Irumbu Thirai: An Entertaining Tale on the Deadly Dark-net With Overlookable Flaws
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Debutant director Mithran’s Irumbu Thirai might be slow, but it is equally chilling. It ventures deep into the web of 0’s and 1’s to take us through the dark-net. It demonstrates how easily our digital information can be manipulated. So, the smart and enthralling manner in which the screenplay is written makes it easy for you to overlook the film’s flaws.
Kathiravan (Vishal), a short-tempered army major is forced by familial circumstances to borrow a sum of money from the bank by producing false documents. But the moment his loan amount gets credited in his account, it disappears. Not being able to report this to the police due to the illegal grey areas he ventured into, Kathiravan takes justice into his own hands as he sets out to capture this mastermind hacker.
Cyber crime is a subject that has had limited exploration in Tamil cinema. So, when debutant director Mithran brings you a story of how many heinous crimes the digital age has made people vulnerable to, it becomes thoroughly engaging. If you are tired of rolling your eyes at all the flying car sequences Tamil cinema has been staging year after year, Irumbu Thirai will prove to be a refreshing break.
Moreover, one of the predominant reasons why the film works is because it never gets preachy. Such subjects can sometimes become a lecture on the banes of Digital age; thankfully this film is devoid of such dramatic lectures.
Considering the fact that this film deals a lot with high-level hacking, the information it houses should be authentic. Director Mithran goes to great lengths to research and ensure that the facts in the film are not only intriguing but convincing too. Instead of blandly inserting information into the screenplay, he takes efforts to organically incorporate it in the tale.
However, the film isn’t entirely without flaws. For instance, in the first half, it takes too much time to establish the central character’s background. So, from the very beginning the screenplay starts to lag. When a film takes a little over an hour to get to the story’s core conflict, the audience might end up losing interest. Director Mithran could’ve made the introduction shorter and crisper.
The second problem with Irumbu Thirai is its distracting romantic track. Kathiravan and Rathi Devi’s (Samantha Akkineni) love story has very little relation to the central plot. So every time these two characters meet and interact it proves to be a frustrating distraction from the investigation. Even the comedy sequences in the film use done and dusted concepts and end up failing to please the audience. Why do directors with so much potential succumb to the convention of including romance and comedy in a film that has no requirement for it? The film’s overlong run-time could’ve become shorter if the director had stripped the film of such distracting elements.
Director Mithran’s characterizations too are a mixed bag. Vishal’s character development is on point. But though Arjun’s character is the strongest in the film, his limited screen-time waters down the impact he aims to create. Though the antagonist is on par with the protagonist, his presence in the film could’ve been longer. As far as Samantha’s character is concerned, Mithran tries to make her role significant but this ends up being a failed effort.
After Pandiyanaadu, it is nice to see Vishal playing such challenging roles. Even though there are a few hero-worshipping shots in the film, his character’s flaws strike a balance. It is reassuring to note the actor’s decision to step into such realistic characters instead of opting to glorify his stardom. As the antagonist, Arjun Sarja steals the limelight. His introduction scene reminds one of Siddharth Abhimanyu from Thani Oruvan. He proves to be quite the fitting villain. Samantha delivers a sub-par performance. Her character has limited scope to act in the film.
The technical team including the cinematographer, music director, editor and stunt director act as the backbone of the film.
Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background music intensifies the tension in many scenes. The songs on the other hand aren’t as unforgettable as the background score. George C Williams captures the essence of every scene in the film, leaving you truly flabbergasted. The blue and black hues in many scenes are especially arresting.
On the whole, Irumbu Thirai is a decent film. It is a good entertainer. But it could’ve been a great one if the director had corrected the intermittent lags in the screenplay.