Directed by Sudha Kongara who had made her directorial debut with Drohi in 2010, Irudhi Suttru is about Women’s Boxing in India at the broader spectrum, but is also about the struggles of a determined coach for whom the sport is his life.
There are many sport based films that come out every now and then which follows the trajectory of talent-struggle-triumph. But the challenge lies in turning this model into an interesting, engaging and entertaining product onscreen and in this domain, Sudha and her team emerges meritoriously. With an airtight screenplay, she keeps the audiences hooked to the proceedings throughout the duration they are in the theatre.
For a film to work favorably with the viewer, apt casting and performance are the key words and Irudhi Suttru can brag about this aspect well enough. Right from Madhavan to Ritika Singh to the supporting cast, everyone has rendered their best performances.
Madhavan as the much beefed up, talented, angry, ruthless coach Prabhu, is excellent. There are various layers to his characterization from being subtle to being outright effervescent. There are times when he is completely impotent in his rage and there are occasions when he is hopeful. He traverses the range with élan. It is unusual to see an Indian man wear the elopement of his wife as an adornment but when Maddy does that, it takes on a different hue!
It is not every day that a hero in Indian films, gives space to his co-star especially to a woman, but in Irudhi Suttru, Maddy does that with a lot of panache. It is clearly Ritika Singh’s film and the girl is terrific whether she is angry or foul mouthed or hopelessly in love or completely charged. We only see the cantankerous, aggressive Madhie and the role fits Ritika like a glove. Her lip sync is flawless. Uma who has dubbed for her has done a great job.
Kaali Venkat is a laugh riot to watch out for. With his perfect comic timing, he ensures the laughs keep coming. The experience of Radha Ravi and Nasser shows in their portrayal while Zakir could be a new find for soft villains in Tamil films.
Dialogues are the major forte of Irudhi Suttru. Written by Arun Matheeswaran, they are razor sharp in intelligence that they get the applause quite frequently. The pace is fast and it hardly lags. For a film of this nature, the climax is vital and Sudha packs it with a lot of punch and adrenaline rush. The final few minutes give you a feel of watching a live, energetic, suspense filled boxing bout.
When we are dealing with a sport based film, it is a given that there is going to be the coach-student relationship. This becomes a tight rope walking when the involved parties are young. However Sudha explores this in the most matured fashion.
On the technical front, Santhosh Narayanan’s songs have been seamed into the narrative well and his RR comes out handy in bringing out the effective feel. Sivakumar Vijayan and Satish Suriya have taken care of cinematography and editing departments in a manner which work well with the story.
Narrated crisply under two hours, Sudha’s Irudhi Suttru has all the emotional elements in it to strike a chord with the audiences and the lady renders a match winning performance. (Behindwoods, 2016)