Yemaali: Regressive plot, bad acting and distasteful music make this movie a disaster
Movie Review by Anand Jha (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
After giving a surprise hit in 2008 (Nepali) and a pure dud in 2013 (6), one wouldn’t exactly know what to expect from director VZ Durai, who started his career in 2000 with Ajith-Jyothika starrer Mugavaree. He is back after a 5-year break with Yemaali and looks like he has lost touch with the idea of filmmaking. With a movie that tries hard to justify the actions of a protagonist, who appears confused, mislead and obsessed over a girl; the film seriously needs to be re-examined at a time, when we are grappling with numerous cases of stalking and violence against women. VZ Durai took half a decade to make this film and we wonder, why?
The story revolves around Maali (Sam Jones) and the love of his life Ri2 (Athulya Ravi). The girl actually spells her name as Ri2! Maali and Ri2 are shown as IT employees to give a sense of ‘modern’ to the audience. There’s also Aravind (Samuthirakani), who plays Maali’s guide in matters of breakups and beyond. Maali calls him “Anna” out of respect. The couple breaks up after a squabble at a coffee shop. Maali is crestfallen, tries calling her continuously and decides to kill the girl. Yes, you read that right! And this forms the crux of the story. The fact that planning a murder is referred to as the “project” through the film just reinforces how the director intends to pass off the extreme motives of the protagonist as ‘normal’. The film plot revolves around how Aravind and Malli plan to get away with Ri2’s murder. The overall theme of the film is embedded in the most regressive old Tamil films that showcase that women, who break-up from the man wilfully , are promiscuous and deserve brutal punishment (death).
The movie is just a mish-mash of distasteful scenes filled with misogynistic comments and horrendous English spoken by lead characters. The sequences look like they have just been strung along to create something that is a semblance of a plot. Certain comedy scenes are so naive, that you end up wondering how they made past the writing stage.
The unnecessary shots aiming at women’s body parts without any aesthetic appeal makes you cringe. The dialogues again aimed at degrading women are equally blasphemous. Two break up songs with dress codes and young adults trying to dance to bad lyrics is the worst thing ever that can happen to Tamil cinema.
Samuthirakani is the only person worth mentioning, when it comes to acting. Sam Jones and Athula Ravi are unimpressive to say the least. Their chemistry, just like the plot of this movie, is non-existent.
On the whole, there is not even a single aspect of the film that works in its favor. Just avoid this one, if you can!