Airaa is directed by Sarjun KM who rose to fame through short films “Lakshmi” and “Maa”. His first feature film “Echarikkai” was very average. Airaa is touted to be a super natural thriller with Nayanthara playing dual roles.
The film is presented in parallel narrative in the first half. We are introduced to Yamuna (Nayanthara) who is working in a small time media company. Incidentally the very first scene, she refers to “people like Radha Ravi” and takes on them directly, though not sure if it was intentional as the incident happened very recently. As she is forced into an arranged marriage, she decides to take leave and go back to her native to be with her grandmother (in Pollachi).
Strange things happen in the bungalow and it results in the death of her grandmother too. Meanwhile, some people are killed in a typical fashion in Chennai one by one. Both these parallels are linked with the character of “Bhavani” (Nayanthara). Who is Bhavani and how she is related to Yamuna and the murders is told in the second half.
The flashback scenes with Bhavani is the best part of the film especially the marriage portion which builds up nicely with good amount of suspense. The butterfly concept used reminds us of films like Chimbu devan’s “Oru Kanniyum Moondru Kalavanikalum”. Infact the director uses butterflies throughout the film to stress on the same. Nayanthara excels in the role of “Bhavani” which requires a de-glamorized look. The make-up for Bhavani character was good. Kalaiarasan has a decent role and does well. We also have Yogi Babu for namesake.
Apart from this, I felt the film was very flat. It never gives us the thrills of watching a horror flick, neither does it have a gripping narrative to hold our attention. The first half ends without any clue about Bhavani’s character, which is a big disappointment. There has to be something for the audience to be excited about at the time of interval. However, here we are left wondering what is happening. It would have helped if the interval was kept after the introduction of Bhavani’s character. Further the real butterfly incident is also revealed towards the end, by that time you lose your patience completely.
The length of the film is a worry, blame it on the editing. Technically the film is very average, the background score was not catchy enough. CG work could be easily identified. The cinematographer seemed to be obsessed with top angle shots…we see several continuous top angle shots which becomes irritating sometimes. Some of the scenes in the first half did not have any relevance to the plot and appeared to be added just to increase the length of the film like the entire first scene where the police enters into the bungalow,, bubbloo character or the entire grandmother episode.
Honestly, Airaa could have been a very good short film. But as a full length movie, the script and the logic (illogical) spoils the show.
Rating – 2/5