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Isai Movie Review: SJ Surya Is Back With A Bang!

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After much anticipation, SJ Surya's Isai has finally been released without much of a hype. The director turned actor has taken a new avatar in this movie by embracing a new role as that of a music director. So what does Isai has to offer? Read the below mentioned review to unlock the answer.

Isai Movie Review


Sathyaraj is an established and an old fashioned music director in the industry. He is loved and respected for his works and is termed as the greatest musician of our times. SJ Surya who works as an assistant under Sathyaraj gets an opportunity to compose music for a small time film.

When he seeks permission from Sathyaraj to go ahead with his first venture as a music director, Sathyaraj doesn't oppose the idea as he wouldn't have imagined even in his wildest dream that one day SJ Surya would surpass him in the musical world.

When Surya uses new techniques with the help of computer and softwares, his music gets the attention of all music lovers. Due to the freshness and modernity his music possesses, he gradually becomes the most sought after musician and finally overtakes Sathyaraj.

SJ Surya becomes the number one musician and also builds his own studio. Meanwhile he falls in love with Sulagna Panigrahi(much before he becomes famous) and also marries her. When it seems everything he touches turns to gold, Sathyaraj displays his true colors.

To get his glory back, Sathyaraj does whatever it takes to label SJ Surya unfit to compose music. Can SJ Surya bounce back despite his new and unwanted status forms the rest of the story.


All lead actors have done a fantastic job in this movie. They in fact hold together the entire movie which would've otherwise gone down as an ordinary film thanks to its predictable screenplay(in the first half). Supporting actors too have done what is required and have bailed Isai out of trouble.


Music is the soul of this movie which has been aptly named as Isai. SJ Surya has impressed with his songs and background score. In fact, his music doesn't sound as if it has been composed by a new music director.

Screenplay could've been much better as the movie gets predictable especially in the first half. But Kudos to the director as the second half will keep you hooked to Isai. Scripting a brave climax and executing it might be difficult for other directors but not for SJ Surya as he pulls off an unpredictable climax with ease. Cinematography by Soundararajan is once again impressive.

Editing by KM Riyas comes across as a disappointment as this film would've been much better without a few unwanted scenes which drags this movie a little over 3 hours.

Overall View:

Isai  is a brave attempt by SJ Surya. He is one director who can make a not-so-great story look brilliant on screen and Isai  is definitely one of his finest work.

Check out some of the best stills from the movie in the slides below:

SJ Surya As A Composer

Isai was announced by S. J. Surya in 2004 shortly after the release of New. But due to other commitments, the film failed to take off.

Spreading Good Music

It was initially revealed that AR Rahman would compose music for Isai. But Rahman backed out due to unknown reasons.

Using The Technology

In 2011, Surya announced that the film would restart and he would compose the film himself, describing it as a "musical".

Teaching Music?

SJ Surya initially approached Prakash Raj and Gangai Amaren for a key role. That role later went to Sathyaraj.

Fall Of A Musician

After the soundtrack was released, Isai songs quickly reached top 10 in Tamil music charts. The day of its release, 'isai veesi' song had reached Tamil Top10 music charts

Facing The Media

Reports suggested that Lakshmi Rai, would play the female lead role but Surya subsequently denied this stating that he had been auditioning newcomers in Mumbai for the role.

Lost In Music

In May 2012, the film's first look posters were finally revealed, with Sulagna Panigrahi under the new name Savithri.

Doing It The Surya Style

Sulagna Panigrahi, an Oriya television and film actress made her Bollywood debut in the 2011 thriller Murder 2.

Familiar Pose?

Isai is a musical thriller film written and directed by S. J. Surya. He has also composed music for the first time.

Surya With Sulagna

Surya had recently revealed that his dream was to become an actor. But since nobody came forward to cast him in their films, he started directing and producing films to become an actor one day.

Lost In Love

Other prominent actors who have made an impact in Isai are Jayaprakash, Thambi Ramaiah, Ganja Karuppu and M. S. Bhaskar.

Isai Photoshoot

The movie has been produced by S. Subbiah and Victor Raj Pandian under the production company SS Productions.

Hero With His Guitar

Earlier, there were reports that the film narrated the tale of the rift between South Indian musicians Ilaiyaraaja and A. R. Rahman.

For The Sake Of Photoshoot

SJ Surya had earlier revealed that after auditioning over 200 new faces, Sulagna Panigrahi was finally selected and was christened with a new name Savithri, by him.

Love In The Air

Like all SJ Surya movies, Isai too is high on romantic scenes. His trade mark style of delivering dialogues has once again managed to woo the audience.

Read more about: sj surya, isai, sathyaraj
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