CAST AND CREW
Production: Nathambal Film Factory
Cast: Arundhati, Manobala, Sibiraj
Direction: Sakthi Soundar Rajan
Screenplay: Sakthi Soundar Rajan
Story: Sakthi Soundar Rajan
Music: Dharan Kumar
Background score: Dharan Kumar
Dialogues: Sakthi Soundar Rajan
Editing: Praveen KL
Art direction: JPK Prem
Stunt choreography: Ganesh
Lyrics: Madhan Karky, Yugabharathi
After a bank-robbery, Shakthi Sounder Rajan is cautioning us with a crime-investigative-thriller lead by a cop-dog duo. Naaigal Jaakirathai cannot be ignored or avoided.
Even cat-lovers might find the righteous hero of the film, Idoh, a Belgian Shepherd belonging to the Malinois variant, really cute. If there is a special category for animals in the award functions, Mani (the dog) from Naaigal Jaakirathai will win them all hands down.
Nathambal Film Factory is back to producing after the unforgettable Lee. Sibiraj dons the khaki for the first time. His body language, the expressionless face and of course the height enhance the character-imaging that is given.
Karthik (Sibiraj) is a Sub-inspector on a sabbatical. The annoying dog from the neighbor’s house becomes the pal of his life. They get along after a hiccup and what follows is a beautiful tale of friendship between the two. Though the film starts on a high, noticeable amount of time is spent on introducing the characters and the conflict in the storyline arises only minutes before the interval.
Naaigal Jaakirathai is definitely a worthy watch for the innovative involvement of a dog in it. Mani is a properly trained guard dog and is equally mischievous. He is restless and smart.
When it takes great effort to extract the best from actors, kudos to the director and the dog-trainer, for bringing out an impressive performance from the dog. The chase sequence and the final one on one encounter with the villain is appreciable.
The biting, the jumping and the running during these sequences inspire you to train your dogs like Mani. The movie works because of a simple story and the to-the-point narration. Sibiraj is already married and there are no footages wasted on love portions. With minimal characters and some palpable humor here and there, Naaigal Jaakirathai doesn’t wag the tail too long.
Dharan’s refreshing songs and the functional background scores work well. His notations highlight the bonding between Sibiraj and the dog well enough. Arundhati, the heroine struggles a bit to connect with her character, though. Cinematography, editing, art and sound design are all functional.
Supporting cast could have been much better, but Sibi’s sister in the movie is appreciable. ‘Sutta Kadhai’ Balaji plays the baddie and pulls it off almost. This is that career-changing role he might have longed for.
Giving so much importance to a dog over the hero, logical screenplay, duration of the film and a engaging climax are the positives of Naaigal Jaakirathai. This is arguably the only authentic dog based film after the well known Rama Narayan directed stories that had animals playing vital roles.
Verdict: The Belgian Shepherd makes the film watchable