Vishal’s Irumbu Thirai: What Works, What Doesn’t, Film Companion
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Irumbu Thirai is helmed by debut director P.S.Mithran and features Vishal, Arjun and Samantha in lead roles. It’s a commercial thriller about information vulnerability and money related malpractices in the current digital age.

Plot: Major Kathiravan (Vishal) is expelled from the Army because of his anger issues. To rejoin the force, he is ordered to get a NOC from Chennai-based psychologist Rathi Devi (Samantha). Just as Kathiravan gets closer to Rathi Devi and spends time with his family, he is tricked by a loan agent and loses Rs 10 lakh from his newly-opened bank account. While trying to get to the root of the theft he unearths a huge digital scam masterminded by Sathyamoorthy (Arjun) who goes by the alias of ‘White Devil’.

What Works

  • Director Mithran has packaged the film with enjoyable commercial elements in the first half and keeps the latter half devoid of any distractions like comedy and songs. This enables the viewer to be invested in the film completely. It’s a confident debut by the filmmaker given that he was handling big stars, established technicians and a theme that is universal in its relevance.
  • Vishal looks fit and smart as always and puts up a neat show. But the perennially young-looking Arjun takes over the spotlight in his scenes with Vishal. There’s  a scene in the lift which has a memorable exchange between the two. Samantha doesn’t get much to work with in the second half but has a pleasing presence as Vishal’s counsellor in the early part of the film.
  • Veteran actor Delhi Ganesh has been utilized very well. He effortlessly plays Vishal’s easy-going father. The father–son scenes work well; they share a complex relationship where the son feels that the father has let down the family due to his careless ways with money. Robo Shankar consistently brings out the laughs as Vishal’s maternal uncle. 
  • Composer Yuvan Shankar Raja proves his calibre at background scoring yet again. He elevates the viewing experience for each of the scenes and dishes out great variety in his themes. The songs ‘Athiradi’ and ‘Yaar Ivan’ stand out. Two of the songs (‘Angry Bird’ and ‘Azhagae’) have been left out of the final film to keep it crisp; a brave call by the director and editor Ruben.
  • Cinematographer George Williams is a proven technician when it comes to handling big films, and the tense sequence in Richie Street and the subway episode in the second half are testament to that.

What Doesn’t

  • In the second half, the film dives deep into technological terminology, which might alienate a section of the viewers.
  • Towards the end, one feels that the hero could’ve crossed a few more interestingly placed hurdles before he gets to the seemingly invincible villain.
  • Also, a bigger mass hero pitted against Arjun may have produced a better audience reception for some of the highlight sequences in the film.

Final Word: Irumbu Thirai feels like a lightweight version of the highly celebrated action thriller Thani Oruvan. It manages to entertain, engage and educate the viewer with its topical theme and interesting screenplay.

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