Thursday, 26 February 2015

Yennai Arindhaal (2015)

The way director Gautham Menon goes about it, they might as well enlist him in a police encounter squad for real. As in his previous police-as-vigilante movies, beneath the wafer-thin layer of realism, a familiar hero-villain face off track takes center-stage. 

Where Menon's loyalties bend is more than clear. Criminals and gangsters are stylish, barbaric, wicked, epic and looming over the idealistic law-protecting hero, so they deserve to be killed as brutally, tit for tat, same old revenge tale. 

Yennai Arindhaal (Translated: Well...if you know me) has the protagonist-narrative monologue lending credibility to the events as it did to Menon's previous police depictions on film. The running time, despite the crisp editing mitigates impact. The villain track is stretched beyond elastic, the organ-stealing plot is too fantastic. 

The movie scores in its performances, Harris Jayraj's rocking soundtrack, sharp technical finesse and semi-believable lead characters. Ajith Kumar is effectively understated in his role, the larger-than-life cape don't suit him, he is more of an actor and a reluctant star. Arun Vijay as the antagonist is good. 

The film's endearing, believable parts - the Ajith-Trisha track and Ajith's 'caring father' part. Menon is best in handling male-female, family bonding, the action seems a commercial afterthought, though adroitly depicted. This is a kind of film Menon will never tire of making. It's a decent watch for a drama-action-gritty police story. 

For Gautham Menon's best yet, (both don't feature the police) try Vaaranam Aayiram (2008) and Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010).

(Subtitles saved the day for me, hopefully more regional films will be increasingly released on 70mm with English subtitles, in  days to come.)   

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