A director-producer tussle keeps a film in the cans long enough for it to consume the director’s senses creating havoc in his family life. Upon a failed compromise attempt and with the intention of releasing the film on their own, the director’s brother and the duo’s aide make some moves jeopardizing all their lives, especially those of the women around them! Do they even realise that?!
Running Time:
160 min
Release date:
03 June 2016
Directed by:
Karthik Subbaraj
Produced by:
C. V. Kumar
Written by:
Karthik Subbaraj
S. J. Surya
Vijay Sethupathi
Bobby Simha
Kamalinee Mukherjee
Pooja Devariya
Kaali Venkat
Music by:
Santhosh Narayanan
Shot by:
Sivakumar Vijayan
Editing by:
Vivek Harshan
Distributed by:
Abi & Abi Pictures
Studio Green

What’s Hot

  • With his third film, Karthik Subbaraj re-assures the fact that his films offer something refreshing for the film-goer filled with a lot of wise touches that put your observation skills to test. Iraivi has them in abundance and that, more than anything else, makes the watch fascinating
  • The cast led by SJ Suryah (who revels with some tremendous scope as a failed director-turned-drunkard), Vijay Sethupathi (at his efficient best as a loyalist), Anjali (who owns the scenes centered on her) is another compelling element enriching the viewing experience. In the supporting ensemble, the roles and performances of Kamalini and Pooja stand out.
  • The film’s screenplay is layered and the inner core layers of it have a message for the men and offer a strong perspective of life seen with the eyes of women whose lives are, by design or by force, altered by the decisions men around them make. The scenes that emphasise these are superbly conceived.
  • Symbolic touches need a special mention on their own – A slap on the face of every viewer with the Laptop technician at Malar’s place, rain used as props for an invitation for liberation with one taking it and a few not at the end, the stories told through the silence of Radha Ravi & Vadivukarasi are notable gems.
  • Santhosh Narayanan, a pillar in Karthik’s outings, stands out here too providing rich variety with his background score and some fine songs. Sivakumar’s camera-work finds its presence felt in the interval block and in sequences introducing the villages of TN & Kerala. Vivek Harshan’s editing brings a positive Jigarthanda déjà vu but could have been a little merciless in the scenes post Kerala fiasco.

What’s Not

  • It will only be fair if the adulations for presenting the inner layers of Iraivi will have to go in hand with some criticism for the way its outer (significant) layer is handled. While the director meta angle & the initial focus on Statues grab our attention, it all fizzles out adding to the complexities with the contrived twists and turns they lead to.
  • I have nothing against Bobby Simha but it is to be said that he is as much a miscast here as he was a fitting one in Jigarthanda. I am still not sure if his casting makes the scenes made around his character less palatable or if it was vice-versa but there is some trouble there.
  • Had the general woman upliftment been stressed through stories of more relatable men, the effect may have been higher. The prime male characters here are all a little extreme and that allows for some little dents to the impact the core of this film intends to create.




Verdict Stamp

If Iraivi can be likened to an Onion, the core layers of it have enough juice in them to make your eyes (senses) cringe & root for the women in it but how much you root for them is impeded by its prominent and contrived outer layers, much like the outer layers of onion that are functionless.