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Iraivan, a 2023 Tamil-language psychological action thriller film, is a cinematic endeavor directed by I. Ahmed and produced by Sudhan Sundaram and G. Jayaram under the banner of Passion Studios. The film boasts a stellar cast featuring Jayam Ravi, Nayanthara, and Rahul Bose in the lead roles, accompanied by a talented supporting ensemble including Vinoth Kishan, Vijayalakshmi, Narain, Ashish Vidyarthi, Azhagam Perumal, and Bagavathi Perumal.

Initially announced in March 2022 without a title, the suspense surrounding the project lingered until its revelation in September of the same year. Commencing principal photography in March 2022, the film wrapped up its shooting schedule by November, showcasing a commendable pace in production. The musical score for ‘Iraivan’ is crafted by the renowned composer Yuvan Shankar Raja, adding a layer of emotive depth to the narrative.

Also, the visual aesthetics are brought to life through the lens of cinematographer Hari K. Vedantam, while the editing finesse is provided by J. V. Manikanda Balaji, ensuring a seamless cinematic experience for the audience. The films from South India especially the thrillers have always been amazing. Even SRK’s Jawan, a collaboration with the South industry bore the sweetest fruits reigniting a fire of life for the dying Bollywood. However, the much-anticipated Iraivan has failed miserably to deliver.

Iraivan Trailer | Jayam Ravi | Nayanthara | Yuvan Shankar Raja | I. Ahmed | Passion Studios

Iraivan’s Chain Of Events

In the gritty underworld of crime and justice, Arjun stands as the enigmatic Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), a figure shrouded in shadows and controversy. His unorthodox methods, characterized by lethal encounters, set him apart from the norm, making him a force to be reckoned with in the relentless pursuit of justice. Yet, behind the facade of a formidable law enforcer lies a man wrestling with a personal dilemma.

Arjun’s heart is tethered to Priya, the sister of his loyal friend and colleague, Andrew. However, the ominous specter of Arjun’s aggressive career casts a foreboding shadow over the prospect of matrimony. The enemies he’s made along the way loom like vengeful shadows, threatening to plunge his world into chaos. And, that is the base plot of Iraivan.

As the city trembles under the grip of a psychotic serial killer, the chilling moniker “Smile-Killer” echoes through its alleys. Leaving twisted smiley face notes as a gruesome signature, the perpetrator preys on innocence, sending shockwaves of terror through the community. Arjun and Andrew find themselves thrust into the heart of this nightmarish investigation, a race against time to unmask the sadistic Smile-Killer.

Tragedy strikes when Andrew pays the ultimate price, sacrificing his life in a confrontation with the malevolent force. The killer, unmasked as Bhrama, leaves scars that run deep in Arjun’s psyche, prompting him to make a fateful decision—to sever ties with the badge that once defined him. The uncertain and maze-like ghosts of investigation haunt Arjun every step of the way. The Smile-Killer’s sinister laughter echoed in his mind, making it hard for him to find peace.

But he had a plan. With Priya by his side, he decided to abandon the tumultuous world of law enforcement and seek solace in the simple tranquility of a café. At first, it seemed like the perfect escape, but the shadows of the café held secrets and suspense that would test Arjun’s resolve. As he delved deeper into the mystery, he found himself embroiled in a tale of redemption, revenge, and the relentless pursuit of a tranquil existence in the aftermath of darkness. But just when he thought he had left the terror behind, the Smile-Killer returned…

Iraivan - Poster - Deshi Geek
Iraivan – Poster – Deshi Geek

Suspense Turned Sour

In the realm of Tamil suspense thrillers, Iraivan treads a path that feels all too familiar—a valiant police officer pitted against a signature-leaving killer. While it refrains from being labeled a direct copy, the echoes of similarity with the acclaimed “Ratsasan” are hard to ignore, leaving Tamil movie enthusiasts with a sense of déjà vu. The movie, poised with the potential for greatness, stumbles on the rocky terrain of poor coordination.

The climax, rather than being a riveting crescendo, registers as a lackluster whimper that almost slips by unnoticed. Arjun, despite showcasing a discerning eye for criminals, curiously unravels the identity of the killer with an almost supernatural immediacy, leaving the audience questioning the believability of his instincts. The narrative of Iraivan lacks the intricate web of tiny clues and connections that are the lifeblood of a compelling crime thriller.

Nayanthara, the talented “Jawan” actress, finds herself shackled by a scarcity of screen time, a glaring oversight that deprives her character of the depth and importance it rightfully deserves. The makers, in their unfortunate oversight, fail to harness her potential, relegating her to a secondary role that fails to explore the richness of her character.

 The coordination between scenes further adds to the film’s woes, rendering the unexpected revelation of the killer devoid of the suspenseful buildup essential to a thriller of this nature. Instead of a gradual unveiling of the murderer’s identity, Arjun’s realization comes across as almost whimsical, lacking the necessary connections and attachments that would have lent credibility to his deductions. The magic of suspense is replaced by a sense of hasty convenience, leaving the audience with a taste of disappointment.

When it comes to Rahul Bose, the only positive, words seem almost insufficient to capture the depth of appreciation for his performance in Iraivan. To speak about him is to embark on a journey of admiration, as he once again proves why he stands among the best in the industry. In his role, Rahul Bose effortlessly weaves a tapestry of brilliance, bringing a level of authenticity and skill that has become synonymous with his name. His portrayal is a testament to his unwavering commitment to his craft, showcasing not just talent, but a profound understanding of the nuances that elevate a character from good to extraordinary.

Iraivan Official Trailer | Jayam Ravi | Nayanthara

Iraivan Shattered Expectations

Iraivan has already made its debut on Netflix in Hindi, and what adds a unique touch is the commitment of the main lead and the second lead. Both actors have taken the reins of dubbing their roles, injecting an extra layer of authenticity into their performances. The delightful surprise comes with Rahul Bose, the antagonist, who skillfully delivered his dialogues in Tamil, even though it’s not his first language.

Disappointment echoed among the audience who, lured in by the captivating trailer, left the theaters with a bitter aftertaste. It felt like Iraivan’s director might have with some unexplainable intervention – be it psychological or spiritual – lost control over the script and screenplay, prompting viewers to question the choices made by acclaimed artists like Jayam Ravi and Nayanthara.

The audience found themselves in an unexpected state of disbelief, with laughter and commentary punctuating what should have been a gripping narrative. The film’s reliance on gory scenes and blurred nudity, merely to secure an A certification, failed to compensate for the lack of proper characterization and meaningful dialogue.

Critics went on to express their bewilderment, wondering how two brilliant artists, known for respecting the strength of a story, ended up entangled in such a script. The frustration was palpable, with viewers openly declaring their preference for watching “Maaran” a hundred times over the perceived waste of cinematic effort.

The sentiments turned even more incredulous as viewers contrasted the current directorial venture with the past works of the filmmaker, such as “Endrendrum Punnagai” and “Manithan.” The stark difference left them shocked, contemplating how the mind behind those acclaimed films could have directed what they deemed as cinematic garbage.

The impact extended beyond mere dissatisfaction, with some audience members expressing a desire to sue the Iraivan team for purportedly causing mental health issues and spoiling their mood. This scathing critique paints a vivid picture of the disappointment and frustration experienced by viewers who had anticipated a more gratifying cinematic experience.


If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die. - Mik Everet

1 Comment

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