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Iraivan Review: Jayam Ravi is the only saving grace in this thriller let down by an illogical screenplay

Director Ahmed's Iraivan is full of heavy-duty violence and gore that gets tiring after a point. The thriller is let down by a weak screenplay that leaves many loose ends.

Iraivan Review: Jayam Ravi is the only saving grace in this thriller let down by an illogical screenplay
Iraivan poster.

Last Updated: 04.18 PM, Sep 28, 2023


Story: A psychopath is on a killing spree as he goes about killing young women in a ruthless manner, leaving a 'smiley'.

Review: If one needs to summarise Iraivan in a single sentence, it has to be mindless violence, bloodbath and gore, without a reason! This time around, it's only the young women who are the target of the killer. Just like the 'psycho' killer Bramma (Rahul Bose) reiterates the idea of his potential victims to a middle-aged female employee at a hospital, "You don't have to worry. Only young women need to be scared of me." Women are treated as just that, a bunch of bodies in the film.

We witness a series of women, whose eyes are gouged out mercilessly, legs chopped off and their naked mutilated bodies thrown out in the open, along with the signature sign-off, the smiley.

Iraivan begins on a tepid note. Jayam Ravi (Assistant Commissioner of Police) kickstarts the game stating that he has no enemies, but at the same time, adds that he is not a good person.

Just when we gear up to witness the reason behind the statement, the film suddenly veers towards the love angle between Arjun and Priya (Nayanthara) where the latter is waiting for Arjun to reciprocate her feelings for over 5 years! If you had expected the duo to recreate the chemistry from Thani Oruvan, then you are mistaken. Here the love track only comes across as a stumbling block to the narration and Yuvan Shankar Raja's music is not helping either. The scenes involving Nayanthara get exasperating after a certain point.

Arjun is a cop who shows no mercy to his criminals, so when he sets out on a mission to catch Bramma, we expect a power-packed faceoff. But we are in for disappointment.

Rahul Bose is menacing as the 'Smiley Killer', but the film doesn't really churn out the full potential of an actor of his calibre. Neither do you get to know the 'person' behind the serial killer, nor why he turned into one, other than the fact that he considers himself 'god-like' and kills women for personal gratification. The film fails to unleash the maniac in him. It is also disappointing to see Bramma go down so easily to Arjun.

Things remain a tad dreary until the interval block, which leaves us with a crucial question. Who is Bramma? Or is there a copycat killer on the prowl? But the goings-on take a completely different turn with a whole new angle in front of the police. We meet Babu (Vinoth Kishan), yet another psycho killer, who is constantly seeking validation through his killings.

The biggest problem with Iraivan is that the plot goes haywire and leaves many loose ends. The connection between Bramma and Vinoth Kishan is not well established and looks forced into the plot. Vinoth Kishan calls himself a man who is unsure of his looks (But why take the killing route for that?).

There are many predictable moments, too. For instance, when Andrew (Narain) says that death won't call upon those who are not afraid to die, we know that Andrew is going to get killed. Likewise, when the character Divya is introduced, we know that she is a potential victim.

Iraivan gets disturbing to watch with so many women's naked dead bodies being paraded in the public. We get that it is the modus operandi of Bramma. But the film goes overboard with the display of women's bodies and your mind goes numb after a while. Does every single murder require such graphic visuals? It begins to feel like an assault on the senses.

That said, at a time, when the clamour to address mental health issues is growing stronger, Iraivan portrays mental disorders in a negative light, with every person with mental illness shown as a potential killer. Even a psychiatrist casually throws around words about 'normal' behaviour of a psychopath.

The emotional scenes in the film, too, fail to work, be it the friendship between Andrew (Narain) and Arjun, the love story between Arjun and Priya and the way Jasmine (Vijayalakshmi) begs Arjun to save her daughter. Vinoth Kishan's character pretty much captures our mind's voice toward the end. "Enough! You are overdoing it!" The only emotional scene that worked to an extent was Charlie grieving over his dead daughter Divya.

Iraivan is recommended only for the fans of the psycho thriller genre. Jayam Ravi's earnest performance is the only thing to watch out for in the dark, gory thriller, which fails to give the thrills and becomes a forgettable affair.

Verdict: Iraivan is strictly for the fans of the genre! The film is loaded with mindless violence and bloodbath that numb your mind after a while. The illogical screenplay leaves many questions unanswered and the emotional scenes barely work. Jayam Ravi is the only saving grace in this grim thriller.


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