Film Review: Irul (Darkness)
Starring: Fahadh Faasil, Soubin Shahir and Darshana Rajendran
Director: Naseef Yusuf Izuddin
Diving deeper into India’s regional cinema, Netflix’s latest addition is the Malayalam murder mystery ‘Irul’.
Alex Parayil (Soubin), a novelist enthusiastic about serial killers, plans a weekend getaway with his girlfriend Archana Pillai (Darshana), a lawyer hinged to her endless phone calls. Enroute their journey to the hillside, the couple is met with torrenting rainfall, misty woods and a broken car, the three must-haves in a classical thriller.
Alex and Archana’s vacation takes a turn for the worse when they find themselves outside the doorsteps of an estranged mansion with a dead body in the basement. Welcoming them inside is a rather aberrant Unni (Fahadh), in his rich man silk robe. Unni’s quirky comebacks on the serial killer mentioned in Alex’s novel are getting the latter all riled up on the one hand and building confidence in not only Archana but also the viewers on the other.
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Director Naseef has left no stone unturned to get the cinematographic technicalities right. The dim-lit rooms in the old vintage house and the tense background music add to the spooky atmosphere. The constant power cuts and loud thunder are accompanied by an exchange of blows and punches between the male characters, leaving Archana all petrified. The rest of the story is a series of twists and turns to find who is the real serial killer. Is it Alex? Or is it Unni?
The actors add punch to the thriller with their very realistic performances. winning Fahadh yet again mesmerises with his effortless acting in playing the role of a distressed owner. The unexpected change in attitude in Soubin’s character from a calm and polished writer to a restless and aggressive individual amplifies the suspense even more. Rightly expressing her fright, shock and horror is the charming Darshana Rajendran.
Although the fails to keep your toes curled at all the repetitive sudden scares, it manages to keep you engaged in the jumble of guessing who the real killer is.