Rajini, ably assisted by cameos by Mohanlal, Jackie Shroff and Shiva Rajkumar."


Post-release, it was reported that the film would have a sequel. Owing to the film's success, Nelson in an interview confirmed the film would have a sequel titled Jailer 2.


External links

  • Jailer at IMDb
  • Jailer at Bollywood Hungama

Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: Jailer (2023 Tamil film) by Wikipedia (Historical)