One wonders what has happened to Selva, that maverick writer-director that we all know of. "Irandam Ulagam" is more like an intoxicated rant by Selva against Tamil Cinema industry that is churning out commercial mass masala movies on and on, successfully at that. But what he has come up with is nothing but a kiddish movie that lacks not only soul but fails in the basics of movie making itself. Movie has come out more like a project for some movie making competition by novices of movie making rather than a full length feature film.
The screenplay and the direction are so shallow that it is difficult for the viewers to get affected by the characters, and their emotions. It is brilliant that Selva has stuck into such an interesting premise and concept. The cinematography (Ramji who is awesome with his frames) and the visual effects are so grand and opulent (which look very very good on the big screen unlike the amateurishness that was stark in the trailer except for the bizarre Rama Narayananesque monsters ) which deserves standing ovation for considering the budgetary constraints the end results are exceptional. But Selva fails to pay the degree of respect such visual splendor and riot of imagination deserves with his lackluster writing and direction. The end product is like having built a palace par excellence with the grandeur and artistic imagination of a purist and then dumping it with all the old trash and garbage. Selva fails to pay the respect to first his creativity, then the medium of cinema and above all the movie goers who shell out their hard earned money and valuable time.
Arya is a bad choice for this movie. He can't emote for god's sake and you wonder when the movie makers will finally realize it. The umpteen number of close-up shots that are intended to showcase his emotive skills are pure torture to the audience who are already under tremendous annoyance of having been taken for a royal ride by one of the most promising directors of recent times. Anushka is at least bearable in the role of Ramya. Her Varna role is wrought with confusion. The most comical thing in this "so called purist"movie is its support cast. None of the foreign actors can act. And by making them mouth Tamil dialogues the director is playing a cruel joke on the audience's sensitivity and intelligence. It gets so funny that even the so-called serious sequences end up being unintentionally comical. You will invariably end up getting the feel of watching a Tamil dubbed B-grade Hollywood movie that might have got a title "Kovakaara Ponnum Muttal Kadhalanum".
"Pazhangalla" and "Kanimozhiye" are good melodious numbers by Harris Jayaraj. Movie's background score is by Anirudh. One wonder why for the result is nothing that impressive. By far the weakest work he has done so far.
Of all the inadequacies of the movie if there is one thing that may keep you glued to the screen it is Ramji's cinematography. His hard work and ingenuity of vision is evident in his frames which are on par with any international movie. Armed with brilliant Visual effects, each and every frame is like an opulent painting.
One wonders whether Selvaraghavan has become tired or lazy but his regression is hard to phantom. Nothing wrong in thinking out of the box and having grandiose ideas, but whatever one does one should not compromise on the basics. If you do, then the end result will be something like "Irandam Ulagam", half-baked, stale and almost repulsive.
On the whole, "Irandam Ulagam" is for Selvaragavan what "Mugamoodi" was for Mysskin, "Rajapattai" for Suseendaran, and "Nayyandi" for Sargunam.
Bottomline: Free association on dope.