Isai (இசை) is a movie by S.J.Surya that got released today. Suryah has written, directed, acted and music composed for the movie. The story is about the vengeance of a popular music director Vetriselvan (Played by Sathyaraj) against his assistant Siva (Played by Surya) after Vetriselvan looses his shine to Siva. I was startled by the Censor certificate saying the movie is 3 Hours 10 Minutes long, I don’t understand the recent craze of Tamil film directors for long movies, to me, it just shows their lack of crisp storytelling.
The first half drags along in familiar path. Surya goes to a remote forest to do an album with Sounds of nature, where he falls in love with a local village girl Jenny (Played by debutant Savithri alias Sulagna Panigrahi). Yes, you guessed it right. There is a waterfall near the village, we get to see Savithri taking bath in two pieces in the waterfall. I couldn’t help thinking how a village girl gets to wear designer costumes in all hues. In their first encounter, Suryah gets bitten by a snake, Savithri carries him from forest to village and saves his life. They fall in love. Savithri gives bitter medicine every day for next one week to Suryah, on the first day by pinning him down, later by transferring the medicine from her mouth to his. Director S.J.Surya has stretched to see how far censor board will permit him in objectifying the woman (the heroine), by the sound of whistle and claps in the theatre, Suriyah has succeeded in catering to his core audience.
The second half saves the movie, turning to be an interesting watch as the story shifts gear into a full-fledged vengeance thriller. We were treated to a brilliant performance by veteran Sathyaraj, for whom the character comes out effortlessly. As the grandness of the plot by Sathyaraj keeps getting unravelled, we could see why Director Surya is one of the best in Tamil film industry today. Ganja Karuppu adds comedy relief as Sathyaraj’s helper, in the scene where he places a coffee cup on the table was delightful to watch.
The visuals of the cottage (a combination of studio set and computer graphics) inside the forest just on the foot of waterfalls is breath-taking. I will pay a fortune to get a chance to stay in that for a week. I had difficulty watching Actor Surya, there was little or no facial expressions or body language from him, and the man on screen comes out much older for the character. Compared to Actor Surya, Music Composer Surya has done better, at least two songs I was humming when I came out – Puthandin & Isai Veesi.