The Jigarthanda juggernaut

The Jigarthanda people are touring the State to thank audiences for their response to the movie

August 07, 2014 07:20 pm | Updated 07:20 pm IST - COIMBATORE

The excited audience at KG Cinemas PHOTO: M. PERIASAMY

The excited audience at KG Cinemas PHOTO: M. PERIASAMY

I’s 11.30 in the morning, and Jigarthanda is running to packed houses in KG Cinemas. The film, set in Madurai’s milieu, has achieved cult status within a week of its release. Suddenly, there’s excitement. The film’s director, Madurai boy Karthik Subbaraj, has arrived. So has Simha, who scorched the screen as ‘Assault’ Sethu. Fans, who have rushed out during the interval, are delirious, and Simha and Karthik are visibly moved by the audience reaction.

A pregnant Priya waits with her friends to see Karthik and Simha. “That man,” she says pointing to Simha, “he’s the real hero”. This kind of adulation sees Simha’s eyes turning moist. The film has given him a rare honour and recognition, despite the fact that he plays the bad man. “The audience would have either loved or hated me. I’m so glad they hated yet loved me,” says Simha, even as he poses for selfies with fans. His biggest joy was being called Sethu Anne by fans.

A similar scene greeted them a couple of days ago in Madurai. The team began its thanksgiving yatra of sorts there, the place where it all began. At Mathi theatre, the audience was overjoyed that a boy from their city had created something so raw yet so humourous.

The crew later interacted with film lovers at an event organised by Cinema Club of Coimbatore. “I had to come here. I’ve received great feedback from the city. Coimbatore has a culture of film appreciation; it is home to a discerning audience. And, kids here make so many short films, it’s inspiring,” says Karthik, who also started off with short films.

The faces behind the film are delighted at the response, considering promotions were initially very low-key. Karunakaran, who plays Siddharth’s friend in the film, said he was speechless. “We laughed during most of the lighter scenes even while shooting. We knew it would touch people.”

Siddharth, the hero, skipped the Coimbatore events, but said the film proved that filmgoers don’t go by conventional rules of length and editing when it comes to appreciating a good. “Going back to Madurai was a very emotional moment, because we all lived as one big team,” he said.

“I’m so proud everyone is getting their share of praise. This kind of script is rare. I am so glad I got a chance to be a part of it. This is the kind of film where what is narrated is what you see on screen,” he says.

The actor has been feted on Twitter for actively promoting Simha. “In 2006, I was the beneficiary of such an attitude. Despite Rang De Basanti being Aamir’s film, I got noticed. I’m merely passing on the good turn. I’m delighted to see Simha get his due. He’s a brother.”

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