Jackson Durai is a decent watch
The father-son duo, Sathyaraj, and Sibiraj are back together after more than a decade for director Dharanidharan’s horror comedy Jackson Durai.
This is the director’s second outing after the stylish crime thriller Burma in 2014.
Set in the rural backdrop, the film revolves around ghosts from the British era terrorizing an entire village.
Several villagers are dead and a new sub-inspector, in this case, Sathya (Sibiraj), is appointed to investigate the matter.
According to the legend in the village, ghosts residing at the mansion belong to a long-dead British Colonel, Jackson (American actor Zachary) who imposed cruel laws on the villagers.
He used to demand food grains as taxes and though he is no more, the villagers still continue the century-old tradition, forced by some strange presence in the now empty and derelict house.
The villagers want a solution, but Sathya has one look at the village President’s lovely daughter Viji (Bindhu Madhavi) and promptly forgets what he is set out to do.
He proposes, but there is one other competitor in the village for Viji, a good-for-nothing relative Veera (Karunakaran).
Dressed in ridiculous clothes, Veera tries very hard to be funny and does succeed to some extent. Unfortunately, he has a little help from the screenplay, which turns repetitive and boring in the second half.
With two suitors for his daughter’s hand, the President announces that the person who comes out alive after staying at the haunted house for seven days will marry his daughter.
Both Sathya and Veera are terrified of ghosts but agree to the condition.
Do they get out alive or are they too killed by the ghosts of Jackson and Durai (Sathyaraj), who have been battling it out for over 100 years in the old mansion, forms the rest of the story.
The film has its share of hilarious moments, especially in the first half with Yogi Babu totally in his elements, cracking the funniest dialogues with an absolutely straight face.
The scary parts can be described better as weird and wacky, but after the entertaining first half, the film soon shifts to sentiments and patriotism.
Sathyaraj appears only in the second half and there is a brief and unremarkable flashback, taking us back to the British period and the atrocities of Colonel Jackson.
Cinematographer Yuvraj creates the perfect ambiance for this horror comedy and the background score by composer Siddharth Vipin is just as impressive.
Interestingly, the romantic angle has been ignored and there is not much for Bindhu Madhavi to do, except look pretty.
Sibiraj is adequate and Sathyaraj’s performance is monotonous. Karunakaran is a whole lot of fun, but Yogi Babu undoubtedly steals the show.
The film starts off well but lags in the second half and the screenplay begins to go downhill.
However, there is a certain wackiness to the narrative and the absurd characters that make director Dharanidharan’s Jackson Durai a tolerable watch.