Saturday, 3 February 2018

Yemaali: Male Chauvinists Gathering

Manifold screenplays are not new to Tamil cinema. But, for VZ Durai's Yemaali, which has made such an attempt, unlike previous movies has two screenplays.

However, what could have been good on papers has turned out to be quirky on screen. The movie has Sam Jones and Athulya Ravi in the lead, along with Samuthirakani, Roshni Prakash and Bala Saravanan in pivotal roles.

Without wasting time on how the lead pair meet, fall in love and lead a happy life, Yemaali immediately opens from their break-up. Still, we get a clear picture of their love life during the title card. This is because, Yemaali is all about what happens after break-up and how the lover and the lady love take it from there.

To explain both sides, the movie has two love stories and parallel screenplays. In these love-stories, Yemaali shows, good and bad sides of break-up. While, in terms of screenplays, one of them runs in real time and the other is totally hypothetical.

The good side of break-up, played by Samuthirakani and Roshni, details on care, possession and understanding between separated lovers. While, the bad side, which has now turned out to be common in the society, has aggression, revenge and lust is played by Sam and Athulya.

With a deep-dyed sexist plot, and by the truck load of double meaning liners, Yemaali justifies its A-rating at the censors. But, the mind-set of the writers(Jeyamohan included) and director is so primitive that, they have become so stereotypical when writing the female characters in the movie. Most of its run time, the movie glorifies the pain of men after break-up and fails to show the perception of the opposite gender. Rather it humiliates them, as sex toys. Apart from women, there are places, where the writers have showed generosity to degrade LGBT community too, why leave them alone? Still, there are a few scenes where the emotions of women are registered. But, this is too subtle for this male dominant and chauvinistic plot.

Sam Jones and Athulya have played their roles of an amature pair, who find imbecile reasons to fight and even more half-witted reasons to make love (Kaskka Muskka in their slang, for sex). Their performance seems to be 'Okayish', when compared to preachy Samuthirakani. As we have seen him before, Samuthirakani's character, the only hope left to support women in this whole piece of thing, delivers a advice-galore. This, at some places goes laudable, leaving his destructive English pronunciations in the beginning. There is also a dialogue referring Kani, "Nee sonna Tamilnaadae kekkum annae aana naan kekamaaten," which the writers would have placed expecting a huge round of applause. Let me, at least, appreciate that.

For a horrible writing, which confuses the spectators a couple of times in realising which among the two screenplays the movie actually is now in, the placement of songs adds up more fuel to the fire. And, these songs are not audible and test our patience, as well. The original score by Sam D Raj seems to have got a lot of inspirations, as there are evidences of Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Taramani (2017) hither and thither.

Towards the end, Yemaali comes up with an 'Iraivi'yish judgement for break up, proving all men wrong, why suddenly? For VZ Durai, who gave watchable plots like Mugavaree and 6 Candles in the past, Yemaali is one disaster, which he never could wish to visit again in his filmography.

-Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, Feb 3 ,2018.

This viewer's note is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only.

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