So we were walking out of the theatre after watching the film Iraivi, and the guy in front of us said to his friend, a girl, “Seri azhadhe ippo” She laughed it off saying, “Naan yen azhanum?!” True. Neither did I cry for the film. Because it’s a film, about women being practical realists.
Your favourite reviewers and friends who have seen the film would have already told you one or many of the following about Iraivi; a feminist film, power packed performance, SJ Surya at his best, the actors have lived the role, Karthik Subburaj’s genius…. I agree with most part of it, except the feminist part. A tag strong enough to mislead people into thinking it’s not their kind of a movie, or create a misconception that it’s an attention-seeking film, making a hue and cry about the acceptable casual flaws of men. It’s neither! And before you read further, I want to point out that this post is not a review, but just my opinion on why we should view this movie as beyond just a feminist film.
Iraivi is simply a movie which shows that women being practical is a totally acceptable quality, that warrants neither admiration nor criticism. It’s human; to be practical and move on in life. To not give a damn, to know when to cut the long rope. To say, “Let’s just f***”, unabashedly. A movie with a man saying the same thing wouldn’t be considered a men’s liberation movie no? 🙂
In one of the later scenes, the filmmaker shows Arul (SJ Surya) reasoning out his mistakes…. Thappudhan, pannama irundhirkalam, avanum summa poyirkalam….. In real life, this happens to both genders. Both men and women make mistakes they can’t time travel and rectify. What matters is what lies ahead. And the characters in the movie make their own practical decisions, in their own style. After all, it’s never too late to turn around your life. It’s never too late to get wet in the rain. But here the characters making the decision to move on are realists who happen to be women! why not? while the ones who choose to get caught up in the chaos are men. Again, why not?
I don’t think I’ve seen any Tamil movie in recent times portraying a grey character so well. The seemingly good Jagan (Bobby Simha). The man who wants to protect and look after his girl. The fallacy of being idealistic. The scene where he rests his head on Vadivukarasu and his expression reminded me of Norman Bates. Wouldn’t hurt a fly and yet! Just that in his case the girl took a realistic decision that didn’t quite go down too well! In a way, this film reminded me of one my other favourite yet an underrated film, Aaranya Kaandam, and the scene where one of the characters walks away saying, “the best thing about being a woman is, it’s a man’s world.” A realist who again happened to be a woman who knew how to play to her strengths.
In that sense, Iraivi is a movie about how characters get so intertwined through their relationships and that each of their actions affects the other. Of course going ahead the film had to be about what happens when the men go berserk without considering this. Realistically speaking women going that berserk would definitely seem far fetched in the society we live in no? And that is why the women characters here happen to make realistic choices.
So beyond just calling it a feminist movie, can we look at it objectively as a realist movie? Perhaps that would register the collections that Aaranya Kaandam failed to make. The only way more people will understand that women too can be realists with the ability to make strong decisions 🙂 Problem much?
Iraivi – Goddess
Seri azhadhe ippo – Ok don’t cry now
Naan yen azhanum?! – why should I cry?
Thappudhan, pannama irundhirkalam, avanum summa poyirkalam…
It was a mistake, (I) needn’t have done it, he could have ignored and moved on too…