Tamil Movie Review – Yuddham Sei

This was one of the most waited movies in my list for 2011!

(One of the best scenes in the movie – Cheran facing off the criminals with just a small knife on a bridge. One to one and almost immediate – no stupid scenes like one hero flying or punching 20 guys at one go.  Image source: Indiaglitz)

Sometimes, we can determine a good movie upfront by seeing who is the director of the movie – throw some names like Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and in Tamil movie scene, Shankar (although he screwed up his last movie), Mani Ratnam, Gautham Menon and many more up into the air and you can be assured that you going to see a movie that is not only entertaining but well made and with the right storyline.

One such director that have been consistently been churning out “must watch” Tamil movies in recent times is Mysskin. In the last 5 years, he only made 4 movies – Chithiram Pesuthadi in 2006 (still remember the “fish” song?), then one of the best, Anjathey in 2008 and did one personal movie for himself titled Nandhalala in 2010 and now we have Yuddham Sei in 2011.

There is a good reason why Yuddham Sei is also known as Anjathey 2 – quality and well-directed storyline continue to ooze from Mysskin’s magical hands.

The synopsis

From Wikipedia:-

The film starts with a brooding CB-CID officer J.K. who is worried about his missing sister. His senior officer promises J.K. that he can take up his sister’s case after he solves another one, so J.K. agrees. Amputated male arms are packed in cartons and left in public places. J.K. suspects that they are done so deliberately, as a message to the police. Based on identification from families of missing persons, they find that the arms belong to Raja Manikam, Moorthy et cetera. By triangulating the co-ordinates they find a lead in this case.

Durai Pandi is a leading textile shop owner who was beaten and insulted in public and handed over to the police after it was found that he had used a peephole to look into the dressing room for women. He is caught by the victim Suja’s family, who are totally shattered by this incident. The inspector in-charge of this case is Isakki Muthu. Later, Durai Pandi’s manager surrenders to the police accepting the charge of the crime, and thus clearing Durai Pandi’s name.

Later, Suja’s father Dr. Purushothaman was arrested on charges of bribery, and later released. A sex affair complaint was lodged against Dr. Purushothaman’s wife. These events shatter the family, and they suicide by setting themselves on fire. But Suja is still missing, so J.K. decides to reopen Dr. Purushothaman’s case.

Read further here

(There is “dirt” in this police station – Cheran facing off a dirty cop who is part of the criminal gang involved in the kidnapping of young girls. Image source: Indiaglitz)

The storyline

Very similar with Anjathey with a little twist here and there but the ending was something that was not expected. Many slammed Mysskin for using similar plot with Anjathey for this movie. Yes, admittedly it is indeed similar but what is more important is how it is presented to the audience – in the past, we have seen remakes of older movies but not all turned out to be well). In that sense, Mysskin maintains his grip on quality and good story-telling to be better or in par with Anjathey.

So, what we have in Yuddham Sei? In this movie, there are 4 groups of characters with 4 subplots twisted together as one big plot in this movie and it was well presented by Mysskin:-

1. There is the story of a brother looking for his missing sister – JK, the main character well played by Cheran is a police detective who had to content with investigating gruesome murders in the city whilst investigating the disappearance of his sister (In Anjathey, Sathyanathan investigates the kidnapping of young girls whilst had to content with his good friend turning to the “dark side” of life)

2. There is the story of the police who seems to be at loss with finding of human parts in a box, left in the public areas around the city. Mysskin was careful to show the details of the police investigations, the frustrations and the pressure from the police chief and politicians and the public to get the people who been cutting up the victims (Same thing in Anjathey – one of the best scenes there was when Sathyanathan asks the IGP to investigate when he was asked to get out from the room. In Yuddham Sei, IGP is a much cooler head than in Anjathey but no less, keeps up the pressure on his men to solve the case fast)

3. There is the story of a criminal gang who kidnaps young women for sexual purposes and portrays the act to a group of old wealthy men who pay good money (Similar in Anjathey where young girls get kidnapped for ransom)

And then

4. There is the dark story of revenge – something that is not noticed until it is explained in the second part of the story. Revenge is indeed sweet.

The camera angle

Similarly in Anjathey, camera angle of the various scenes remains perfectly executed. Sathya handled the camera but you can feel Mysskin’s artistry all over the place. Scenes like the back shot of JK as he is pondering his next move as he in a vehicle traveling towards for a police operation, the fight scene at the over head bridge – one of the fights is shown upside with the criminal shown running in the background, the dead girl lying on the dining table surrounded by her family members and of course, the classic  trademark ground level shots.

Creative camera shots making story telling even more compelling – coupled with well timed background music and that gives a whole new meaning to thrillers.

(I love the camera angles in this movie – Cheran sitting down at the spot where his sister was kidnapped, contemplating on how to find her. Image source: Indiaglitz)

The acting

The key person in this story is Cheran – we all have seen his fine acting (and direction) in Autograph and Thavamai Thavamirundhu but this is first time, we are seeing him in the role of a policeman, out to solve 2 cases at the same time. Acting is fine but perhaps we are seeing Cheran in a totally new role, initially we are unable to erase Cheran from his other roles that he had played in the past but as the movie picks up pace, we start to believe that Cheran is one tough cop and he is just one of us when faced with tough calls.

Another twist in the line of actors in this movie is YG. Mahendra – the actor from the often played funny roles in movies in 1980s and lately involved in TV serials. Lakshmi Ramakrishnan who plays his wife in this movie excels as well in her role.

The music

Background music in Yuddham Sei picks where Anjathey had left off – not much song scenes but plenty of heart-stopping background music for the tense moments in the movie. Mysskin seems to favor violin based music – we found it in Anjathey and  we loved it alot and now we can find it in abundant in Yuddham Sei. I managed to get hold of Yuddham Sei’s soundtrack – the music alone is worth listening on its own.

Final say

The plus points: The direction (It’s Mysskin man, what else you need?), camera work, music and acting (Cheran did one fine work here)

The negative points: The storyline (Damn! It looks identical to Anjathey but it highly, highly acceptable)

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