Apr 03 2017
With Pichaikkaaran‘s surprise success, Vijay Antony became a bonafide star, a fact that is evidenced by the buzz around his new films. Following the film’s success, the music director-turned-actor seems to be following a simple formula for his films. They have a short, catchy title(his last 3 films were Pichaikkaaran, Saithaan and now Yaman and his next has been titled Kaali) and a twisty story that incorporates a soft, clean romance and mild humor. And Vijay Antony himself plays a character that has a few shades of gray. Yaman is a political drama but sticks to the same formula.
Yaman plays out like a rags-to-riches story in the political arena as its captures a man’s rise in politics. Thamizharasan(Vijay Antony), looking for money to pay for his grandfather’s surgery, agrees to go to jail in place of the real driver in a car accident. The jail stint pushes him into the political path as he comes between Manimaran(Marimuthu) and Selvam(Jayakumar) and through them meets Karunakaran(Thiagarajan), an ex-MLA who nurtures ambitions of becoming an MLA again. There are enough twists and double-crosses to keep things interesting as many of these characters have scores to settle with each other. So it all comes down to who gets to who first.
But Thamizharasan’s real enemy is Thangapandi, a minister. There is a history between the two of them but the interesting aspect of it is that Thamizharasan doesn’t know about it. So we know the reason behind Thangapandi’s shock on seeing Thamizharasan but Thamizharasan himself is oblivious to it. This makes the battle between them a little different with Thangapandi having the upper hand as Thamizharasan trusts him. That being said, the culmination of this aspect of their enmity isn’t very satisfactory. It doesn’t provide suitable closure to the weight of the secret that Thamizharasan was unaware of.
Thamizharasan is definitely a mass hero even if a rather soft-spoken one. He has a number slo-mo shots and no one lays a hand on him in the fight sequences. But as he gets deeper into politics, he displays a hard side that goes against the clean image that our mass heroes posses. Most of the people he goes up against are bad and his acts feel justified but the way Thamizharasan manipulates the minister’s PA(Charlie) to get what he wants shows a side of him that isn’t completely good or ethical.
A few more instances of this kind of behavior would’ve justified the title and made the character – an the film itself – more interesting, especially towards the end. It would’ve definitely added spice to the bland romance between Thamizharasan and Anjana(Mia George), an actress. I was kinda hoping that at least some of his interest in the romance would be due to the help her stardom would provide to his political aspirations but that never comes up. So the romance exists as always to pave the way for a couple of duets though the director has made an effort to make it a bit relevant by adding a small link between her and Thangapandi.
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