Verdict :- Worstly made but lushly filmed & perfectly enacted feminist drama.
You get to see movies that badmouth women in every possible scene or make fun of them right from the word go; a song that deliberately places women under bad light is the much happening thing (in the name of Soup song); jokes that hits below the belt; scenes that materializes the entirety of women. And then comes Iraivi, like a much needed gush of fresh air amidst all these things.
A movie that doesn’t really preaches feminism but thrives in it, in a rather acute fashion. What makes this a once-in-a-lifetime experience is that, even though we’ve witnessed a lot of feminist dramas in the past, Karthik Subbaraj has seemingly differentiated this one with all others thanks to some stellar writing. He didn’t resort to make this a women-centric movie but instead decided to make a movie in which men have more scope and screen presence than women but still you get to feel what he actually intends to convey.
Men are notoriously well known to be committing mistakes out of haste and ego problems without looking into any of the other stuffs, while women are someone who bends, bends, bends so much that one starts wondering whether she’s got a spinal cord or rubber cord. Men aren’t women to see things exactly the way life wants them to. This is what Karthik Subbaraj has come up with, in a rather emphatic fashion.
What can I even tell about Karthik Subbaraj who has evolved into a filmmaker with so much proficiency and maturity within a span of 4 years? I prefer not to talk about writing which might well go on for ages. But the nuances and ironies he managed to sprinkle here and there stands as a testimonial to the kind of filmmaker he is and the prodigious niche he has managed to carve for himself.
The entire statue theft episode itself was such a clever dig on how badly do men invade women ‘s happiness and liberty. And the way in which he has made use of the thing called rain astonishes me. Rain is used as another character in the movie that is masculine I suppose. Every women in the movie loves to get drenched in rain but the prefer not to just because they get wet. An irony by itself I suppose.
Karthik Subbaraj has the technique of milking the right performances from the right people at the right proportions. Nothing more or nothing less. He hasn’t failed to do that here too. Calling performances by SJ Suryah, Vijay Sethupathy & Anjali as world class, would be an understatement. SJS has asserted the fact that he is such a prodigious artist with an insane calibre who has been left untapped by our industry for so long. That climax scene /\
Vijay Sethupathy has not reached a point where he doesn’t really have to adopt any voice modulations to bring about different emotions but those dry eyes can do it by themselves. Evolved as a beast in acting. Anjali is a revelation, who’s been forgotten for long. Good to see Karthik Subbaraj unearthing the performer inside of her. Kamalini Mukherjee had a bad lip sync but her character had nothing to complaint about. The Malar character took me by surprise to be honest. A character than belongs to K.B/Balumahendra’s canopy.
Santhosh Narayanan though had a huge scope for showing who he is, didn’t actually get going except for BGM’s in crucial scenes to be honest. Yes the songs were good and they were treated beautifully thanks to Karthik & the art director. The entire movie was technically a delight and flawless. Sound mixing deserves special mention.
I could find hardly one mistake in the entire movie. The characterization of Bobby Simha. His character arch wasn’t that huge, to accommodate the gimmicks he performs towards the end.
Iraivi is a movie that is made in such a level with acute intensity that this many necessarily not be everyone’s wind beneath their wings. But undoubtedly will stand as a coveted gem in Tamil cinema’s crown for years to come. Priceless movie. Seriously recommended watch.