Cast: Madhavan, Ritika Singh, Mumtaz Sorcar, Nassar, Radha Ravi, Zakir Hussain.
Director: Sudha Kongara.
There’s something more than aggression that gets attached to a person’s character if he / she is from a lower strata of the society. Plentiful joy in celebrating small achievements is one of the main highlights of their psyche. There’s also a notion speaking to them that says they’d do anything for money.That kind of pressure puts them down and in a way tells them to deliver more than what is expected of them.
Madhavan returns to Tamil cinema after a gap of four years for ‘Irudhi Suttru’. He played the role of a scaredy-cat in Lingusamy’s ‘Vettai’ in 2012. The same man dips his fingers in a boxing coach’s bowl for this sports drama and it’s extraordinary. Look how well he gives Prabhu (the on-screen coach) a shape that none of his peers would be able to give.
It’s common knowledge that lead actresses get less screen time than lead actors because the movie industry is basically a sexist bin. It’s not only India’s problem, Hollywood faces a similar problem too. Well, for all those arguments, Sudha Kongara’s film stands as a light at the beginning of the tunnel. There are no unnecessary frills in the movie which is a plus. It doesn’t cut away to a song somewhere set on a beach. Everybody knows that Prabhu is a womanizer but there’s another side to him that shakes hands with his protégés; not a softer side, I’d call it just more human.
Ritika Singh, the newbie, is a fabulous find. No present leading Tamil actress could come close to her. Many actresses, even after a decade, struggle to let go of their doll-faced expression. This young lady here surprises you with her punches and quick wit. Right from her walk to her dialogue delivery, from her arrogance to her eye contact with Madhavan, she’s perfect. The romance is categorically devotional. Of course, Ritika falls for her coach, but the bit that deserves a tear comes in the end. It’s a wow-inducing moment that is truly exceptional.
Lessons on politics playing a spoilsport, the ugliness of one-upmanship, and sexual harassment are aplenty. Ritika is fighting tooth and nail to win big and her parents’ hearts are heavy with pride and sadness. They are in a cheery mood as their daughter is seen on television and at the same time praying to god that she doesn’t get beaten up much. All they need is an external support that’s in some accepted form of worship. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Hindu god or Jesus or the name of a fruit. Madhi’s (Ritika) folks just want her to be fine.
Santhosh Narayanan’s music gives Sivakumar Vijayan’s cinematography a tough competition. Both combine together to throw a friendly punch at the audience. ‘Irudhi Suttru’ will easily feature in the top ten films of the year.