Irudhi Sutru (Final round) is the second directorial venture of Sudha Kongora after Drohi way back in 2010. This time she teams up with Madhavan, who makes a comeback after a hiatus, and Ritika Singh, a professional mixed martial arts expert.

The film deals with Women’s Boxing in India and the politics involved. The theme of the story is nothing new from what we have seen in the past sports-based films. However, Irudhi Sutru gets a different treatment from the director altogether in terms of screenplay and execution. Kongora makes sure that the screenplay remains engaging and entertaining to the viewer and she succeeds in doing so.

The film revolves around two main characters, Prabhu (Madhavan), a determined, committed coach, for whom the sport is his life, and Madhie (Ritika) a fish monger in Chennai. For Madhavan, this film becomes the perfect comeback vehicle after a gap of almost three years. His beefed up rugged appearance is a stark contrast to his chocolate boy image of the past.

He dishes out an excellent performance as an angry, ruthless coach. He does not mince his words and the attitude leads him to many issues and eventually ends up in Chennai where he comes across Madhie, a fish monger by profession.

Madhie is the closest friend of Laxmi who is an aspiring boxer. Madhie helps Laxmi during her training and practice sessions and one day, Prabhu realizes that Madhie has better boxing skills than Laxmi. He tries to persuade Madhie to take up boxing. Madhie eventually agrees to train under Prabhu. The challenges, hurdles, and the emotions shared by Prabhu and Madhie forms the rest of the story.

For Ritika, this is a dream debut. She is lucky to have bagged the role for several reasons. One, the character itself. It’s not the typical girl-next door or the usual glam type. When she is angry, foul mouthed, or even when she falls in love with her coach, Ritika never fails to deliver a memorable and terrific performance.

This is probably the only film where a heroin looks attractive even in track bottoms and sweat shirts. She gains equal screenspace as Madhavan and capitalizes on the opportunity. Apart from the two, supporting actors like Nasser and Kalali Venkat provide neat performances and are not artificially fit in.

As far as the technical aspects are concerned, Santhosh Narayanan’s songs and the background score gel with the screenplay and never looks or sounds out of place. Sivakumar Vijayan’s cinematography brings out emotions in their raw forms. Satish Suriya has also done a commendable job in the editing department.

On the whole, Irudhi Sutru is a power packed, emotional sports drama, neatly packaged and delivered by Sudha Kongora with a punch, literally.

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