(spoilers ahead)

பெருமகள் தன்னொடும் பெரும்பெயர்த் தலைத்தாள்
மன்பெருஞ் சிறப்பின் மாநிதிக்கிழவன்
முந்தை நில்லா முனிவிகந்தனனா
அற்புளஞ் சிறந்தாங்கு அருண்மொழியளைஇ
எற்பாராட்ட யான் அகத்து ஒளித்த
நோயும் துன்பமும் நொடிவது போலும் என்…
கொலைக்களக்காதை – இளங்கோ அடிகள்

(The above phrases praises the outstanding qualities of Kannagi in Sillapathikaram)

Iraivi freaks around three antagonists who are selfish in their thoughts and male chauvinistic in nature. The movie rolls and ceases with rain, which did not mean much to the character Ponni at the start but the same rain gives her ‘hope’ at the end, a hope for freedom and liberty. The movie portrays the long injustice, discrimination that men had over womanhood. The film is right on cards depicting male arrogance, feigning and hypocrisy. And the way Karthik had written the subplots for the story, embodies and gels perfectly with the final output. The amount of depth that goes into the plot swelled me with pride in acknowledging, how lucky as an audience, I was to witness it. I just can’t mince and get over the fact that this is just the director’s third movie. Karthik, congratulations on bringing an interesting blend of entertainment along with a message for an unequivocal male chauvinistic society.

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Mani Ratnam often says 50% of the work for a film ends in right casting, that’s exactly what Karthik has done in Iraivi. His performers go a notch above in bringing their best, esp. SJ Suryah who deserves lot of applauds for accepting this script, who comes as a drunkard in almost 80% of his screen presence but never bores with similar clichés from the past. He claims to be a filmmaker whose work is ruined by the production house. So there is a reason for him to get drunk and float, which he does relentlessly undisturbed by the dent that is happening in his marriage life. That’s the first score by Karthik, when Arul (SJ Surya) pleads to Yazhini, justifying his reasons for getting drunk, who is worried about only his failure and his problems. Yet yazhini persists, albeit the divorce threatens, she is confused, scattered and vexed even till the moment she was getting engaged to another person. And I was just floored when she ran into Arul and hugged him. That’s the same reverence Ponni has over Micheal even after one year of his jail time. Karthik stays loyal to his script and never intends to be ostentatious. Gentlemen this is high class film making.

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“What if Kannagi had a love affair, stead of Kovalan”? questions Bobby Simha to his professor in the class room. He hates men who inflict pain on women. But still his character is all in grey and his love affair with Anjali shows him as a sadist. And the whole analogy with Silapathikkaaram. This is where the transition from admiration to respect happens over a personality. I was balled over with the whole inference that Karthik took over from Silapathikkaaram. With Anjali being Kannagi, Vijay Sethupathi being Kovalan, Malar being Madhavi, SJ Suryah being the king and Bobby as the minister. Vijay Sethupathi has a love affair with Malar (Madhavi) and ignores a genuine wife in Anjali (Kannagi).  And once Malar abandons him, he comes back to Anjali only to be deceived by the wolfy Bobby Simha who is finally killed by SJ Suriya (King). And when Anjali stretches her hand in the rain, it was that of Kannagi’s outstretched hand with the anklet. Metaphors are everywhere in the movie, from the analogy from Silapathikkaram to stealing idols which is Karthik’s depiction of men stealing and running away with the happiness of women.

The film left me with so much impact that I kept mum and wondered with thoughts even after coming out of the screen for long. It is intense, impactful and hits the nail on the head. Santhosh Naryanan’s music works well in patches but overall a disappointment after a grandeur performance in Jigarthanda. When Anjali admits to her desire for Bobby Simha, the scene literally shook me up and gave goose bumps. And I entirely owe it to the man in me, indeed a hypocritic man in me to accept the feelings and inclinations of a woman for another man. Karthik, that’s where you have knocked it all off and have stamped your authority for greatness. What a mix of vintage and contemporary thoughts brought over into the script. Man I’m just stumped over by your poignant film-making.

For the woMEN, until the minute you come out to take stand!

மலையில் நனைய புடிக்குமா?

கண்டிப்பா!

நனையலமா?

நனஞ்சிடுவோமே!

இங்க தான் நம்மளோட சுதத்திரமும், ஆசைகளும் இறந்து போகுது!

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3 thoughts on “Iraivi Review

  1. Pakka article , well described abt the movie analogy with great Tamizh literature.
    After watching Iraivi, i should kill hypocrite man in me against women.

    Liked by 1 person

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