Onto the next release of the weekend and it is another Friday wherein I will be covering another Malayalam film! And with that I finished watching the new Malayalam film Iratta which is now streaming on Netflix. I have been running out of adjectives to describe my love for Malayalam films.
Every time I think, right you surely cannot get better than this, another quoet little film sends out a quiet little reminder on how far ahead the Malayalam film industry is in terms of its content. And may I add that the Box Office numbers are probably the least discussed for a Malayalam film. So while I may have a fair idea on what the collections of Pathaan are, I have no idea about the box office collections of a film like Thankam. This for me is a great approach given that you would tend to look at films strictly from its content perspective without equating its success or failure with its box office numbers. That said, does the new Malayalam film Iratta manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Iratta is that one film wherein you don’t need to know anything about the plot except that it is an investigative drama that unfolds at a police station. The story here is unassumingly brilliant and by the end of it, it does serve a shocker! The screenplay standing at just about 110 minutes does make for a brisk watch wherein you are thoroughly invested in the drama right throughout.
When I did mention that the drama is unassumingly brilliant, try picturing this! The open sequence involves an instant of a couple of kids playing cricket in a nearby ground with a huge part of the police force stationed at a function and only a handful officers in the police station. What does seem like a normal start, with each event playing out as it should, suddenly you are caught off guard by some gunshots. You still do not know what as happened as the drama does shift to a police officer at a hospital who is called in for duty on an emergency basis. Only later on is it revealed on who was killed with those gunshots. So the first 15 minutes keep the mystery intact beautifully for the rest of the drama to follow.
The proceedings are engrossing and interesting with the drama oscillating between different timelines in a non-linear fashion. Now days earlier, I had watched the Malayalam film Adrishyam and commented on how poor the execution was in that film. And you will fully understand the difference when you watch this film. Both films have a similar template of stray incidents being linked to the main story. But while one misses the mark, one adds the right kind of world building and tremendous characterization that fuels the drama to a whole new level. The ongoing investigation might seem to be interrupted with the constant to and fro of the timelines but because the execution is so good here, you are always invested and consistently guessing on who the culprit is!
The events leading up to the final act are slightly damp wherein the revelation did seem a little odd. But soon I did realise that this was done intentionally as there was this one hitchcockian right at the end which is so well integrated and so disturbing that I had to pause myself for sometime and breath before resuming my duties. During the course of the film, my question was, what is the reason behind so much detailing and giving out information from every character’s perspective. By the end of it, I did have my answers and how! Overall, the screenplay is just so brilliantly penned and executed that it made me want to stand up and applaud the writers and the makers!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are almost designed to be conversational and you need to be attentive to absorb every little detail in the drama to make it impactful. The music and BGM go brilliantly with the drama. The cinematography is exceptional, particularly in that fight sequence wherein the camera shakes with every punch. It is edgy, raw and a work of a genius. Director Rohit Krishnan had to be perfect with his skills given that this was a tricky proposition on paper. But his direction is magnificent wherein you are always invested in the drama. But the real skill did lie in the final 10 minutes with that brilliant twist that made me go ‘Wow’! The reason was right there and did not come out of the blue but the manner in which it was hidden and beautifully so, meant that the direction deserved distinction marks!
The performances are brilliant by the ensemble cast. Every character had a role to play here and that meant for a tremendous watch. Srikant Murali as Satheesh is excellent. Anjali as Malini expresses beautifully through her body language and eyes. Srindaa as Geetha has her moments to shine as does Sruthy Jayan as Saradha. Arya Salim as SP Savitha is top notch and does a swell job. Sreeja Ajith as Sreeja is good as well. Sabumon Abdusamad as Sandeep and Abhiram Radhakrishnan as Bineesh are first rate. And it is Joju George once again who hits the ball out of the park. In two extremely different roles, he shines and how in what was an act of brilliance!
Iratta is a twisted investigative drama with a Hitchcockian twist that will surely catch you off-guard at the end. It is a brilliant watch and another timely winner from the Malayalam Film Industry. Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended!