Mar 19 2017
Yaakkai begins with a well-filmed scene where a car is pushed down from the rooftop of a Chennai hospital at night. When ACP Sahayam(Prakashraj) arrives at the scene the next day, we learn that the chief of the hospital Krishnamoorthy(Radharavi) was killed and then placed in the car before its fall. This sets the stage for a suspense thriller. As in recent thrillers, comedy is added to the mix with Singampuli showing up as Sahayam’s assistant but the case moves rather quickly as Sahayam finds a few clues, Krishnamoorthy’s son Sriram(Guru Somasundaram) returns from the US and a key player is killed.
Then the action shifts to Coimbatore to focus on the romance between Kathir(Krishna) and Kavitha(Swathi) and that is the film’s undoing. Kathir takes Kavitha’s photos without her knowledge and his first instinct when Kavitha faints in his arms after donating blood, is to take a selfie. So the romance has a troublesome start with Kathir not coming across as very likeable. It is never particularly charming and it is also periodically interrupted by the murder case. So it never gets us fully involved and its only bright spot is the catchy Solli Tholaiyen maa… number.
But Krishna’s performance ends up being the film’s biggest problem compared to his character’s unintended creepiness and the romance’s general blandness. We are used to seeing our heroines overact in an attempt to look cute and bubbly. But Krishna takes on that task here. He hams in every scene he is in trying to be cute and playful but fails miserably and is completely irritating. While talking about performances, Guru Somasundaram is completely miscast also. His acting and dialog delivery, especially when he talks in English, come across as artificial and unrealistic.
Even if most of Sahayam’s findings come from luck and convenient clues(like a haphazardly torn calendar sheet), his investigation keeps us marginally interested in the film. It comes as no surprise that the Kathir-Kavitha romance ends up being connected to the murder. The way the two tracks are connected involves the director playing with timelines but its not done too well and ends up being confusing with some of the suspense being broken at the midpoint because of the need to signal the intermission on a temporary high.
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