Genre: Sports Drama
Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad
Cast: R. Madhavan, Ritika Singh, Mumtaz Sorcar and Nasser
What’s The Film About?
It’s about a firm but slightly broken man with an eye for talent, who refuses to give up, who still believes that he can overturn the bureaucracy; a man who has faith in his sport and his protégé. It’s about a free spirited, foul-mouthed young girl whose world opens up when an equally bad-ass coach shows up. It’s about a man who tries to tame a wild horse, but ends up being reigned over. It’s about remembering that there is and there always will be hope. It’s about daring to believe.
4 Reasons To Watch “Irudhi Suttru”
When Madhavan appeared on screen and uttered his first line, I could not help but instinctively smile. A familiarly warm feeling crept over me as I suddenly recalled how incredibly magnetic a personality he has. There is no doubt that he looks markedly different from his அலைபாயுதே ‘chocolate boy’ self, but soon enough you realize that he has retained his charm and more importantly, the ability to come across as an incredibly charming douchebag.
During many segments of the movie, I secretly felt guilty for allowing myself to empathize and fall in love with his mean spirited and offensive character. Madhavan plays a character that appears to be tailor-made for him. It is hard to imagine anyone else playing his role with equal finesse and ease. Madhavan undoubtedly supports the film on his shoulders. The intensity in his eyes, the subtlety in his body language and the calmness in his dialogue delivery should ensure that, at the very least, even if he does not win any awards, (he really should) he will retain his generations of female fans while securing more.
The storyteller is focused. She has a message to put across and she sticks to her guns to clearly convey the message. She does not conform to the “need” to have insert trashy songs or expose cleavage in her film. “Irudhi Suttru” relies heavily on its characters and their characterizations to propel it forward. After what seems like eons, there has finally been a female-centered Tamil film, cleverly disguised as a male centric movie (how very refreshing!) as we all know that the Tamil film industry is basically a sexist dungeon. (but I’ll save that discussion for another day)
The storyteller is able to captivate the audience by keeping some of her cards close to her chest before carefully and calculatedly laying them out. The eventual reveals, while not over the top, are impactful and add to the depth of the story. (spoiler alert: watch out for Radha Ravi’s big reveal!) At no point does the director tell you how you should feel or what you should believe. She allows her characters to grow on you slowly and all the events in the movie unfold in the same unassuming way.
I had actually not heard about Santosh Narayan till he appeared on various media platforms to promote the movie. (I am clueless like that) As I always do, I listened to the songs before I went to catch the film in cinemas. I must admit that none of the songs were particularly appealing when listened to on my MP3 player.
However, the songs and especially the background music took on a life of their own in the theatre. In combination with the visuals and the context of the story, the music added depth and spice to the movie. The songs are hard to be appreciated as standalones but in many places they took the narrative forward with the emotional assistance they provided. Not a single song was out of place. The songs did not break the flow of the narrative and were there to serve a very specific purpose.
Ritika Singh’s Acting
Ritika Singh plays the female lead, Mahi. It is really hard to believe that this young actress who is a professional martial artist, has never been in front of a camera before. Ritika Singh is a diamond in the rough and she captivates you in every scene with her rawness. Whether she was trying to pull off being a wild horse or the broken athlete, she does it with so much ease. I will boldly say that Tamil cinema hasn’t seen such an exciting actress in a long while.
My only gripe and cringe-worthy moment was when the movie delved into a possible romantic angle between the coach and his student. Thankfully, the director smartly side steps the moment (treating it as a natural part of life) and leaves the conclusion pretty much open ended. (I personally am uncomfortable with the idea of a teacher falling in love with his student)
One of my favorite authors once said, “The act of reading is a partnership. The author builds a house, but the reader makes it a home.” Director Sudha Kongara has built a solid house and she is inviting movie goers to use the foundation to create themselves a home.