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  Direction: Hari Shankar, Hareesh Narayan & Krishna Sekhar
Music: Venkat Prabu Shankar
Production: Hari Shankar
What happens when a unit embarks on a shooting schedule to a haunted house in Kodaikkanal with the intentions of making a horror film? Well, in normal course, they would shoot what they intend to and come back, edit, mix and then release it as another horror flick. But, what if they were to find out that the supernatural force they had scripted actually exists in the house they were shooting in? That is what the team of Oru Iravu will be telling you.

Well, this will look more like a case of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not rather than a movie. But, it does look like the docu-fiction horror genre has finally arrived in India. Well, for those unfamiliar with this genre, here is a small introduction which might prepare you better for what is in store in theaters.

The attempt is to give an audience a first person experience of being in the vicinity of a supernatural power. Such films are never shot in the conventional manner i.e. with a proper track and trolley, crane or steady-cam setting. The intention is instead to give a realistic experience to the viewer by candid shots
  Orr Iravu
taken through handycams and other such ‘non-cinema’ equipments. Such films try to blur the line between reality and fiction, trying to make the events on screen like real experiences of the characters involved.

Some of the famous experiments that can be connected to this genre are the Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield and the recently released Paranormal Activity. Though it is difficult to draw parallels between each of these films, they all have tried highly unconventional styles of filmmaking. The Blair Witch Project took up the mystery of a well known local fable, put in actors without telling them the actual plot and virtually made them go through harrowing experiences, catching them on camera and editing 18 hours of footage to get a 90 minute feature film widely believed to be one of the most effective horror flicks ever made. Cloverfield is told entirely on handycam footage, making the viewer feel the hustle and chaos of a group of friends on the run. Paranormal Activity is told through the footage of a camera placed on a tripod, recording nocturnal supernatural activity.

All three won great acclaim and succeeded in scaring the living daylights out of many viewers (Cloverfield is more thriller than horror). Now, can Oru Iravu do the same to the viewers in Tamil Nadu? With claims of being recording of a true experience, it does look good enough to pull off some scares.

The uniqueness of Oru Iravu will be in its presentation. It will be a ‘viewpoint’ film throughout, i.e the film will be told through the viewpoint of one character and the makers feel that every single audience will be able to get a first person experience of the character and be involved in a very direct way with the proceedings on screen.

How was this accomplished? Well, it is said that the camera was strapped on to the forehead of one of the actors whose face obviously never appears in the film (and each viewer will give their face to the character). Looks like it is going to be a gripping experience.

Oru Iravu has been directed by three men; Hari Shankar, Harish Narayanan and Krishna Shekhar. Music has been scored by Venkat Prabhu Shankar and camera as been handled by Satheesh.

Earlier titled Eraa, it was changed to Oru Iravu upon Kalaipuli S Thanu’s suggestion after he was highly impressed with the final product. The rights for the title, originally owned by AVM, were also obtained upon Thanu’s request.

Such a unique and ground breaking attempt in Indian cinema (not just in Tamil cinema) ought to be encouraged. We can say that Tamil cinema might be entering a new age of film making. Try out an experience where the camera/you are on of the characters. Looks like the Indian answer to the Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity is here.
Tags : Orr Iravu, Krishna Shekhar, Venkat Prabhu Shankar, Satheesh, Eraa
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