Cast: Vijay Antony, Mia George, Thiagarajan, Charlie, Sangili Murugan
Director: Jeeva Shankar
The director-hero’s second outing after the psychological thriller Naan (2012) is all about politics. It chronicles the rise of Thamizh, a common man, to a high position of political power. And as the narration progresses, the line between the good and bad narrows down considerably. For Thamizh, the end justified the means; he uses the same methods as his adversaries to get them out of his way. Intelligently scripted, it has a racy and stylish narrative and never loses focus for the most part.
Antony appears a more confident actor this time; there’s sheen and maturity in his performance. In his new look, Antony plays Thamizh whose father, a politician, died decades ago in unfortunate circumstances. It’s a fine touch that Thamizh, a splitting image of his father and identified by his father’s killer decade later, remains oblivious to the truth of his death till the end. Thamizh is raised by his grandfather (Murugan), but we are not told anything about the intervening years.
The first half is laced with plenty of action. Antony’s steely look and body language is well tuned to the character. But Thamizh’s slow majestic strides seem to be overdone to the point of monotony. The survival games played by politicians – the intrigues, betrayals and double cross – all form part of the script. Thiagarajan, cool and somber, appears as Karunakaran, a former MLA, who takes Thamizh under his wing. One gets the feel that he has a hidden agenda. Even his adversary remarks on it but that turns out to be a red herring.
Pertinent is Karunakaran’s remark about Thamizh to his two warring protégées that, ‘keeping Thamizh by your side is like being escorted by ‘Yaman’ the God of death’. The scenes where Thamizh grows closer to
Anjana (Mia), an actor, are fairly interesting. But when the character is linked to Thamizh’s adversary, it becomes a cliché that could have been avoided.
Too many characters are in the fray, and with the director trying to give space to all, it complicates matters. Making his presence felt is Charlie as the PA of a minister who plays a balancing game to his peril. The songs are peppy. However a duet, though aesthetically picturised, is thrust at an inopportune moment when expediency was the need.
The second half could have been spruced up, and its running time of about 154 minutes trimmed. At one point, we are led to believe that the story has reached its finale. But then it drags on for a while. Despite the glitches, and with more positives than negatives, Yaman is a fairly interesting watch.