Friday, 3 June 2016

Iraivi - Feminism in Fresh Note

Penning a movie review after a very long time, coincidentally it has ended up with an FDFS and thus this could be a review that was not influenced by anybody else's views.

Its been two years since I wrote my last review and I ultimately stopped penning reviews with a doubt whether do I really eligible to review a movie. To put in the words of Oscar Wilde, 'A critic should educate the public'. I was feeling inferior thinking I could not be an educator.

But, after watching Iraivi, my fingers have started itching to write a review about it. The moment I left the theatre, having lunch in between, dropping my friend at his home and coming back home, throughout the way back to my place, the dialogues and frames of the movie was passing through my mind again and again. When, I stepped into my home, the first word from my mom was "Saptiya", which just shook me. This one word is being portrayed in this whole picture.

However, I'm not gonna be an imposing critic, but this piece of writing is just a viewer's note of Iraivi.

Ideological aspects:

Feminism has been portrayed and proposed since the evolution of fictions be it Mahabharata or Ramayana. But, neither of these epics have did justice to the ideology as they have always suppressed women any some or most parts of the story.

When it comes to Iraivi, the storyline has shown different women in different situations but with a single context, 'expectations of their lifetime'. The expectations differs from each other from getting drenched in rain, wanting an intercourse with man or seeking for job after marriage with independence. Every woman has this expectation but she is not getting it fulfilled in her lifetime and to deliver this, one more woman is being added into the list of characters where she has been portrayed as a person in coma throughout the movie.

On the other side, all male characters in movie have been defined in various shades of men in the society. First one is a character who thinks, 'even if I'm wrong, my life partner should be perfect'.  Next one is the one who spoils his own life for his ambition but never cares for his wife's. The third one is the one who wants all women to be free and unluckily he is been portrayed in a negative shade.

I personally have got fed up with the idea of feminism as the ideology has been exploited by a bunch of false feminists who just need be centers of attraction. Most of the feminists who have made movies or written books on the ideology have failed in delivering the true need of it. Again and again a creator like Sujatha, Balachandar, Barathiraja or Balu Mahendra has made critically acclaimed works on feminism and now Iraivi joins the club.

The ideas delivered in the movie will really leave men in rigid mindset to at least think a while. Some might even change their points of view on women and that is gonna be director's success.

Cinematic aspects:

The director, tries to control the pace and the characters within his prefixed constraints which has been a great success. From the first frame where the pictures of three legends of Tamil cinema flashes out in the screen, he always reminds the central theme of the movie.

He has roped in SJ Suriya from SJ Suriya's circle into Karthik Subburaj's circle and has never let him out till the end.

References and gestures throughout the movie were letting people say 'awe'. The frame where the prisoner's suit falls off the suspension and Vijay Sethupathi getting released in next frame. In one frame where the monkey toy which gets operated on keying while Vijay Sethupathi falls on trap again. The last sequence where a character is being hit and killed with a statue of a sexual intercourse. Likewise, references have played a vital role.

Showing the pictures of Ajith and Vijay might feel that the heroes have been referred here, but I felt all Karthik has tried conveying here is the general expectation of a middle class girl. However, the whistle sound teared through Santhosh's RR when the pictures and names of the two heroes were referred in the movie.

The name of SJ Suriya's movie being 'May 17' which refers to the genocide of Tamils by Sri Lankan government has also been used and sarcastically he has scripted a dialogue criticising fake Tamil fonders.

In a state, where alcohol prohibition is talk of the town for over a year, the director has set up much of the scenes with alcohol and its related atmosphere. The brilliance of the director is that no scene filmed in this atmosphere can be quoted irrelevant to the screenplay as, alcohol too takes up a prominent role in the script.

Casting aspect:

Beyond actors like legendary Radha Ravi, versatile Vijay Sethupathi and National awardee Bobby Simha, its SJ Suriya who is the show-stopper.

In every single frame he has his presence, he out performs every other actor. Be it where he is a hard core drunkard, a lovable husband, a determinant filmmaker or an emotional and arrogant male. The last couple of minutes sequence in Palur Railway station exposes the complete actor inside SJS.

Since, it is Karthik's movie, Vijay Sethupathi and Bobby Simha have lived a life of a Lion in its own den.

Anjali and Kamalini Mukeerji, the two women around whom the entire script runs have only a small screen space. Most of the scenes show only the men part. May be the director has gave a gesture that men are playing the major part of the society and not letting women out.

However, both women have made a comeback performance. Though both are in different backgrounds, their lives have been spent in expectations throughout the movie which they have conveyed well through acting. Kamalini has over took the voice of Andrea with her facial expressions.

The biggest disappointment was Vadivukarasi. Fitting a versatile and dynamic actor into a character in coma in the entire movie. Someone else should have been casted into the role.

At last its Seenu and Pooja Devariya. Their roles are not in the list of leads in the movie's storyline, but they have portrayed the 100% of their characters. Seenu has a role of Vijay Sethupathi's paternal uncle, a conventional man in the society. While, Pooja is again an Iraivi with a different kind of an expectation. In the scene where they both have a conversation with Vijay Sethupathi in middle indirectly symbolises the generation gap between the two an Vijay Sethupathi in the center who is partly in the last generation and partly in the present.

Technical aspects:

Enjoying the movie in theatre has really been a good experience as the sounds have out performed the visuals. Even the fall of droplets of water from the grills of a train window have been renditioned well.

Music by Santhosh. The name itself fetches good marks for him. :P In most places he has reproduced the chords of famous songs of Raja and ARR. The scene which is setup in a far land at Kanniyakumari district amidst wind turbines has a score in shades of Western Classical. Despite irrelevant to the location, it has been aligned well with the situation. There are many such instances in the movie.

Lyricists have penned the idea of the movie but, coining terms like 'Manithi' has slipped down from the language's grammar. However, the movie itself has been made in contrast to society's grammar.

Cumulative aspects:

'FOR ME', Iraivi has delivered the actual ideology what is was meant to be. As I said earlier,  the movie didn't let me drive home with complete concentration. It is the best part of the movie that it has made such a huge impact on me. Hope it does the same on others too.

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