If his short film Neer in Bench Talkies isn't taken into consideration, Iraivi is the third directorial venture for Karthik Subbaraj who has been successful with his first two flicks, Pizza and Jigarthanda. Iraivi has a star studded cast that includes S.J.Suryah, Vijay Sethupathi, Bobby Simha, Anjali, Kamalini Mukherjee, Pooja Devariya, Radharavi, Karunakaran, Vadivukkarasi, Cheenu Mohan and many more.
The crew list too is as top class with Santhosh Narayanan crooning the music tracks and Sivakumar Vijayan handling the camera works. After Pizza, CV Kumar joins hands with Karthik Subbaraj for producing this film under his banner Thirukumaran Entertainment which is distributed by Abi & Abi Pictures along with Studio Green.
Iraivi, in short is the story of Vijay Sethupathi and brothers S.J.Suryah and Bobby Simha. How their actions directly and indirectly influence the lives of Anjali, Kamalini and Pooja forms the crux of this film. The biggest pillar of support for Iraivi is its cast, to be even more specific, the acting prowess they bring to the table. Thanks to this, what we get to witness is some powerful performances by bold characters. While the men are depicted as raw and aggressive with a pinch of arrogance and ego, the women are shown to be humane, forgiving and in due course, what the true strength of their love can do to men.
S.J.Suryah is seen in his best on screen role till date and his portrayal of a film director who becomes a drunkard looks tailor made for him. Vijay Sethupathi has nabbed a role where he has to emote all possible emotions out there. Right from being humorous in the beginning to a heroic interval block and a performance of a seasoned character artist in the latter end of the film, his acting talents are sure to leave a mark on one's mind. Bobby Simha excels in second half and makes us wonder how Karthik Subbaraj alone can bring out the best in him.
Kudos to Pooja for enacting a role that breaks the so called unwritten rules of our society. She excels in a character that is mature enough to know what it wants and doesn't confuse it with anything else. There couldn't have been a better comeback film for Kamalini Mukherjee and she shines as a dotting mother and the wife of a talented artist who's situation makes him an alcoholic. Anjali, as Vijay Sethupathi's wife delivers a splendid performance that would remind one of her acting in Katrathu Tamil and Angadi Theru.
Though they've proved their acting caliber in various flicks, the performances of the lead roles above overshadows the ones of Karunakaran and the veterans Radharavi and Vadivukkarasi.
Santhosh Narayanan's soul stirring numbers along with the raw and rustic background music is a treat to our ears. Placement of songs are apt. Be it the shots of rainy days or the drive along Keralan highways, Sivakumar Vijayan has played well with the camera works. Vivek Harshan's editing needs a special mention for placing the right cuts. The story, though establishes the characters in a jiffy, takes time to gain momentum and last leg of the film might feel a bit stretched for a few.
Whether Iraivi satiates the expectation of a Karthik Subbaraj film is questionable but its a hard hitting piece of work that'll surely win hearts along with accolades.