IRAVU MOVIE REVIEW
by : Behindwoods review board
Hari Shankar, Hareesh Narayan & Krishna
Venkat Prabu Shankar
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
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.
Venkat Prabhu Shankar,