Paranormal happenings can be a treat for the horror film buff provided it is packaged well enough to thrill. ‘Orr Iravu’ (U/A) made by three young enthusiasts, Hari Shankar, Harish Narayan and Krishnashekar, toes an eerie line even as it ushers in the viewpoint genre in our cinema. The story unfolds from the viewer’s point and the camera is a character that leads you through the intricacies of the plot. (The 1947 film, ‘Lady in the Lake’ is an example) In ‘Orr Iravu’ you have the protagonist providing the voice-over to help you understand his own death in a secluded house, said to be haunted by spirits. The makers are pioneers all right but does their product sustain interest?
Armed with a Masters in Supernatural Sciences from abroad, paranormal investigator Nakulan Ponnusamy (Satish G.) accepts entrepreneur Anand’s assignment and goes to Munnar to check out the existence of ghosts in the house, which Anand wishes to convert into a holiday resort. However Anand doesn’t tell Nakul that the expedition taken up earlier by a team of three had gone awry – two of them had been found dead and the other had gone missing. Nakulan comes to know of it only when it’s too late. A television channel analyses the case in its show, Metro Crimes, and simultaneously, Nakulan’s voice narrates to the viewer the incidents that led to his end …
The inference you draw from ‘Orr Iravu’ is that spirits do exist!
Without actually showing apparitions and their howls at night or splashing blood all over the screen, the directors try to send a chill down your spine. But camera and sound mixing play truant. RIG (PV23) camera, designed specifically for viewpoint storytelling, has been used but it doesn’t serve the purpose. Blurred images and grainy screens may be intended, yet they cause too much strain on the eye that you are unable to concentrate on the happenings. How long can you keep watching a pair of hands holding a handy cam that moves around shakily? Throughout the film you don’t get to see the face of the main actor in the supernatural drama, clearly! And the sounds in the background only add to the fatigue.
Screenplay is another sore point. Alternating a channel’s take on the case with Nakulan’s first person address affects the momentum. At the most, ‘Orr Iravu’ is a glorified version of a spooky show in a night time slot on TV!
The only song in the film is an enigma in itself. The lyric is said to have been penned by the spirit of Kaviarasu Kannadasan through C. M. Rathinasamy who is a Medium! You are told that Rathinasamy has 30 years experience in interacting with spirits.
Fine, in the present scenario you need guts to make a film without a hero, heroine duets and action. But the makers carry things a tad too far when even the faces of the main characters remain hidden right till the end!
The premise is interesting, the narration is new, the genre is fresh and the effort to be different is evident. Yet if the subject fails to keep the viewer glued to his seat, it’s probably because the technical team is a let-down!