Soubin Shahir, Darshana Rajendran, Fahadh Faasil. These names were enough to draw me in to watch the movie Irul on Netflix. The movie trailer had already piqued my interest and with actors like them, there was no way I was gonna miss this movie. So precautions were taken in advance, ergo, the baby was fed a little early, dinner was shoved in hastily and wine was consumed. All before 9. And we started watching the movie.

* Spoilers ahead *

The movie starts with Alex (Soubin), an author, whose first book ‘Irul’ (Darkness) has just been published. Alex and Archana (Darshana) decide to go on a weekend getaway to get away from their busy lives but without carrying their mobile phones. Alex is very much looking forward to the trip as he’s frustrated with how little time he gets to spend with her even when together as she’s on phone calls related to work most of the time. They get in trouble predictably and are stranded on the road when their car breaks down and with no phones to call for help, they head to the nearest house to seek help. There they meet Unni (Fahadh) and how their night progress makes up for the rest of the story. Fahadh is a delight to watch playing eccentric characters. Shammi is gonna stay in our collective memory for a long time. In Irul, however, beyond setting up the initial shock and awe, not even Fahadh’s acting chops could make up for the gaping plot holes, underwhelming screenplay and dialogues.

There’s some truth in every lie. A writer has to write from his own experience. Their conversation with Unni around this two theme puts the seed for distrust in Archana for Alex, when the powercut reveals that either Alex or Unni is a murderer. She is thrown in confusion and is left to figure out who is telling the truth about what went down downstairs. Is the serial killer portrayed in Alex’s book really about himself? Is Unni just a thief who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Alex’s actions doesn’t help convince her either as everything he has done makes her more suspicious. The most annoying part about Archana’s character was that she’s established as a lawyer and doesn’t even try to pick both Alex’s and Unni’s arguments apart and keeps going with the flow. Honestly, the attempt to keep the viewers confused through Archana’s viewpoint fails. I get that’s how the director wanted to head for the climax he had envisioned but there could have been more meat to the story.

This movie was like a soda bottle that lost its fizz soon after it was opened. Despite the superb cast and an interesting premise.

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