Iraivi: Film Review – Original and Engaging

 Verdict: A take on relationships.

Director Karthik Subbaraj may be new to the Tamil film industry, but that doesn't stop him from presenting a different genre with every film. His debut film, Pizza (2012), a horror film, worked well with the spooky movies lovers and an unpredictable climax. His second film, Jigarthanda (2014), a meta-film-of-sorts, showed us how funny a gangster film can be. His latest, Iraivi, is a crime-drama, that also has its unique story. In this movie, Karthik Subbaraj explores the impact of the human mind on relationships and how it alters the society in a big way. Sounds complex? Well, it isn't. The film is original, engaging and will leave you thinking.

Just like his last two films, Iraivi also has a textured script. It centers around the lives of Arul (S. J. Suryah), Michael (Vijay Sethupathi) and Jegan (Bobby Simha), and how their struggle to find peace in every situation. The first half of the film takes time in establishing the characterization of the leads. It gives us an idea of their problems and you're able to find out where the trouble lies. This is where you're curious to find out if they'll ever be free from their problems, and this makes you invest in their lives. The second half of the film is filled with twists and an unpredictable climax.
Interestingly, Iraivi means Goddess and the tagline of the film – The story of every woMEN – gave us an idea that the film may shed light on the importance of women in a man's world. The opening sequence of the film also introduces us to four women, and their opinions of/from a relationship, hinting the audience that the plot will focus on the struggles they face. The film puts women on a high pedestal. The references and enlightening dialogues said by both men and women are quite refreshing to see in a film. And that marks the trademark on a young director like Karthik Subbaraj. Although this is commendable, the film doesn't actually center around their lives, neither does it focus on them. The film is layered heavily and doesn't have a definite edge to it.
If Pizza belonged to Vijay Sethupathi, Jigarthanda belonged to Bobby Simha, then Iraivi undoubtedly belongs to S. J. Suryah. This director/actor is convincing as a man who shows different levels of desperation. He steals the show with his performance. Another actor whose performance is super, is Anjali. She's a powerhouse performer and her expressive eyes convey quite a lot. Vijay Sethupathi and Bobby Simha are both equally impressive. Pooja Devariya performance as the strong and opinionated woman is also good.
Why You Should Watch The Film:
If you're looking to watch something different this weekend, Iraivi is for you. It's a film about human relationships and the complexities, and is told in an engaging manner. Watch for good performances by S. J. Suryah and Anjali.