- 1 hr 31 min
Irul is a 2021 Indian Malayalam-language thriller film directed by Naseef Yusuf Izuddin and starring Fahadh Faasil, Soubin Shahir, and Darshana Rajendran. The film takes place entirely in a remote hilltop bungalow, where a strange encounter between a couple, Alex (Faasil) and Archana (Rajendran) and a stranger, Unni (Shahir), leads to a mysterious turn of events. The movie sets the tone right from the beginning as it starts with a dimly lit and eerie forest, where a car carrying Alex and Archana breaks down. As they wander through the dense forest, they make their way to an isolated mansion which was apparently the only option available for a place to stay. The couple soon discovers that the house belongs to Unni, who happens to be a writer too. The initial conversations feel like a game of chess, with all three characters trying to figure out the motive behind their gathering. The film then dives deep into character exploration, as we slowly unravel the backstories of the protagonists, while their conversation leads them to a discussion about a serial killer who is on the loose in the nearby town. The arrival of a police jeep in front of the house adds an element of anticipation, that one would come to expect from a thriller. However, the arrival of the police offers no relief or solace, as the events gradually take a turn, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats. The movie offers a solid performance from the lead cast, with Fahadh Faasil delivering an impressive performance as a flawed individual, struggling to come to terms with his past. Soubin Shahir, on the other hand, portrays an intimidating character, always keeping the audience guessing with his every move. Darshana Rajendran's role is kept limited, but her character does have an important part to play in the story. The film is a masterclass in building tension, as the director constantly plays with the audience's nerves, keeping them guessing and engaged in the story. The dialogues and acting feel real and organic, as the characters interact and bounce off each other, revealing new layers to their personalities with every conversation. The movie also offers some aesthetically pleasing cinematography, as it takes place entirely in a dark and murky mansion, with each room offering an eerie and claustrophobic vibe, further enhancing the movie's overall tense atmosphere. The story moves at a slow pace, which might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is justified as the film takes its time to explore the characters and their motivations. The film successfully plays with the conventions of a thriller, as the director keeps the audience guessing till the end, with not much being revealed until the final act. In conclusion, Irul is a thrilling ride, which will keep the audience engaged from the first scene till the last. The movie plays with the conventions of a thriller and offers some solid performances from the lead cast. The film takes its time to explore its characters and their backstories, offering a realistic and organic experience to the audience. It is a must-watch for any fan of the thriller genre.