Iraivi review: A dark tale of male arrogance

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jun 03, 2016 17:09 IST
Karthik Subbaraj’s Iraivi like his earlier films Jigarthanda and Pizza has a strong Quentin Tarantino streak of dark humour and violence at play.


Director: Karthik Subbaraj

Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, SJ Surya, Bobby Simha, Anjali, Kamalinee Mukherjee, Pooja Devariya,


Rating: 2/5

Karthik Subbaraj’s Iraivi follows his two earlier films, Jigarthanda and Pizza, where I saw a strong Quentin Tarantino streak of dark humour and violence at play. In his latest multi-starrer outing, he scripts a story of male arrogance -- all sozzled up in wine and women. Mercifully, the violence here is more subdued, though the deeds are soaked in blood, provoked by uncontrollable anger.

The provocation for this is the refusal of a producer to release a movie helmed by Arul (SJ Surya). After several arguments and fights, he and his brother, Jagan (Bobby Simha), as well as their childhood friend, Michael (Vijay Sethupathi), plan to rob a temple statue in order to pay off the producer, and get the film. But Arul’s perennial drunken bouts come in the way of a settlement that will see the movie’s theatrical release.

Read: My role in Iraivi both refreshing and challenging, says Kamalinee

Watch the trailer of Iraivi here:

In a series of strange twists and turns in the plot, drawing us deeper into a messy dark tunnel, the three men destroy one another, and in the process, Michael demolishes the dreams of his young wife, Ponni (Anjali), and their daughter, while Arul ruins his own marital bliss. His wife, essayed by Kamalinee Mukherjee, finally calls it quits.

Read: Movie review | Jigarthanda is a failed attempt at showing stylised brutality

Iraivi in the end seems like a story gone astray, the lives of several people destroyed by male egoistic rage that seeks solution in blood and gore. There is very little to cheer (the bottles of liquor merely adding to the depression) in the 160-minute work, which, though has some interesting performances by Simha, Surya and Anjali. Sethupathi continues to mumble much in the same way the Hollywood icon, Marlon Brando, once did, and with a music score that refused to remain in the background, it was often a strain to catch what was being spoken on the screen. The noise of rain in several scenes merely added to my discomfort.

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