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Nelson Dilipkumar’s Unforgettable Journey: Directing Superstars in “Jailer”


When it comes to directors who have had the opportunity to work with Mohanlal, admiration for his talent becomes a common sentiment. From acclaimed directors like Padmarajan to Mani Ratnam, Mohanlal has consistently been a director’s dream to work with. This sentiment rings true for Nelson Dilipkumar as well, who directed Mohanlal in the film ‘Jailer’. In a candid interview with a YouTube channel, Nelson shared his insights about working on ‘Jailer’, his experiences, and thoughts on the legendary actor.

Nelson reflects on his time working with Mohanlal, highlighting the actor’s exceptional natural talent. Recounting a particular scene, Nelson reveals how Mohanlal’s authenticity shone through. Even in a scene where Mohanlal called for a cut, mistaking it for a rehearsal, his innate talent left everyone on set amazed. Nelson acknowledges Mohanlal’s brilliance and simplicity, noting his ability to effortlessly deliver more than what was expected. The actor’s infectious positivity and ease on set made the experience truly remarkable.

The director’s appreciation extends to other superstars as well. Jackie Shroff, known for his observational nature and love for nature itself, left a lasting impression on Nelson. Jackie’s straightforward demeanor and egalitarian treatment of everyone further reinforced his impact. Similar humility was observed in other prominent actors like Shiva Rajkumar, Rajnikanth, and Mohanlal. Their willingness to collaborate, seek clarity, and make others comfortable left an indelible mark on Nelson.

Nelson also delves into his favorite scenes from ‘Jailer’. He expresses a desire to witness the interval portion, a pivotal beheading scene featuring Rajnikanth, and the climax along with the audience. His enthusiasm for these moments emphasizes his dedication to creating impactful cinematic experiences.

While Nelson maintains a non-critical perspective towards his films, he does admit that certain scenes could have been better. His focus, however, remains on audience enjoyment. He acknowledges the challenge of maintaining a high level of entertainment throughout the film, making occasional deviations from that tone slightly noticeable. Nonetheless, Nelson believes that such instances don’t significantly affect overall viewer satisfaction.

As Nelson crafted scenes featuring superstars like Rajnikanth, he was confident in their impact. Placing these scenes strategically between the film and the climax, he aimed to maximize their influence. Although brief, these moments left a powerful impression, akin to the treatment given to Rajnikanth’s scenes.

Nelson also addresses the dialogues in the film, clarifying that they were not specifically tailored for Rajnikanth but rather for the character he portrayed. Despite this, Rajnikanth’s on-screen presence elevated these dialogues, creating a dynamic synergy between actor and script.

One of the film’s standout moments is when Rajnikanth’s character lights a cigar in the climax. Nelson explains the significance of this scene, particularly the idea of Rajnikanth embodying the role of a king. The decision to incorporate Rajnikanth’s iconic cigar-holding action was deliberate, symbolizing his character’s dominance. The scene’s execution, involving a real cigar lit by Rajnikanth himself, added an authentic touch that was awe-inspiring for Nelson. Despite his attempts to maintain professionalism, Nelson found himself occasionally overwhelmed by Rajnikanth’s presence and performance, receiving the actor’s gracious thanks in return.


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