Iravin Nizhal, Radhakrishnan Parthiban’s new directorial, is a really odd experience. I mean, this is a movie that begins in the second half. No! I am not saying the first half is irrelevant or something. The first half of the film is literally the BTS. For a short while, I was confused about whether I was in for a documentary showing how the world’s first non-linear single-shot movie was made. Depicting the whole life of a man over a span of 100+ minutes, Radhakrishnan Parthiban’s Iravin Nizhal is a mixed bag.
Nandu, a film financier, is our central protagonist. We are shown that he is running away from the cops. As he reaches his secret hideout, the film shows us his journey till that point. From losing his mother at a very young age to going through multiple heartbreaks, Iravin Nizhal, at its core, is a character exploration drama.
If you ask any film reviewer, the one thing that lets them down in the promotion phase of any film is how the filmmakers try to manipulate the viewer’s sympathy by talking about the sacrifices and challenges. We have a half an hour segment, which is cleverly placed as the first half so that they can make the theaters screen the single-shot movie without a popcorn break. In that, there are major names like Bharathiraja, Rajnikanth, Bhagyaraj, and AR Rahman praising Parthiban’s effort and courage to pull off something that was never done before. I can understand the excitement to share the experience of making the film, but when you sell it as this 30-minutes long footage, it makes the viewer skeptical.
In terms of making, the story is pretty much on a basic level. The structure of Nandu’s journey is not that complex, and it is almost like seeing a big-budget stage drama that has revolving sets. In the first BTS bit, we hear Krishnamurthy say that the idea to shoot a film like this came to Parthiban when Ilayaraja asked him what next he could achieve after the preview of Oththa Seruppu Size 7. And when you look at Iravin Nizhal, you can clearly see that the single-shot theme was set even before writing. The big question is whether a story like this demands a single-shot treatment. We barely notice that treatment in other movies with this single-shot technique. But here, there is a deliberate effort to make the viewer know the background efforts of making this film.
Radhakrishnan Parthiban as the central protagonist, did a decent job. The movie kind of shuttles between being realistic and extremely theatrical, and the performance shifted according to that. Robo Shankar and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar are the two famous names in the cast, and both had very minimal screentime. Sai Priyanka Ruth was a bit stiff as Parvathy, and the POV camera angles made it worse. Brigida as Chilakkama and Anandhakrishnan as the younger version of Nandu were okay.
The effort behind this project is massive, and it is fascinating to learn how it was made. But ultimately, you need to connect with the story, and there should be a solid reason for the movie to have this single-shot treatment. Radhakrishnan Parthiban’s Iravin Nizhal is an admirable effort that demanded better content.
Radhakrishnan Parthiban's Iravin Nizhal is an admirable effort that demanded better content.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended