After the horror-thriller Pizza (2012) and the gangster comedy- thriller Jigarthanda (2014), Karthik Subbaraj has become one of the most creative and talented directors in the Tamil film industry. This year, Subbaraj is back with his third venture titled Iraivi, which picks up the feminist concept. It stars S.J. Surya, Vijay Sethupathi, Bobby Simha, Anjali, Kamalinee Mukherjee and Pooja Devariya in the lead roles. Actors Radharavi, Vadivukarasi and Karunakaran play other pivotal roles.
Simply said this is a story for men about women. Subbaraj has focused on women's needs and men's priorities. Towards the end there's a powerful message about love, lust, betrayal, family life, brotherhood and the difference between men and women's behavior, needs and lifestyles.
S.J. Surya plays Arul, an alcoholic who once was a successful film director. Due to some issues with his producer his latest film has trouble to get released. Bobby Simha plays Jagan, Arul's troubled younger brother, and Vijay Sethupathi plays Michael; Arul and Jagan's friend who got married against his own wish.
The actors, especially S.J. Surya and Vijay Sethupathi has given life to their characters and have done their parts really well. We all know that S.J. Surya is a successful film director who has directed films such as Vaali (1999), Kushi (2000) and New (2004), but his acting career didn't go so well. This film in the other hand is definitely a turning point in his acting career. Vijay Sethupathi, an actor who has a household name in the industry is brilliant as always, but in this movie we will feel pity for him for all the things he goes through. Kamalinee Mukherjee and Anjali who play Arul and Michael's wives did a phenomenal job with their roles. Pooja Devariya who has the least screen time in the film does her part well too.
The film was beautifully shot by newcomer Sivakumar Vijayan and Vivek Harshan's editing is neat as always. This is the third time Santhosh Narayanan has scored music for a Karthik Subbaraj film. We all have enjoyed collaborations such as K. Balachandar-Ilayaraja and Mani Ratnam-A.R. Rahman, and these guys have proved that they are the next duo in this legendary list. The tracks ''Kadhal Kappal'' and ''Manidhi'' deserve to be mentioned. ''Kadhal Kappal'' is another funfilled Tamil folk song by Santhosh Narayanan which is mixed with old school jazz that has a catchy melody supported by guitar, strings and earthly rhythm section. ''Manidhi'' is an admirable feel-good song about hope and humanity which is played in the background in the climax scene. If you can easily get emotional, this scene will make you walk out of the theater with tears.
The only thing that I find negative about this film is its length. If they had cut out 10-15 minutes of the film, it could have kept the audience more engaging.
If you are looking forward to see another cult classic thriller film by Karthik Subbaraj, then this is definitely not a movie for you. This one is a family oriented drama, but a bold film which has a topic we rarely see in Tamil cinema.