Flim: Bayama Irukku; Director: Jawahar; Cast: Reshmi Menon, Santhosh Prathap, Kovai Sarala, Mottai Rajendran
At a time when the abundantly overused horror-comedy genre seems to be finally getting put to bed, along comes Bayama Irruku. But fortunately (and unfortunately too, I guess), Bayama Irruku doesn’t fall under either category as the film fails at both scaring you and making you laugh.
This film was marketed with veteran comedienne Kovai Sarala in the promotional material but her role is just a cameo. It’s not even an extended one. What we’re left with then are mediocre performances from the rest of the cast. Santhosh Prathap, despite being a few films old, still struggles with expressions and yet, gets a number of close-up shots. Reshmi Menon is meant to be the only saving grace in the film, but due to the sort of role she plays, she’s stone-faced throughout the film.
As for the rest of the cast, you may be forgiven for expecting a laugh riot considering actors like Mottai Rajendran, Jagan, Lollu Sabha Jeeva and Barani of Bigg Boss fame are all part of the film. But what they’ve tried is entirely devoid of humour.
What is interesting though is how the film maintains a state of confusion over who the ghost really is. But even that, after a certain point of time, gets tiring and made me want to raise my hand and take up the ghost’s role, considering nobody seemed to want it.
Debutant director Jawahar, despite managing to rope in good comedians, hasn’t given them nearly enough scope to perform. To begin with, the genre is done to death, but the humour he has tried too is as old as the hills. The horror scenes are worse, with not a single sequence managing to give us the scares.
It’s high-time filmmakers realise that white paint on a person’s face doesn’t necessarily make them look like a frightening spirit. It’s as cliché as Mottai Rajendran singing an old Tamil song to elicit laughs... which, as you can imagine, happens too. Bayama Irruku also falls prey to a common misstep of most films of this genre—songs that act as speedbreakers, and making it worse is their timing.
The silver lining is the decent VFX work and the sets thhat make a couple of shots look picturesque and beautiful. Mahendran’s cinematography plays a pivotal role here. If only the story and screenplay could’ve lived up to the same standard, the film may not have been such a dud. On the whole, Bayama Irruku hits the final nail in the coffin on the horror-comedy genre. Here’s hoping that more such films don’t rise from the dead to haunt us again!