Ira (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


The intrigue that shrouds the title ‘Ira’ barely makes its ways into the film. It is less about victims or even victimization and more a customary plot on the hunters and the hunted; a generic fare that simply isn’t rousing enough to have your hair standing on its ends.


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Director Saiju S S, takes to a beaten track in his film ‘Ira’, and along with writer Naveen John crafts a film that appears forcefully sculpted into a thriller mode. It’s the usual claptrap that we are accustomed to, and its lack of intrigue or passion could all be traced back to the thriller stereotypes that its characters emerge as.

Rajeev (Unni Mukundan), a mysterious man who is rumoured to have been assigned by the Central Government on an investigation, arrives at the city following the shocking murder of Minister Chandy (Alencier Ley Lopez). His focus however seems to lie elsewhere, as he gets busy unearthing who the key accused Dr. Aryan (Gokul Suresh) was, before the medico had allegedly committed the heinous crime.

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Ask me if there is suspense in the film, and I would nod in agreement. But it depends on you actually, if you can spot it from a mile away or not. Ask me if there are twists, and I would doubly waggle my head, since there comes a massive one at the climax that is a twist and a turn perhaps, all combined into one. Ask me if I am bemused by all this, and I would probably have to shake my head in disagreement.

And there is only one reason behind this detachment that we would come back to again and again, which is a bottomless script through which it all seems to be falling through. It doesn’t help that it tries to cash in on a much discussed real event with even highly recognizable statements against the media , associated with it, making their way into the writing. At best, mildly amusing perhaps, but that’s it.

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It almost seems like someone decided that all this wasn’t enough to pack a punch, and hence they head for a tribal settlement in Attappadi, and issues as ‘medical experimentation’ and ‘tribal upliftment’ are brought in. A social activist is thrown in for that extra bit of verve, and there is talk of exploitation, abuse and encroachment of basic human rights.

There used to be a time when a hurricane would blow around the sets during action scenes, twirling up a gust of dust and dry leaves. Over time, both the wind and the leaves had disappeared, but with ‘Ira’ they make an affirmative comeback.  In one of the most dramatic scenes in the film, it almost seems like a storm is raging on, clouding everything in the process and complete with the leaves and all,  and it blows till the sequence is done.

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I am yet to understand one very vital aspect of the film, and end up wondering if I have actually missed out on something here. A person gets near murdered, and when the saviour arrives on the scene, the perpetrators of the crime have long fled. The one who has been left for dead isn’t seen revealing the culprits before passing away and yet the saviour identifies the murderers. Now this is the real mystery in the film if you ask me.

There is hardly anything redeeming about the performances, be it that of Unni Mukundan who looks like he is about to burst out of his tight Tees, or of Gokul Suresh who seems to have religiously taken upon himself the role of the innocent man tortured by the police, this being his second attempt at it, after ‘Masterpiece’. Miya George and Niranjana Anoop look merrily lost, while Neeraja, in a much smaller role, leaves an impression.

The intrigue that shrouds the title ‘Ira’ barely makes its ways into the film. It is less about victims or even victimization and more a customary plot on the hunters and the hunted; a generic fare that simply isn’t rousing enough to have your hair standing on its ends.


Verdict: Mundane Thriller


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