While watching "Irumbu Thirai", the thought that was lingering throughout was how badly the industry is missing the likes of Sujatha when it comes to presenting scripts that demand technological impetus. A movie like this was right in his zone. However, it's a relieving thought that filmmakers and producers are willing to go that extra mile in order to bring some fresh subjects like this one!
"Irumbu Thirai" is all about cyber crimes. A cybercriminal who wrecks havoc in people's lives is brought to justice by an army major. Straight off the bat, it sounds like the regular good versus the bad sort of flick. Of course, it is one. The movie manages to stand out in terms of presentation that was flavoured with technology masala by inducing hacking, data theft, code sniffing and mobile-based crimes into the mix. In the current scenario, since a majority of the crowd are exposed to technology in one way or the other, these things are easily relatable.
While the presentation seemed to look fresh at first, the characters and their arcs took some heavy beating right from the beginning. Vishal as the army major Kathiravan played the smart hero material, but his portrayal was not even close to that of an army officer. Firstly, his quest to leave the country sounded stupid. Even he mentions at a point that army people are not given passports. Why then? Though he played to the galleries, he completely failed to do justice to his character.
Thankfully Samantha was cast in a sane psychiatrist's role. Another relief was that there weren't any duets. There were a few cutely woven scenes between Vishal and Samantha that gelled with the proceedings and made the first half breeze through. The second half predictably forgot Samantha and used her as a filler to assist whenever Vishal jumps into action.
Another brilliant cast was Arjun as the cyber kingpin. His character was well etched but predictably towards the end, he surrenders to the hero's whims. Somehow I was able to draw a lot of parallels between his character and that of Aravind Swamy as Siddharth Abhimanyu in "Thani Oruvan". Of course, a sliver of inspiration helps and there's absolutely nothing wrong.
Again, the believability in the script was too tempting to ignore as the script walks on wishful-thinking and conspiracy theories that hinge on semi-fiction. Of course with the rising cyber crimes and technology-based scams, nothing could be ruled out, but to compress such things into a script, it calls for some very intelligent and interesting writing. Again, I am reminded of the absence of Sujatha!!
The movie is technically savvy, but the screenplay in the second half purely caters to the mass elements of Vishal, wherein he takes a dig at GST and Aadhaar and raises scary questions on privacy issues. In the process, the film suffers heavily not only in terms of length but also in terms of logic with some erratically induced ideas that fails to create any real impact. They just pass over as a generic gimmick that a hero employs to toss over the villain. The climax wherein a mob lynching is involved, was a total disaster!
The movie's novel attempt to address a pertinent issue is a breath of fresh air in the midst of generic action masalas. However, the length of over 2.5 hours and the lead man's characterization pulled things back for the movie to be declared as something pathbreaking. Nevertheless, director Mithran and the team have to be lauded for a valiant effort!