Critic - No.153

Casts: Vishal, Arjun, Samantha, Robo Shankar, Dehli Ganesh
Language: Tamil
Genre: Action / Thriller
Music: Yuvan Shankara Raja

A hot headed military officer, Kathiravan (Vishal) tries to expose the crime of data stealing and misuse of it to make money from innocent people by a master hacker, White Devil (Arjun).

Cyber-crime is one of the prevalent topics worldwide, thanks to the immense growth of technology and the ease of data sharing it has facilitated. Even though in surface, the topic might look a bit straight forward, the complexity of these technology is limitless. Debutant director P.S.Mithran has researched deeply and has crafted a film that is intelligent, relatable and engaging.

The film sets up with a strong tone by establishing the master hacker, White Devil who is working towards his ultimate goal of having every individual’s information and money in hand. On the other end, we are introduced to a military officer, Kathiravan who is taking an anger management problem for brawling with injustice in the society. How these both worlds connect forms the interesting cat and mouse chase between Vishal and Arjun.

The film’s main strength is the way it treats the characters, giving each of them a strong emotional purpose to the narrative. Kathiravan and his family ties and connection is dealt with such depth and the character of Delhi Ganesh as the irresponsible serial borrower is designed with finesse. The way the father and son conflict is treated shows the maturity of the debut director. 

Each scene moves quickly and we are eased in to the information and message of the film gradually. The details of the cyber crime are shown with depth that keeps us rooted to the screen despite the long running time. The film brings out the urgency of the cyber crime and the relevance of it that will certainly scare each and every one of us.

To be honest, Arjun’s character is formidable in paper but the limited screen space and his passive nature in second half makes him weaker than intended. Nevertheless, the veteran takes control of the screen whenever he appears. After a long time, Vishal has stepped up for a role that enables him to emote diversely.

On the flip side, the film’s length can be felt at many places in the second half as the film goes on and on talking about how information can be stolen easily. After a point of time, the message of the film feels preachy and too in the face. 

In addition, the anger management track of the film looks force fitted to weave in Samantha inside the film for obvious marketing purposes. Yuvan’s BGM is scintillating but two of the famous tracks in the album (Azhagae and Angry Bird) has been removed from the final cut to trim the film. This makes Samantha’s role even more redundant.

Backed up by extensive research and details, ‘Irumbu Thirai’ is an engaging, intelligent thriller that occasionally touches the preaching boundary.



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