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Karthik Subbaraj

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Karthik Subbaraj
Karthik at Iraivi Press Meet in 2016
Born (1983-03-19) 19 March 1983 (age 41)[1]
Alma materThiagarajar College of Engineering
  • Film director
  • Screenwriter
  • Film producer
Years active2012–present
Sathya Prema
(m. 2011)
RelativesGajaraj (Father)

Karthik Subbaraj is an Indian film director, screenwriter and film producer working mainly in Tamil cinema.

Early life[edit]

Karthik did his schooling in SBOA Matriculation and Higher Secondary School, Madurai after which he went on to study mechatronics at Thiagarajar College of Engineering. During his college days he performed stage shows and skits.[3] His father, Gajaraj, is an actor who has acted in many supporting roles in films like Mundasupatti and Kabali.[4]

He made the short film "Kaatchipizhai" in Madurai, which was selected for Nalaya Iyakunar.[5]


Karthik had intended to direct Jigarthanda first but could not fund the project. He then came up with the story for the low-budget Pizza which introduced the 7.1 sound system. The film was a commercial success, remade in Hindi, Bengali and Kannada.[6] This allowed him the opportunity to make Jigarthanda, which received positive reviews and earned actor Bobby Simha a national award.[7] Subbaraj was praised by industry stalwarts like director S. Shankar and Mani Ratnam.[8][9]

His third movie, Iraivi (2016), received positive reviews, and Subbaraj was praised for the film's portrayal of society's treatment of women. The movie also observed the various ways men's attitudes and behaviors impact women throughout life. He also showcased the pain he gothrough from the producer of his second film, through the character of S. J. Suryah. He then went on and directed a silent thriller, Mercury (2018), starring Prabhu Deva in the lead, which was not a commercial success.[10] He produced Kallachirippu, a web series under his banner Stone bench.[11]

Subbaraj directed the action drama Petta (2019) with Rajinikanth's 166th film. Kalanithi Maran of Sun Pictures produced the film while Anirudh Ravichander composed the film's music, replacing Santhosh Narayanan who composed for the director's previous ventures. Nawazuddin Siddiqui made his Tamil film debut with this film. In the meanwhile, he produced the Amazon original movie Penguin starring Keerthy Suresh in the lead role.[12]

He produced the Hotstar Originals web series Triples starring Jai and Vani Bhojan.[13] He also directed Vikram’s starrer Mahaan which was directly premiered on Amazon Prime Video.[14]

He then directed Miracle, a short film for the Amazon Prime anthology film Putham Pudhu Kaalai (2020),[15] and Project Agni, an episode for the Netflix anthology web series Navarasa (2021). In 2021, Karthik directed Jagame Thandhiram, which received mixed reviews.

His 2022 film Mahaan received critical acclaim. In 2023, he went on to direct Jigarthanda DoubleX, a sequel to Jigarthanda, which also received critical acclaim.

Filmmaking style[edit]

Vivek MV of Deccan Herald notes that Karthik's directorial films usually have plot twists, needledropping of songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja, and flamboyance inspired by Quentin Tarantino's films. Karthik, however, has stated that he prefers not to associate with any particular filmmaking style as he seeks to reinvent himself with every new film, noting how he intentionally avoided including a plot twist in Jagame Thandhiram which disappointed some audiences.[16]


Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes Ref.
2012 Pizza Yes Yes No
2014 Jigarthanda Yes Yes No
2015 Bench Talkies Yes Yes No Segment: Neer
2016 Iraivi Yes Yes No
Aviyal No No Yes
2017 Meyaadha Maan No No Yes
2018 Mercury Yes Yes No
Kallachirippu No No Yes ZEE5 original series
2019 Petta Yes Yes No
2020 Penguin No No Yes Released on Amazon Prime Video
Putham Pudhu Kaalai Yes Yes No Segment: Miracle
Released on Amazon Prime Video
Triples No No Yes Hotstar original series
2021 Jagame Thandhiram Yes Yes No Released on Netflix [17]
Navarasa Yes Yes No Netflix original series; segment: Peace [18]
Boomika No No Yes Released on Star Vijay & Netflix [19]
2022 Mahaan Yes Yes No Released on Amazon Prime Video [14]
Attention Please No No Presenter Malayalam film [20]
Buffoon No No Yes
Ammu No No Yes Telugu film released on Amazon Prime Video [21]
2023 Jigarthanda DoubleX Yes Yes Yes [22][23]
2024 Game Changer No Story No Filming; Telugu Film
2025 Suriya 44 Yes Yes Yes Filming

Frequent collaborators[edit]

Santhosh Narayanan Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gajaraj Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vivek Harshan Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bobby Simha Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ramachandran Durairaj Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Aadukalam Naren Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sananth Yes Yes Yes Yes (uncredited)
Vijay Sethupathi Yes Yes (cameo) Yes Yes
Vettai Muthukumar Yes Yes Yes
Deepak Paramesh Yes Yes Yes
Karunakaran Yes Yes Yes Yes


  1. ^ "Karthik Subbaraj: Movies, Photos, Videos, News & Biography - eTimes". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 5 May 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Kadhalil Sodhapathathu Eppadi - Kadhalil Sodhapathathu Eppadi - (Karthik Subbaraj & Sathya Prema) - (23/03/2014)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Stage shows and skits during college days". December 2015. Archived from the original on 16 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  4. ^ Kabali: Karthik Subbaraj's father to play a role in Rajini's next : Regional cinema, News – India Today Archived 8 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Indiatoday.intoday.in (22 August 2015). Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Exclusive biography of #KarthikSubbaraj and on his life". Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  6. ^ Pizza Review – Pizza Movie Review Archived 5 September 2023 at the Wayback Machine. Behindwoods.com. Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  7. ^ Jigarthanda Movie Review, Trailer, & Show timings at Times of India Archived 12 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  8. ^ Vijay enjoys every bit of Jigarthanda Archived 1 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Timesofindia.indiatimes.com (15 August 2014). Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  9. ^ Updated, Ramchander. (8 August 2014) Now, Mani Ratnam Is Impressed By Jigarthanda Archived 25 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Filmibeat. Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Mercury trailer: Karthik Subbaraj's silent horror-thriller sees Prabhu Deva in a scary avatar". 9 April 2018. Archived from the original on 29 September 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Karthik Subbaraj goes full throttle as producer". Deccan Chronicle. 25 June 2017. Archived from the original on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Penguin (Aka) Penguinn review". 19 June 2020. Archived from the original on 18 March 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  13. ^ "The New Disney+ Hotstar Show Triples, Starring Jai and Vani Bhojan, Promises to be an Adventurous Ride". 30 November 2020. Archived from the original on 18 December 2020. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Chiyaan 60: Karthik Subbaraj to direct Vikram's upcoming film; will this be a gangster drama?". The Times of India. 1 June 2020. Archived from the original on 19 June 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  15. ^ Ramanujam, Srinivasa (15 October 2020). "'Putham Pudhu Kaalai' movie review: A delightful look at life and relationships during lockdown". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 16 October 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  16. ^ M V, Vivek (22 October 2022). "Interview: A decade of Karthik Subbaraj". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 21 October 2023. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  17. ^ "'Wanted to tell a global story with Jagame Thandhiram': Director Karthik Subbaraj". The Indian Express. 20 June 2021. Archived from the original on 12 May 2023. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  18. ^ "Mani Ratnam to present Tamil anthology Navarasa for Netflix; Bejoy Nambiar, Karthik Subbaraj among directors". Firstpost. 28 October 2020. Archived from the original on 9 July 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  19. ^ "Aishwarya Rajesh starrer Boomika promises to be a gripping horror movie". The Indian Express. 9 August 2021. Archived from the original on 12 August 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  20. ^ "Attention Please Movie Review: A ferocious, unsettling work that incites meaningful debates on art". Cinema Express. Archived from the original on 21 October 2023. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
  21. ^ PTI (6 October 2022). "Aishwarya Lekshmi's Telugu movie 'Ammu' to premiere on Prime Video on October 19". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  22. ^ "Karthik Subbaraj's 'Jigarthanda Double X': A 'kind of teaser' featuring SJ Suryah, Raghava Lawrence out". The Hindu. 11 December 2022. Archived from the original on 6 January 2023. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  23. ^ performer., Beck, Jeff, composer, performer. Depp, Johnny, composer, 18, OCLC 1331149836, retrieved 25 February 2023{{citation}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]