Yaman – ‘A realistic, dialogue-heavy political thriller’

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Spoilers ahead…

Following suit the slow-paced, big ticket entertainer, Kodi that is equally realistic, Yaman, directed by Jeeva Shankar, is the kind of “political thriller” that we wish to watch. The movie begins with Arivudai Nambi’s ascension in his political career, conspiracies transpiring around the same to pull him down and subsequently, the goings-on victimizing him. Thereupon, Nambi’s wife ends her life leaving their only son to be nurtured under the care of Nambi’s father (played by Sangili Murugan). There ends the narration pertaining to Arivudai Nambi.

Post 30 long years in the narration, the focus switches to Tamilarasan. Now, all he is in need of is money for his grandfather’s medical treatment. There comes a situation that offers him chances to have a break through. Straight away he accepts it. Here, you expect to get to know about certain aspects like: what Tamilarasan’s family does for a living? What is his societal perception? What sort of a political outlook he has? You get none. All you get to know about him is that he is “good-at-heart”. Afterwards, we are proffered with a couple of finely choreographed stunt sequences and not-so-catchy… more importantly, not-so-well-placed songs.

I have always admired Vijay Antony for not losing his sheen over the department of music despite being an actor and a producer. In Yaman, the songs don’t seem to hit the bull’s-eye. He holds his authority over the background score though. As in the case of any actor in Tamil Cinema, to revamp one’s status as a star, at some point of time in their career, they tend to display their swagger in slo-mo shots backed predominantly by a vibrant background score. In that respect, Yaman is Vijay Antony’s turn to be so. It is really good to see him continue being less reliant on brand images, ensuring that personal branding takes a back seat and not being over-ambitious in delivering movies that appeal to family audience.

In a movie like Yaman that is heavily reliant upon the cat and mouse game between the extremes of the play, the job of being villain isn’t vested with one but two – Thiagarajan and Aroul Djody. For most part of the movie, Aroul Djody as Thangapandi exhibits the act of villainy. In such phases, Thiagarajan as Karunakaran appears to be more of a godfather to Tamilarasan. It’s only after a particular point in the post interval segment, we see him attaining a grey shade. That is when he starts rendering variations in his tone too. Thereafter we see Thiagarajan getting thoroughly involved in the proceedings as that is when his role as a villain gets legitimate. Initially, Miya George as Anjana aka Ahalya appears as a customary inclusion to the cast. But, an issue pertaining to her in the movie is what that triggers the political clash between Tamilarasan and Thangapandi.

If the addition of Swaminathan to Yaman is for providing smiles in a rather more serious screenplay then the presence of Charle is for providing more than just smiles. He has a moving role to essay. With Jeeva Shankar on board to helm the movie, one could experience his touch doing a world of good to the movie’s visuals. In spite of Yaman being a dialogue-heavy movie, at no point, the dialogues appeared preachy. I really enjoyed the dialogues. They were crystal clear. May be the pace at which the movie progresses were handy to me in following the dialogues. Among the dialogues, the one which I liked a lot is when Thiagarajan says to Arjai: “Newsla etha sonnaalum nambiduveengala da?” I feel that this dialogue appears to be applicable to all the periods of our society.

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