It’s rare that we are at a loss for words after viewing something. If nothing else, the term ‘underwhelming’ has become a constant part of our reviews. “Iratta” is not underwhelming, but the plot deserved to unfold in a more engaging way. The ending, as powerful and twisted as it was, was let down by a slow-moving narrative. We really cannot pinpoint where this went wrong. The editing was undoubtedly crisp, and we don’t think that even a single scene needed to be cut out.
While we were not fans of the loud music accompanying the backstory of the characters, not to mention how ‘Seeta aur Geeta’ and ‘Ram aur Shyam’ it felt like, we cannot help but question if it was really relevant. The underlying concept of “Iratta” was that the traumas we face in our childhood shape the kind of adults we become. Now that we think about it, we understand why we feel so conflicted about this movie. While it painted an elaborate personality for Vinod, it completely skipped Pramod, despite the hints that he had his fair share of mental health struggles. Additionally, it will forever break our hearts that depictions of violence against women remain the preferred way to make a point on the silver screen. Well, this is how “Iratta” plays out.
Vinod And Pramod’s Childhood
Vinod and Pramod grew up in an abusive home, where their father would come home drunk and physically assault them and their mother. One day, having had enough, their mother decides to separate from him but asks him to pay child support. Their father refuses to do so, saying that she can take care of herself if she doesn’t want to live with him. But the police officer intervenes and tells him to take care of his children. In a burst of ego, the father says that he will take one child with him, and that ends up being Vinod. The father drags him away violently despite his resistance and protests from the mother. Vinod is left alone with his neglectful father, and one day, when he is locked out of his house because his father wants to sexually assault a young girl, who thankfully escapes, Vinod runs to his mother’s house. To his disappointment, he finds it locked. His mother and brother have left the town, and Vinod is now all alone. As he struggles to deal with the fact that his mother left without him, he finds his father fatally injured, probably attacked by relatives of the girl he tried to assault, or due to some other brawl. While it is not shown on screen, we believe that Vinod kills him, taking advantage of the situation. During his father’s last rites, his mother and Pramod come back, but it is too late as Vinod’s feelings of abandonment have completely taken over him, and he runs away from them. We can only assume that, though he must have come back to live with them, it couldn’t have been an easy or loving household for Vinod, who may have been more difficult to deal with than his brother.
The Grudges Of The Police Inspectors Against Vinod
When Vinod was shot dead, there were three police inspectors who immediately came to the scene, and now they are the prime suspects as they all had grudges against Vinod. The first inspector, John, had a tiff with Vinod after the latter physically assaulted him during his duty. Vinod was likely having an affair with a complainant for a case that John was investigating. He had gone to the complainant’s house at midnight and found John there, who was just doing his job; he had punched and injured him. John threatened to file a complaint against Vinod, but we don’t think that really happened since the former was retiring soon, and it would be an unnecessarily bureaucratic process to deal with during his last days at work. When asked what he was doing when Vinod was shot, John replied that he was talking to his wife. But that is only partly true. He was fighting with his wife and drinking alcohol in the kitchen when he heard the gunshots.
Next is Sandeep, with whom Vinod had quite the brawl that started for the pettiest reasons imaginable. When they were at the station one time, Vinod had roughhoused one of the parties of a complaint. While that might be considered part and parcel of their job, he noticed a schoolgirl looking at him, scared. Vinod always said that he had a soft spot for children, and he took her out for some ice cream. In his absence, the girl’s mother asks about her daughter, and Sandeep says that Vinod took her out and wouldn’t differentiate between her and an adult. It is quite a filthy insinuation to make, and Vinod hears it. Later, he drops Sandeep’s daughter off at home, saying that he had asked him to. This infuriates Sandeep, as he had said no such thing to Vinod, and they get into a fight, which results in Sandeep getting beaten up black and blue and losing badly. He has since carried a grudge against Vinod.
Finally, it was Bineesh’s turn. Vinod had died by his gun, which he had left on the table to attend nature’s call. While explaining himself, Bineesh reveals why he did not get along with Vinod. At a gambling den one night, two minors got into an argument with one of the motel boys, whom they suspected of trying to take a video of them secretly. When Bineesh and Vinod tried to intervene, things got out of hand, and the girl accidentally hit the motel boy while trying to attack Vinod. In a fit of rage, he locks himself in the room with her, with a clear intention to assault her. Bineesh is more preoccupied with helping the injured boy, even though he can see what Vinod is about to do. When he returns later, he finds that Vinod has sexually assaulted the girl. He files a complaint, but nothing comes of it as the parties refuse to say anything.
Finally, there is only the question of Pramod left. Almost 18 years earlier, his wife had left him with their 3-month-old baby due to his alcohol addiction and, we think, some domestic abuse. Pramod had reported them missing, and almost a year and a half later, Vinod and Satheesh, who were the investigating officers, found them living in Mumbai. They completed the due procedure of making a record of their safety, and Vinod had gone so far as to bring some toys and fruits for the child. As disgusting a man as Vinod was, his love for children was genuine. We are merely stating a fact and not presenting it as a redeeming quality. Vinod and Pramod had always had some tension between them, but we now know that it was Vinod’s complaint that got Pramod suspended, and they had been at loggerheads since then. Literally, no one got along with Vinod except his wife, Malini. It would be fair to say that he fell in love with her at first sight. Malini was facing domestic abuse at the hands of her mentally ill husband, and Pramod rescued her. While he initially tried to make a pass at her, he backed off soon enough after seeing her reluctance. Over time, they fell in love and got married. In fact, everyone said that he had turned over a new leaf after she came into his life, and that is why his death was doubly tragic.
‘Iratta’ Ending Explained: Who Killed Vinod And Why?
While John and Bineesh were truthful with their alibis, Sandeep was not. He told Pramod that he was in the washroom, but was he there with Bineesh then? Sandeep reveals that he was in the ladies’ restroom because he was having an affair with one of his colleagues. While looking at the video footage, Pramod also noticed that the jail cell holding a particular criminal was unlocked. The person was being held for possession of marijuana, and when one of the officers accidentally dropped their keys in front of the cell, he took the opportunity to break out and flush the evidence before locking himself back in. It all looked like another dead end, especially after the autopsy results suggested that the timing between the shots and the gunpowder residue meant that Vinod had shot himself. Luckily, Pramod goes through some video footage from one of the reporters on the scene and spots a boy who might have seen the murder when he tried to retrieve his ball while playing cricket. Pramod is right, and the boy’s testimony proves that Vinod did indeed commit suicide. But everyone is baffled as to why he would do it, which is when the answer presents itself in the form of a television program. There was a singing competition on television when Vinod shot himself. One of the contestants was Pramod’s estranged daughter. On a hunch, Pramod asks Bineesh if the girl is the same one they had encountered in the motel. Bineesh confirms that it was her, much to Pramod’s horror. Vinod had recognized the girl, and when he saw that she was his sister-in-law’s daughter, the full force of his crime hit him, and he committed suicide, unable to live with himself.
Knowing the full truth comes as a shock to Pramod, who had asked his wife to tell their daughter about him. Sreeja had agreed but knowing that he shared the same face as his daughter’s assaulter, Pramod told her to never tell their daughter about him. “Iratta” ends with Pramod breaking the mirror in his anger over the twisted connection between him and his twin brother.
Final Thoughts: What Didn’t Work For ‘Iratta’?
While writing out our thoughts about “Iratta,” we understood where this went wrong. It was communicated that Vinod was a twisted man, but the conflicts between him and the officers were not intriguing enough. We believe that was deliberate, to make room for the story between him and Malini, as love is often considered to be the most redeeming of qualities. The writers wanted us to feel some sympathy for him, and that attempt reeks of misogyny. It looked as if the women in Vinod and Pramod’s lives paid a greater price for their traumatizing childhood than the brothers did. And that makes us wish we had not seen this movie. Well, “Iratta” is a hard skip for us, and we hope that the cinema starts taking a better look at how it treats its women.