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Review by : Behindwoods review board
Direction: Hari Shankar, Hareesh Narayan & Krishna Sekhar
Music: Venkat Prabu Shankar
Production: Hari Shankar
One of the first Indian films to take a scientific approach to the paranormal is here; Orr Iravu. Some of you might wonder whether there can be a scientific approach to the supernatural which is considered to be under the realm of superstition. But, there are people who believe in this and study such phenomenon with avid interest. Orr Iravu tells the story of one such researcher who is out to know the truth behind a haunted mansion in Munnar.

The film begins at a TV talk show with the debate being on the supernatural. One of the pro-supernatural beliefs participants opens up on his own experiences. He claims to be the owner of an ancient mansion in Munnar where many dark, unusual and eerie deaths have taken place over the years. In an attempt to get to the bottom of it and ‘exorcise’ the spirits if necessary, he contacts a student of paranormal phenomenon based in London. The student is ready to accept
  Orr Iravu
this challenge as part of his project work and lands up in the mansion all alone with his equipments to know what is really happening inside. Once inside, he starts to realize that it is not for silly reasons that the mansion has been unoccupied for many years; even the owner doesn’t enter the place. He discovers that the depth of the actual problem has been hidden from him and that he is up against spirits that are baying for the blood of anyone who dared to intrude into their peace. With his scientific approach to the matter, he begins studying the issue and discovers the death of previous paranormal observers in the mansion. He is shaken to know that even professionals at this matter have not been able to escape the premises. But, there is no way out for him now but to fight the terrors that the haunted castle holds. Does the human spirit prevail over the supernatural forces; watch Orr Iravu to find out.

The first thing about Orr Iravu is that the chief protagonist’s face (the paranormal phenomena student from London) is not shown throughout the length of the movie. From the moment his character is introduced, the movie moves in viewpoint mode i.e. what is shown on screen is what the character sees. That in itself makes Orr Iravu a different movie experience. The movie takes a new approach to horror. It is not the usual kind that appears in Indian cinema with eerie sounds and shrieks, hideous faces and forms which sometimes make us nauseous rather than scared. Orr Iravu gives a completely different treatment to the supernatural. What is interesting is the paranormal specialists’ approach to an exorcism challenge. They do not face the issue with a cross or the grail; like we have seen in many films before. The approach is completely scientific; with detectors, walkie talkies, equipments to detect abnormal frequencies, cameras that are strategically set up in different positions to capture unusual activity etc.

Three of the most important factors in a horror flick are the camera work, lighting and the background music. Camera work is just what the director ordered for such a kind of movie. Of course, the camera is controlled by the character’s movements in the viewpoint shots and thus gives us a realistic feel. It is really a unique experience to see the camera become the face of the character and make the audience experience the movements first hand. Lighting too has been faithful to the movie. There has been no attempt to artificially alter the lighting to make things darker or brighter than they normally would be within a haunted castle without electricity or human presence for years. As a viewer, one feels that the lighting is just what would have been ambient in such a setting. There are no attempts to induce fear by showing dark corners which could hold unknown terrors. Background music is fine, but could have enhanced the impact of many scenes if done in a better manner.

Orr Iravu has a clear agenda; to scare. And, the directors (three of them) have succeeded in giving the audience a good scare. One would not rate it as spine chilling; but there are moments which can give you cold feet. That in itself is a victory of sorts for the film makers because to genuinely scare an audience is a tough job. With a run time of just over 100 minutes Orr Iravu is also crisp. There are also no speed breakers in the name of songs or any other unpleasant intrusions. The only drawback of the film is its climax which falls flat after all the scaring and mystery of the preceding portions. But, in a unique attempt of this kind, it can be overlooked.

If you are the type who loves to be given a scare in theaters and also love unique viewing experiences in cinema, chances are that you will like this one.

Verdict: Successfully scary

Tags : Orr Iravu, Krishna Shekhar, Venkat Prabhu Shankar, Satheesh, Eraa
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