Iraivi is a 2016 Indian Tamil neo-noir drama film written and directed by Karthik Subbaraj and produced by C. V.Kumar under Thirukumaran Entertainment in association with K. E. Gnanavel Raja under Studio Green and Abinesh Elangovan under Abi & Abi Pictures.
The film features an ensemble cast with Vijay Sethupathi, S. J. Surya, Bobby Simha, Anjali, Kamalinee Mukherjee and Pooja Devariya playing leading roles. Featuring songs and background score by Santhosh Narayanan and cinematography handled by Sivakumar Vijayan, the film was released on 3 June 2016 to critical acclaim.
The film centers around three men and the women in their life: a struggling and alcoholic film director Arul (S. J. Surya) and his wife Yazhini (Kamalinee Mukherjee); Arul’s best friend Michael (Vijay Sethupathi) and his wife Ponni (Anjali); and Arul’s younger brother Jagan (Bobby Simha).
Arul was a renowned film director until he fell out with the producer of his latest directorial film, because of which the film never released. To overcome his sorrow, he became a chronic alcoholic and started harassing Yazhini. Though Yazhini often threatens to divorce Arul for his behaviour, she changes her mind each time due to her love for him.
Michael, an artifact dealer, is forced to marry Ponni, despite being in love with a widow Malar (Pooja Devariya). However, Malar has no love for Michael, merely considering their relationship as friends with benefits. Michael openly reveals to Ponni that he is not interested in being her husband and ignores her.
Yazhini tries to convince Arul to seek the producer’s forgiveness and get his film released so that they both could return to a normal life. When Arul refuses, the producer himself steps in and asks Arul to pay him Rs. 4,00,00,000 to get his film released. Michael and Jagan, with the help of their friend Ramesh (Karunakaran), steal a temple idol and sell it for Rs. 4,00,00,000, so that Arul’s film can be released. Unfortunately, the producer has already decided to remake Arul’s film with an entirely new cast and with his own brother as the director. Arul confronts the producer, who tries to kill him. In a fit of rage, Michael bludgeons the producer to death and is soon sentenced to seven years imprisonment for his crime. An angry Ponni starts ignoring her husband, never visits him in jail, gives birth to their daughter, and eventually returns to her village. Meanwhile, Yazhini returns to her parents’ house and files for divorce against Arul, fed up of his alcoholism.
Arul is sent to rehab to overcome his alcoholism and is released two years later. Now sober, Arul tries to convince Yazhini to return to him, to no avail. Meanwhile, Arul and Jagan bail out Michael, who leaves for Ponni’s village in an attempt to restart his married life with her. Ponni agrees to come back with him on the condition that he breaks his friendship with Arul. The deceased producer’s widow and brother meet with Arul and decide to sell the production rights of his film to him for ₹20,00,000. In order to get the money, Michael and Jagan again team up with Ramesh to steal an idol from a Kerala temple and sell it. However, Ramesh drugs Michael and runs away with the idol. Michael is arrested the following morning, but he manages to escape from the police and returns to Chennai. On confronting Ramesh, he finds out that Jagan was responsible for getting him arrested at Kerala. Jagan was also in love with Ponni and was disgusted at the way Michael treated her. When Michael was in jail, Jagan declared his love for Ponni, who reciprocated, but was forced to return to her village the next day as she was unable to decide between Michael and Jagan. Jagan then decided to get Michael arrested so that Ponni could leave Michael for good and start a new life with him. After confronting Ponni over her love for Jagan, both Michael and her decide to forget everything that happened and plan to leave Chennai to start a new life.
Arul, who has successfully acquired the production rights for his film, decides to once again convince Yazhini to return to him. Yazhini, who is getting engaged to another person, forgives him and agrees to return to him, as long as her new husband-to-be agrees. Meanwhile, Michael picks up a fight with a drunk Jagan over Ponni. During the fight, he accidentally kills Jagan, forcing him and Ponni to go into hiding, but he does not tell her that he killed Jagan. When the train Michael and Ponni are travelling in stops at Palur, Arul, who has found out that Michael had killed his brother, notices him and shoots him in revenge. As Arul is taken to prison, he contacts Yazhini and pretends that he has once again returned to his drunken habits as he does not want her to suffer with the stigma of being a criminal’s wife, effectively ending their relationship.
In the end, with their respective husbands out of the way, Ponni and Yazhini relish their newly found freedom by enjoying the rain. Yazhini only watches the rain, leaving the viewers to introspect on how she is not ready to venture out into the world alone yet, while Ponni allows herself to get drenched, finally letting go.
- S. J. Surya as Arul Dass
- Vijay Sethupathi as Michael
- Kamalinee Mukherjee as Yazhini, Arul’s wife
- Anjali as Ponni, Micheal’s wife
- Bobby Simha as Jagan, Arul’s younger brother
- Vaibhav as Vasanth, Yazhini’s fiancée (Cameo Appearance)
- Pooja Devariya as Malarvizhi, Michael’s girlfriend
- Radharavi as Dass, Arul and Jagan’s father
- Karunakaran as Ramesh, Michael and Jagan’s friend
- Cheenu Mohan as John, Michael’s uncle
- Gajaraj as Ramalingam, Yazhini’s father
- Bagavathi Perumal as Varun, Arul’s bar mate
- Vadivukkarasi as Meenakshi, Arul and Jagan’s mother
- Rajashree as Kala
- Ramachandran Durairaj as Mahesh
- Senthil Kumaran as Senthil
- Anthony Daasan
- Agavamma as John’s wife
- Settai Sethu as Bala
- Rameez Raja as Rakesh
- Kasthuri Patti as Sagayam
- Santhosh Narayanan in a special appearance in the song Kadhal Kappal
The title of the film was announced in September 2014 after the release of Karthik Subbaraj’s Jigarthanda, with Kumar revealing that Bobby Simha and Karunakaran were signed on for roles. Vijay Sethupathi and SJ Suryah were added to the film and it was reported to be a multi-starrer, as production developed. In April 2015, the film crew held discussions for the female lead roles with actresses Pooja Kumar and Anjali considered, with the latter later signed on. In June 2015, Kamalinee Mukherjee informed that she was part of the project although she did not divulge details about her role.
The film had an official launch in May 2015 and began filming, with Sivakumar Vijayan announced as the cinematographer replacing Gavemic U Ary.
The first look teaser of the film was released on 8 January 2016 which received positive response. The first look poster was released on 6 January 2016.The official trailer was released on 15 April 2016.