Screenplay and Direction
Technical Aspects and BGM
An Emotionally Overwhelming Masterpiece!
Summary : Iraivi is an emotionally overwhelming masterpiece from Karthik Subbaraj, who takes hold of man-woman relationships this time and nails it with an artistic finesse that’s rarely seen in the new breed of young Tamil filmmakers. His portrayal of familial sentiments makes for a fascinating character study.
Cast: SJ Suryah, Vijay Sethupathi, Bobby Simhaa, Anjali, Kamalini Mukharjee, Pooja Devariya, Radha Ravi, Karunakaran, Seenu Mohan, Kaali Venkat & Others
Cinematography: Sivakumar Vijayan
Music: Santhosh Narayanan
Editing: Vivek Harshan
Art Direction: RK VijaiMurugan
Written & Directed by: Karthik Subbaraj
Produced by: Thirukumaran Entertainment, Abi & Abi Pictures & Studio Green
Distribution: KR Films & Area 78
Release Date: 03-06-2016
Run Time: 02:40:00
Iraivi is an emotionally overwhelming masterpiece from Karthik Subbaraj, who takes hold of man-woman relationships this time and nails it with an artistic finesse that’s rarely seen in the new breed of young Tamil filmmakers. His portrayal of familial sentiments makes for a fascinating character study.
At the centre of the movie are Arul (SJ Suryah), a fledgling filmmaker who desperately yearns to witness his film see the light of day, Michael (Vijay Sethupathi), a good-for-nothing, loyal family friend and Jagan (Bobby Simha), a college-going brother of Arul. And, we have extremely versatile women characters to compliment them – Yazhini (Kamalini Mukherjee), a headstrong woman with moderately independent thoughts, Ponni (Anjali), a conventional housewife who is trapped by marital shortcomings and comes to terms with the repercussions of infidelity and Malar (Pooja Devariya), a fiercely self-standing widow who is genuinely individualistic.
What a great ensemble piece Iraivi is! Karthik Subbaraj establishes his characters firmly in the first half, drawing first-class performances from the lead cast, spearheaded by SJ Suryah, whose confident role lifts the film to a totally different level.
With his comprehensively layered writing and lushly constructed shot compositions, Karthik Subbaraj subtly brings to fore the trials and tribulations budding filmmakers have to go through to get their films on the big screen. Karthik’s compelling story-telling takes center-stage in the second half when he meticulously crafts the relationship conflicts through intensely powerful and moving dialogues. His refined narrative approach is more accessible this time – a shot of birds flying high in the blue sky, a jail uniform loses its grip on the clothesline and a forward and backward somersaulting toy. Revealing the follow-up shots to the afore-mentioned frames will make more sense but it would be at the cost of spilling spoilers.
Watch out for the lovely exchange of adult conversations between Vijay Sethupathi and Pooja Devariya, whose role is probably the boldest ever I’ve seen since Sneha’s matured character in Selvaragahavan’s Pudhupettai. Pooja gets to mouth some of the boldest lines in the film with reckless spirit. That particular sequence in the first half unmasks the judgemental behavior of Karthik Subbaraj’s lead men and sincerely puts forward how women long for non-judgemental attitude from men.
Karthik doesn’t glorify his women characters with any over-the-top depiction. He communicates it effectively with the inefficacy of his men, who learn how tough being tolerant is, an unchallenged trait of women.
Sivakumar Vijayan, best known for his artistic work in Irudhi Suttru and Vidiyum Munn, accentuates the mood of the film with his dimly-lit frames that explore the darkness of Karthik’s volatile characters. SJ Suryah is a revelation. He delivers a power-packed performance alongside Vijay Sethupathi and Anjali, who exhibit great composure with consummate ease. Santhosh Narayanan is yet another linchpin of the film. His background score enhances the atmosphere and his occasional pauses add magic to even the simplest of situations.