Yudham sei – A tough battle to sit through!

I kept wondering for the last few days if I should dare write this review for Yudham Sei. For all the dump that Mysskin gave us on TV, it is only fair that I say what I want to, I decided.

Yudham Sei: One day on Star Vijay, Mysskin rather proudly claimed that Yudham Sei is a film that every man needs to watch. Everyman should take his wife, sister, mother and all other women in the family and watch! Hell no, I wanted to scream when the film ended.

Considering Mysskin does not generally go all out on TV to promote his films (may be no one had noticed him yet!), I was quite surprised that he was there on my TV telling me how Cheran was our guy-next-door and has a very earthen look! After Nandalala, I had huge expectations from this man. I had learnt that this film is a thriller and I was quite excited to know that directors (known to be from schools of alternate cinema) are venturing into wider horizons. After watching the film, I was convinced that he should not have gone that far.

Image Courtesy: Sulekha.com

The film starts with a gripping sequence of a CB-CID officer JK (played very grimly by Cheran) interrogating a case that he does not want to. Amputated hands of men are found in cardboard boxes in crowded places across the city (or some part of it). JK is asked to find investigate the case because he is the best in the team. He is given two assistants (who come across as ‘adhiga prasangis’) pretty much hanging around him and asking ‘dumb’ questions. Throughout the film they do very little and serve only the purpose of subliminally glorifying JK. After interrogating a suspect, while driving JK says “Rashomon padam pathirukkingala?” and his assistant (the male one) says “Illiye. Engligh padama, Sir?” Who exactly is glorified here? The director or JK? Either ways, this is a terrible way to show off that you watch international cinema! Really?

Moving on from such supposedly smart lines, to give where credit is due, the film is indeed gripping. The plot is well hidden in the screenplay and I could never have guessed where the investigation was going. However, I can’t stop myself from saying that every time JK explained what he had ‘found out’ to the commissioner, I was reminded of when I was a school girl showing off to my Maths teacher how I had ‘solved’ an algebraic problem!

Honestly, the film was commendable until we figured that Dr. Purushothaman (What was Y Gee Mahendran thinking?) is the brain behind all the crimes. The plot unfolds really well and keeps the surprise going. Hands of many more people are found on the streets and they all seem to be very unrelated. JK’s sister is also missing and we are wondering where does she fit in to this puzzle.

But there are so many occasions in which the director falls short of himself. The Tennis court scene where the camera focusses on the girl’s leg (where she is wearing a very short skirt) for over 2 minutes is done very tastelessly. Is this one of those ways of saying women should dress differently? If this is a technique used to feed curiosity, I am sorry. It’s badly done.

Once we know what Dr. Purushothaman and his family are up to, it is a painful watch. All the gory incidents of digging out eyes, plucking out tongues, chopping hands are so bad that I refuse to write about them. The climax sequence is a disgrace. Police watching crime and killing happen, Dr. Purushothaman and his family walking with bullets through their body, Mrs. Purushothaman calling JK’s sister as her daughter and all sorts of drama that leave the viewer numb! Yes, there is also an item song in the film!

Amongst all this, Jayaprakash has delivered a stunning performance in the role of Judas. The pain in his eyes and his drinking habits touch one’s heart every time he is on the screen. Maanikka Vinayagam is convincing in his role, I wish he wasn’t. Everyone has played their role (however small and meaningless) naturally and that makes the film somewhat bearable. In all, I’d want to forget this film as soon as I can. Is Mysskin’s next film due any time soon?