Iraivi after-effect: An open letter to Karthik Subbaraj
by visitor Sai Shyam G
****** Spoilers Ahead *******
Dear Karthik Subbaraj,
You might not know me personally, but I am one among the thousands of young movie buffs, who celebrated your Pizza and Jigarthanda by simply going gaga over them. After the genre-defining Pizza and genre-bending Jigarthanda, I expected yet another path-breaking film with Iraivi as the very title of the film hooked me in. However, after watching the film, I am thoroughly disappointed as I was completely disconnected throughout the film. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t hurt the ‘Iraivis’ in my life, but I feel the ‘Iraivis’ in my life have been more consistent and adorable, than the ‘Iraivis’ in your film.
More often than not, bold/explicit writing is being associated with infidelity and being cunning. I would like to humbly differ from this opinion. According to me, your boldest screenplay was reflected in Jigarthanda, when you decided to completely bamboozle us by not limiting the movie to one particular genre. Jigarthanda might have completely backfired if the audiences weren’t able to connect with Bobby Simha’s transformation. With you spending all your time and energy in shaping up Simha’s character in Jigarthanda and also making us invest our time in enjoying his swag, a slight misjudgment of people’s acceptance would have made a mockery of the whole film. But, you won our hearts and minds hands down without an iota of doubt. I can hail Jigarthanda for another 5000 words, but let me save it for another day.
Coming back to Iraivi, I completely agree that there were some brilliant directorial touches as they call it, with some great panache. But, honestly, with just those directorial touches, can the film become a masterpiece? With all due respect to critics and people who call it a masterpiece, I would beg to differ. Yes, I loved the way Pooja Devariya sends Vijay Sethupathi out of her life in the most poignant way by degrading herself. I could appreciate how you have subtly shown Anjali getting down from the train with her daughter to drench in the rain in the climax (symbolizing she is a free bird and no more dependent on anyone), while Kamalinee Mukherjee refrains from getting drenched in the rain (symbolizing she is about to get dependent again). And, SJ Surya’s explanation for males not being tolerant was raw and terrific!
But, keeping these and several more directorial touches aside, somehow I could never connect with the film at all. What was the film actually about? Is it about how the impulsive decisions of males affect females? Or is it above a love-lust of a male? Or is it about the smuggling of goddesses’ idols? Or is it about the unconventional and bold acts done by few women? Or is it about the conventional sacrifices done by most of the women? Or is it about how a male is always under alcohol to forget his depression? Or is it a mix of all these? Whatever the film might actually want to convey, sadly didn’t convey me at least.
With Pizza and Jigarthanda, you made us linger on them with your impeccable command over narration. But, have you lingered on Iraivi too much by yourself than you must have? May be, you just loved the characters more than you should have, so much that a common man could not get into their world and realize the gravity of their situations or empathize with them. Also, why the reactions of the lead actors have to be too dramatic always? Why can’t they be subtle and just self-explaining, like how Simhaa redeemed himself at a movie hall in Jigarthanda? I completely agree that every screenplay is different and you needn’t buy my point, but it’s just my point.
By calling Iraivi your best film yet, I do not want to undermine your creative brilliance. Yes, Iraivi breaks a lot of monotonous clichés of the modern day filmmaking and also reintroduces the filmmaking style of legends like K Balachander, but I strongly feel Iraivi is your weakest film, in terms of captivating the audience with a coherent screenplay. I’ll have to sadly say ‘Bold is not always beautiful’. By the way, if this post belittles my film appreciation capability, I don’t mind as I am happy for speaking my mind out to you.
Keep writing amazing screenplays Karthik Subbaraj and keep breaking cinematic clichés. However, I sincerely hope that I’d be able to relate to your next film!
A true Pizza and Jigarthanda lover
MovieCrow doesn't endorse personal opinions expressed by the visitor/author. Also, the points expressed above is not based on pre-judging the box-office outcome of the movie.