‘Irul’: Fahadh Faasil’s terrific sinister act obfuscated by an unconvincing plot

I found myself disappointed by this interesting but incomplete and often illogical thriller which is beautifully shot in deep moody colours by cinematographer Jomon T John

 Fahadh Faasil (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
Fahadh Faasil (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
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Subhash K Jha

Being a Fahadh Faasil fan, I really wanted to like this thriller. And in parts, I did. But on the whole, the delicate adroitly drawn structure required to ignite a whodunit, especially one with only three characters in it is sadly lacking here. The plot has a lot going for it. It first introduces us to Alex (Shoubin Sahir) whose girlfriend Archana (Darshana Rajendran) isn’t able to give him time.

Problem No.1: Alex and Archana don’t look like a couple. Is this a casting anomaly or a plot-driven glitch? I don’t know. The mysterious movements of the plot are enticing but not convincing. While the three principal protagonists have trust issues amongst one another, we face a similar situation of doubt and distrust regarding the events framing and propelling the plot. And also about the very existence of the film.

But sorry, we are jumping the gun (which by the way plays a big part in the climax, the gun I mean). Alex, to get Archana all for himself, steals her away to a hideout in the hills without phones. Their car breaks down in the rain and they take shelter in a large fascinating mansion where they meet a stranger.

No bumper prizes for guessing who the stranger is. For me, any film featuring the incredible Fawadh Faasil that takes 30 minutes to introduce him is a failure. In a printed silk dressing gown and an evil glint under the over-sized spectacles, Fawadh cuts a intriguing figure offering wine and conversation to the stranded couple. And also, clothes to the drenched girl which strangely fit her perfectly.

It’s all downhill from there, I am afraid. And I don’t mean for the characters alone. The body-in-the-basement brand of murder mystery just doesn’t work here. What does work is the way the dynamics among the triumvirate shift, from one man to the other and at one point it’s the woman in charge of the proceedings.

Finally, I found myself disappointed by this interesting but incomplete and often illogical thriller which is beautifully shot in deep moody colours, from wine-red to orange-glow by cinematographer Jomon T John. But the characters lack convincing motivation. In the end, the film proves as listless as the corpse in the basement. And just as pointless.

Why make a character-driven chamber-piece because that’s what the order of the day was during the lockdown? We need a better reason for a film starring the great Fawadh Faasil.

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