Unlike Hollywood, political drama is not usual for Tamil cinema. But every movie will have a politician character, but they are usually stereotyped versions. We get a Muhammad Bin Tughlaq or an Amaidhipadai once in a blue moon.
Yaman doesn’t try to get into that space but treads a middle path – it’s neither a thriller nor a political drama, and it’s not a full-fledged masala movie. And surprisingly, it works in parts. Jeeva Shankar’s Naan was the breakthrough film for Vijay Antony, and his sharp dialogues shine in this movie too. But what makes Yaman watchable is the supporting cast. Thiagarajan baffles you with this underplay and Charlie (whom I consider as one of the best character artists in Tamil cinema) is in his usual self. Aroul Djody as Thangapandian is a revelation and captures your imagination with his brilliant portrayal. Vijay Antony’s songs were unbearable, but his background score was apt.
Having said that, Yaman suffers from the lack of strong characterization of the main character – Tamilarasan. We don’t get to see his conviction, and his transformation is opportunistic. There was a twist waiting for the director to take but he somehow didn’t want to take the route. Like I have observed in other reviews of Vijay Antony movies, he suits the character that needs an expressionless straight face, and it works in Yaman too. When he tries to cry or even more dangerous act called dancing, it’s tough to watch. When the director introduces Mia George as an actress, you expect something spectacular, but it ends up as a damp squib.
The other problem is the way hero gets done everything without any sweat. The masala part of the movie takes over, and the director doesn’t make any effort to make you believe. The movie had all the elements of becoming an intense political drama, but the lack of conviction from the director makes it a confused cocktail.
A 2/5 for the idea and the brilliant supporting cast.