- BOTTOM LINE: A Reasonably Sharp Psycho-Thriller
|Platform: SonyLIV||Genre: Thriller|
What Is the Story About?
There’s a deafening silence in Viktor’s house. His wife has been missing for many months under suspicious circumstances. Neither he nor his daughter knows anything about her whereabouts. Viktor, a cop by profession, is off-duty for six months. His neighbours, colleagues at work suspect Viktor has had something to do with his wife’s sudden disappearance. Meanwhile, he’s asked to get back on the field by his superiors at the earliest. In his very first case after return, Viktor lands at a series of crimes, where a psychopath adopts chilling patterns to murder his victims. Will Viktor go beyond his setback and nab the killer?
Nandha Durairaj, after a gap, gets a solid role to assert his worth. As a cop who goes through the motions but needs to internalise it more than express it, he’s a natural fit into this space. However, in places, he takes this an excuse to get into a shell. Although it’s quite a neat performance, he could have brought in a bit of suaveness and histrionics to lend some appeal to it. Abhirami Iyer, who also makes her digital debut, gets a minimal role but is good as long as she lasts on the screen.
The story idea of the psycho-thriller series Iru Dhuruvam isn’t anything out of the box. There is a psychopath known for his anti-social behaviour, unique killing patterns, a cop willing to revive his mojo, an obvious clash between his personal and professional space – the series has all elements you expect from this genre. The director M Kumaran, however, is very good at lending a regional spin to the Western trope and backs it up with ample detailing to keep a viewer hooked to the screens.
The web series retains its sharpness through the entirety because the director doesn’t over-stuff the material with any melodrama. There are no unnecessary subplots and the focus in the narration is steady. For a major part, you are on the same page with the cop, trying to make sense of the killer’s identity and the clues he leaves behind at the site of the murder. The sub-plot about how the killer utilises the Tamil literary text Thirukkural as a basis for his murders brings in an interesting philosophical bent to the story.
Another reason the series works is because of the cop being written as a believable character. There’s no aura to him, though he’s stiff and stubborn, there’s a vulnerable side to him. The same applies to the antagonist as well. The makers have crafted his part an introvert who has a ‘common-man-like’ appearance where there’s little scope for the public to understand his evil side. The series focuses on the mind games that the cop and the killer indulge in. There’s some spontaneous humour to lighten the tense vibe too. Although the pace of the series isn’t as electric you would expect it to be, the atmosphere is absorbing enough.
However, the ending lacks the flourish it had in the beginning. The fascinating psycho-killer character gets a pointless flashback sequence to trace his motives. Leaving things unexplained would have worked better for the series and could have got the viewer thinking about multiple possibilities. Now, the psychopath’s behaviour seems like a mere revenge game on society. The emotional foundation sometimes appears shaky in sequences where the cop and his daughter’s bond is established. Iru Dhuruvam is still a very watchable digital outing that knows its priorities and one that doesn’t resort to cheap gimmicks.
The supporting actors are quite solid and could be referred to as a lifeline of the series. The most impressive of the lot is the digital star Abdool, as a witty constable who just can’t enough time to spend with his wife and perennially romances with her on the phone in the most unlikely of situations. Another actor who packs a good punch is the theatre actor Sebastin as the serial killer. His portrayal steers clear from all the stereotypes one conventionally associates with a psychopath, making it a very original performance. The child actor who plays the daughter of the cop is just about passable.
Music and Other Departments?
The scope of the series is mostly restricted to the background score and it’s non-indulgent enough to sustain the momentum of the story. The technical contributions from the crew blend well the storyline and within the confines of the digital format, Iru Dhuruvam makes for a compelling visual experience.
Straightforward, sharp storytelling
Good performances by the supporting cast
The flashback portions of the antagonist
The length of the series
Absence of a strong emotional core
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Iru Dhuruvam Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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