‘Iraivan’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Did Arjun Catch The Copycat Killer?

Iraivan, loosely translated to ‘he who is worshiped,’ is one of the many convoluted tales of a serial killer and the hunt that ensues to catch them. Tamil cinema is cluttered with such movies where, for most of the film, the story does not make sense and a lot of importance is given to the twists and turns instead of focusing on the narrative. Iraivan, directed by I. Ahmed, is one such film that loses steam right from the beginning. This article will take readers through the route taken by the police to finally nab the killer.


Spoilers Ahead

Why Is Arjun Called The Troublemaker?

Iraivan begins with Arjun, the assistant commissioner of police, being projected as an officer who does not believe in following the rules of the game. He had made arrests through unconventional routes. He never believed in ‘God’s divine justice’ that gave him the ammunition to kill the men who were accused of committing many crimes. This put him on the hit list of many high-end mafias. His friend and superior officer, Andrew, knew of his violent tendencies and was worried about how long Arjun would last with his rogue behavior. Arjun, as the lead protagonist, is not a typical hero with conventional qualities. Andrew’s sister Priya loves him for who he is and believes he is essentially a soft-hearted man hardened by the line of work he has been a part of.


Who Is The Serial Killer?

A serial killer was on the loose, and he’d killed 10 young women with the same modus operandi. Arjun and Andrew worked tirelessly to catch the culprit they named “Smiley Killer”. The cat-and-mouse chase went on for six months, yet the team was nowhere close to arresting the perpetrator.

Arjun reached the spot to nab the murderer as per Andrew’s orders, only to witness the entire team massacred. Andrew and the victim are gravely injured, but the silver lining is that the ‘Smiley Killer’ was arrested. Brahma was the real name of the serial killer, and he was admitted to a mental asylum for psychiatric treatment. He was being treated as a mental health patient instead of a serial killer. Unfortunately for Arjun, Andrew succumbs to the injuries inflicted by Brahma. As a police officer, he was constantly haunted by Andrew’s memories, which forced him to quit the force. He opened a coffee shop with Priya and Andrew’s wife, Jasmine, in his bid to stay closer to his friend’s family and provide as much help as he could. This was a classic example of survivor’s guilt and an inherent male trait that leads men to want to protect women around them.


What Happens After The Serial Killer Escapes?

Arjun learned of Brahma escaping jail after murdering the court-appointed psychiatrist. Brahma was at large again, but the police neither had Andrew nor Arjun in their team to nab the killer once again. Brahma kidnapped Divya, the daughter of Arjun’s family friend. Since he had worked on Brahma’s case earlier, the man was in tune with how the serial killer operated. Arjun had to take the reins into his own hands and break a few rules once again in his pursuit to rescue Divya. Unfortunately, Divya was murdered, which further fueled his anger towards Brahma.

Brahma was finally caught in the act of killing another woman named Shalu. He was killed by the police, who reached the scene of the crime to stop Arjun from taking matters into his own hands. Meanwhile, Brahma confirmed the presence of another serial killer to Arjun. Brahma admitted another person was using his name to carry out the murders. The police were under the impression that justice had been served, but to their horror, the killings never stopped.


Is There A Copycat Killer On The Loose?

Arjun was confident about the presence of a copycat killer at large who was carrying out Brahma’s work. It could either be a new serial killer on the loose or Brahma’s accomplice, whom the police never got hold of. The police at this juncture were running around like a bunch of headless chickens because they had no lead on them. Arjun was keen to know who visited Brahma in prison. He believed someone who visited Brahma was instrumental in his escape. Arjun had also received a letter from what he believes is the ‘Smiley Killer’. The contents of the letter challenged him to catch the killer, or else his family would be in danger. Arjun had adopted Andrew’s family as his own, and he would be devastated if any of them were harmed in this process.

Arjun’s involvement in the case does not make sense because he is not a part of the police force anymore. Putting himself in the line of fire only to track down the killer will endanger the immediate family he is trying to protect. The contradiction in his behavior and response to this case makes the narrative seem over the top, with no end in sight of who the killer might be. The first breakthrough in a long while comes in the form of a priest from the church who visited the prison with his assistant Babu. This lead could make or break the case and further bring Arjun and the investigation team closer to their killer.

How Did Babu Get Embroiled In These Murders?

Babu was arrested by Arjun a year ago on the scene of a crime committed by Brahma, and he became a victim of police brutality. He worked for the priest after his release and got in touch with Brahma during one of his visits to the prison with the priest. Brahma manipulates Babu by imparting his motive behind killing many women. We are under the impression that Babu was severely affected by the police brutality he faced, especially at the hands of Arjun. Brahma took advantage of his fragile mind and convinced the young boy to carry out murders for him. Babu probably had a penchant for murder, which is why he joined a street gang. Brahma, being the perpetrator of several murders, had it in him to hoodwink Babu into working for him and at the same time hide his identity.

Babu was interrogated again by Arjun on a hunch, but he had no proof against the young man, which forced him to let go of the alleged killer. This did not stop Arjun from seeking evidence that could implicate Babu. The smoking gun was the pictures of the victims, including Divya’s, found on Babu’s personal computer. While Arjun’s instinct was commendable, there was no indication earlier in the film that reflected his instincts being right most of the time. His involvement and obsession with this case had no boundaries. The threat he received could turn out to be true, and he will not want his family to be embroiled in it. He wanted to arrest Babu, and finding proof of his crime was the only way to convince his ex-superior officers to make the arrest. Arjun was also adamant because he wanted to finish the work he and Andrew had begun. His friend, unfortunately, became a victim of Brahma and Babu and he wanted to avenge his death.


How Did Arjun Catch The Copycat Killer?

Babu knew Arjun would not stop till he was implicated in this case. Brahma groomed Babu well, but the young man could not stand up against Arjun. The reason he went after Divya was to get a reaction out of Arjun, and Babu wanted him to be involved in the investigation so that the world could witness his incompetence. Arjun had lost many people close to him because of Babu, and the killer was relishing the fact that Arjun’s mental and physical wellbeing was slowly disintegrating.

Babu confessed to the crimes he committed with Brahma and after his death. Arjun’s superiors were not willing to believe his words until they found another suspect dead after Babu was released out of goodwill. Babu wanted to avenge the wrongful treatment he received at the hands of Arjun when he was in his custody. His hunger for revenge led to the young boy getting carried away by Brahma’s words, and the rest was history. Babu’s last attempt at pushing Arjun into a corner was by kidnapping Andrew and Jasmine’s daughter Sophie and threatening to kill Priya as well. Danger had eventually reached Arjun’s doorstep. He was known for his bad temper, but this time, for the sake of his family, he remained composed and tried to remain unaffected by Babu’s mind games.


Babu was a typical psychopath; a true successor to Brahma who would make sure Arjun lost this time. Iraivan ends with Babu and Arjun reaching a factory where he claims to have kept Sophie captive. Priya also entered the negotiation when she was asked to offer herself in exchange for Sophie’s life. Priya loved her family, and sacrificing herself for them was not a hard decision to make. She was also in love with Arjun, and she would have wanted him to win this game Babu started. Arjun was impressed by Priya’s strength and resilience, which pushed him to severely injure Babu. Arjun was probably done with this cat-and-mouse chase.

Babu was under police custody in the hospital. News of his death was leaked to the media so that people did not live in fear. Babu was kept alive for Arjun to avenge Divya and Andrew’s deaths. The police agreed to let Arjun do the deed because of the tragedies he faced. We believe Arjun’s retaliation for all the incidents that have taken place cannot be justified by police brutality. Babu deserved to be put on trial and allow the law take its course. Iraivan is far from subtle, and the ending is proof of that.


Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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