Iraivi - The Godess

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Third outing from writer & director Karthik Subburaj known for path breaking Pizza and Jigarthanda. The plot of the movie was kept under wraps and both the teaser and trailer did not give away about the plot except for the tagline of the movie 'sila woMangalin kadhai'. Casting and the performances are pillars of the movie especially SJ Suryah who has owned the movie with his best one till date. Vijay Sethupathi has shown that he has matured as an actor with a very measured performance whereas Anjali and Kamalini Mukherjee are very believable ably supported by Karunakaran, Radharavi and Chennu Mohan. The cinematography of the movie is top notch as it ably captures the mood of the film, the performances seamlessly and the art director along with the DOP has lit the sets to perfection. Santhosh Narayanan does a commendable job in the music department although the BGM reminds a lot of Ennio Morricone at some places and especially the interval point score seems to be inspired by Inglorious Bastards. The editing of the movie could have been more tighter in the second half which would have brought much more of an impact.


The core of the movie is about neglected womenfolk that is told from the point of view of ego centric men and the theme has been treated with the maturity it deserved along with references to the ill-effects of alcoholism. After a Horror Thriller & Thriller/Drama Comedy, this is a movie which is  inspired by the works of K Balachander, Balu Mahendra, Sujatha told with a slightly tarantino-isque and coen brothers-isque screenplay (The song from Inside Llewyn Davis plays in the background). Karthik Subburaj with just his third film has shown so much versatility which is astounding. The eye to detailing and the various reference filled writing is a treat to watch on the big screen. The connection between first and last shots of the movie and with rain as a background reference throughout, the shot of a prison cloth falling down as a prisoner gets released and to the references to Kannagi which is the core of the movie are examples of brilliant screenwriting. The Ilaiyaraaja references were predominant in the initial portions of the movie. The intense interval block of the movie like Jigarthanda deserves special mention which seems to become a trademark for Karthik Subburaj. When it comes to characterisations, this movie is much better than Jigarthanda and more consistent which is one of the pillars of the movie. The two genres namely drama and crime/thriller complement each other and when the transition happens between genres especially in the second half i.e the last intense act of the movie, tighter editing and screenwriting could have created more of an impact. I reckon that during the last act, the potential for a masterpiece was lost but not by much. The songs placements were very average except Dhustaa song. Karthik Subburaj is definitely one of the best and most exciting filmmakers working in the Indian Film Industry, Iraivi is a near perfect must watch film.

Sriraman Srinivasan
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