Cast : S. J. Surya, Savithri, Sulagna Panigrahi, Sathyaraj, Gibran Osman, Thambi Ramaiah, Ganja Karuppu
Editing : K. M. Riyas
Music : S. J. Surya
Cinematography : Soundararajan
Written : S. J. Surya
Direction : S. J. Surya
Production : SS Productions
Distribution : ASA Multimedias
What jealousy can do to a genius? SJ Suryah doesn’t step out of his usual paradigms in storytelling and precisely gives a clear view of plot. Just five minutes into the film, we are taken straight to the conflicts of ace music director (Sathyaraj) whose throne is replaced by sensational Shiva (SJ Suryah). As the former succumbs to inevitable jealousy and pride, he plays a game of mystery that would result in the ultimate downfall of Shiva.
These days, running length has turned to be a major factor in deciding a film’s fate and when you glimpse on duration of Isai (3hrs 10mins) in censor certificate, you might perhaps draw your guesses of how engaging it is going to be. Apparently, the first half that extends nearly to 90 minutes has light moments and possibly has nothing close to the prescribed plot. There are few repeated scenes that include Savithri offers remedial romance to SJ Suryah and gets back to the confession box in Church. This could have been actually trimmed as it turns out to be hackneyed. In contrast, the post-intermission sequences turn into a gripping narration with some thrilling moments and not to miss the last 25 minutes that comes as an uninvited surprise to send you back home with cheers.
SJ Suryah proves his adeptness in usual style with an impeccable storytelling. Of course, he doesn’t miss to include his very own style of Adam Sandler mantra that includes romantic intimacies with a peck of humor. Savithiri doesn’t just exhibit her oomph factors, but manages to deliver a promising performance, especially during the climax that keeps equally on par with SJ Suryah and Sathyaraj. The cameo of AR Murugadoss and Vishnuvardhan is good, but the episode involving choreographer Raju Sundaram and Japan Kumar lets you breathe with laughter amidst the tensed ambience. As an actor SJ Suryah repeats his trademark act of ‘Irukku Aana Illa’ in many places. The scene where he calls up his secretary and says, “Morning Naa Unakku Sorry Sonnenla. Adhu Vaapas” leaves the theatre in copious laughter. Sathyaraj is remarkably stunning and stands out as a showstopper as he effortlessly offers a depth in his performance. Ample evidence goes with his anger filled ambush encounters with a Azhagam Perumal, where he does composing notes spitting.
On the technical front, SJ Suryah has exerted decorous effort on background score more than the songs. The sequences where he captures the natural sound of forests and delivers as a song ‘Isai Veesi’ is beautifully composed.
If you’re looking up for what’s on the flip side, there is nothing much to list up, except the length that could have been slightly reduced. If few scenes that look repeated in the first half were avoided, it could have gained more intensity to the plot. Or else, with an engaging penultimate 25 minutes, Isai keeps us engrossed with a surprise before final credits. Maybe, the logic tends to be missing in few places, but the auteur offers a perfect justification before winding up the show. (Although, the surprise elements in the screenplay faintly reminiscences of trendsetting flicks like Pizza and Kathai Thiraikathai Iyakkam Vasanam, SJ Suryah pitches Isai with an unique treatment).
Isai : "A thriller packaged with surprise and fantasy, but lengthy"