Director: PS Mithran
Cast: Vishal, Samantha Akkineni
Think of a racy thriller but instead of car chases and action sequences, what you get is cyber crime. The cat-and-mouse game – which goes with the genre — happens over smart phones and keyboards but without losing any of the excitement. We are talking about Vishal’ Irumbu Thirai that shows how a con artist, and his cyber skills, can change lives at the press of a button.
With shades of Black Mirror, the film has Arjun Sarja as White Devil. He sees everything, knows everything and can control everything at the touch of a button. No surprises then that he has God complex. White Devil meets an armyman Kathiresan (Vishal), who is faced with dire circumstances and commits a crime.
Before Kathir can save the situation with money earned from illegal means, the money vanishes from his account. The culprit, of course, is the strangely-named White Devil. Now that he cannot approach police (he committed a crime too, remember?) Kathir decides to trace the man himself and serve some justice.
While the premise itself is thrilling, the film chooses to stay light in the first half and quietly build the crescendo till you are precariously perched on the edge of your seat. The interaction between the protagonist and the antagonist is kept to a minimum, letting the film centre on the issue at hand – hacking through smart phones. Setting up a con game is interesting, with conning a con being the film’s high point. In Irumbu Thirai, White Devil is a smart man and to beat him, Kathiresan needed to be smarter and work harder.
Samantha Akkineni plays a pivotal role in the film. As psychologist Rathi Devi, the doctor who treats Kathir’s anger issues, she plays her part well. She is an intelligent woman who takes part in scheming and planning with Kathir because it is no more about vengeance, but about justice.
Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background score is a perfect fit for this film with great camera work by George C Willams.
PS Mithran has succeeded in presenting an intelligent cyber crime film. How does a hacker gain access to a smart phone or a bank account is explained simply. We do not just see a click of the mouse or a man randomly typing on a keyboard. This adds authenticity to the film.
Irumbu Thirai is not an extraordinary film, but it is movie made well. The writing is tight and the film addresses real-life questions such as why there are privacy concerns about the Aadhaar card. For all its merits, if access to Aadhaar cards of thousands of people could be hacked, what would be the consequences? This film tries to answer this question.