Jackson Durai (2016) is yet another film in the (now) popular genre of comedy, ghost films in Tamil cinema. Starring Sibiraj, Karunakaran and Bindu Madhavi the film by Director Dharani Dharan has nothing to do with the namesake character from famous Sivaji Ganesan‘s film Veerapandiya Kattabomman (1959). The story is about a village “Ayanpuram” near Salem which is haunted by an English ghost “Jackson” who appears every day at 9 PM in an abandoned bungalow and to mollify it the villagers donate goats and rice every week. To investigate this Tamil Nadu police debuts a CID officer Sathya (Sibiraj) who on entering the village falls in love with the daughter (Bindu Madhavi) of the village president. Sathya joins forces with Viji’s fiancée played by Karunakaran to unravel and solve the mystery.
Many scenes like the British ghost said to be reading only English NewsPaper every day and Karunakaran’s encounter with the ghost of a small boy are enjoyable. The first half of the movie is a comedy riot with good performances by Karunakaran and Yogi Babu. After the interval, it’s a stale telling of colonial brutality by a British Officer that happened a hundred years back and with that, the film goes fast downhill. When Sathya starts to help the ghost of an Indian freedom leader “Durai” (Sathyaraj) to defeat colonial ghosts, the storytelling becomes lifeless just like the characters portrayed.