What’s it about?
Japan (Karthi) originates from a low-income family, and an incident in his childhood forces him to start stealing. His mother gave him the name Japan in the hopes that, like the country, he would persevere through adversity.
He becomes a notorious thief, eventually being on the police’s most wanted list throughout multiple Indian states. Japan resolves to settle down as a movie hero once he has accumulated enough wealth through his many heists. He makes and acts in YouTube movies and becomes popular as well.
But one day, jewels worth Rs 200 crores are stolen from a store, belonging to a politician. The police think Japan is responsible, but he says someone just copied his style of heist and stole the jewelry. Is Japan telling the truth?
“Japan,” Karthi’s 25th film, is directed by Raja Murugan, whose previous Tamil film gained awards. Though the title is unusual for an Indian film, the story is not. In fact, the plot is really thin. The major point of the story is to demonstrate how the police utilize deceptive ways to incriminate innocent people when they are under pressure from higher authorities to arrest the burglar. However, the narration is ineffective in conveying this idea because comedic scenes dominate and the genuine goal is sidelined.
Many people in India’s big cities make a living by collecting gold particles from sewage. The plot of “Japan” combines the stories of a person who collects gold particles from drainage and the protagonist who is the most-wanted robber for his numerous heists. Director Rajumurugan connects both of these characters at the climax and ends the film on an emotional note. However, the journey to this conclusion is a bumpy one. The overlong episodes in the second half, in particular, and the overall story don’t engage us.
The chase sequences involving three separate states of police, as well as Karthi and Anu Emmanuel’s love tale, are completely ineffective.
Karthi’s act is hilarious in many places, not just because of his funky appearance and quirky dialogue delivery. In fact, Karthi’s comedic performance steals the show more than anything else in this film. Only Sunil is effective in his brief appearance among other actors.
Anu Emmanuel appears in the role of a movie star. Her part, however, does not have a satisfying conclusion.
Ravi Varman’s cinematography stands out among the work of technicians. The acclaimed cinematographer creates a cool look. Director Rajumurugan’s screenplay lacks effectiveness.
Bottom line: Except for Karthi’s comedic performance, “Japan” is not at all convincing. Karthi tries his best to hold our attention with his hilarious lines in the first half of the film.
Cast: Karthi, Anu Emmanuel, Sunil, and others.
Music: GV Prakash Kumar
DOP: S. Ravi Varman
Editor: Philomin Raj
Producers: S R Prakash Babu, S R Prabu
Directed by: Rajumurugan
Release Date: Nov 10, 2023