Yuddham Sei is a thriller movie without gory fight scenes and blood on the screen. It is from Mysskin, the successful director of Anjathey, Chitram Pesuthadi etc., This movie once again establishes him as a thinking director and he definitely takes the Tamil cinema to a higher plane. Of course, there are noises being made about the "inspirations" he gets from world cinema, particularly the Korean and Japanese movies. That can't take away the fact that YS is a well packaged movie.
The story starts with the mysterious appearance of mutilated parts of the human body in Chennai, packed in cartons and the Police desperately trying to establish the identity of the killers and the motive. The directors unravels the mystery and the reasons through a CBCID officer, Cheran, who besides being a Police Officer is also on the lookout for his missing sister. The director has taken the concept of "Peep Show" where innocent girls are sexually exploited and a whole bunch of perverted individuals pays for watching the show. The film is well-crafted and fast paced during the first half but loses steam in the second half before finally picking up some pace towards the end. If Mysskin has been merciless with the editing, the movie would have turned even more slickier.
Mysskin, as a director has always impressed me for his ability to show things visually rather than depending on dialogues. After all, Cinema is a visual medium, right? In this film, his adaptation of the screenplay with emphasis on the visuals is astounding. The total dialogue portion of the movie would not be more than 40% of the movie time.
Cheran, as the Police Officer has done a decent job if not a fabulous one. He has underplayed the role without any melodrama and I guess the credit should again go to the director. Another point worth noting is the apt selection of actors for various roles in the movie and their very natural acting. Cast includes Y Gee Mahendra, Jayaprakash, yesteryear hero Selva, Manickavasagam etc., I think Jayaprakash gets one of the best roles after "Pasanga" and he is very natural. Would love to see him more often.
The story has the necessary twists and turns to keep the audience glued. Mysskin's "yellow" saree song is there in this film as well. Background music supports the screenplay very well and it is by debutant music director "K". Yes, thats what his name is!! Camera work by Sathya deserves special mention for its clarity of work and the angles. It deserves even more praise because 75% of the film is shot in the dark or night scenes.
If at all something could have been done different, it is ought to be on the screenplay part. Mysskin could have worked little bit on the second half to make it even more absorbing. Secondly the movie travels in such a pace that there is every possibility of people missing track of what is happening. For the sake of audience, he could has paused a little bit. There is also no clear explanation of the "peep show" and there are no scenes which explains that as well. As the concept is new, he could have dealt with it in little detail.
In spite of having enough opportunity to expose the skin, Mysskin hasn't done that. Kudos to him!! Overall, I enjoyed the movie for its fast paced nature, good acting and interesting visuals.
PS 1: Tamil writer Charu Niveda wrote many pages about this movie in his Ananda Vikatan column few months ago. He wrote how he shot for a single song for days, where he appears as a Muslim singer with Harmonium hanging on his shoulder. In the film, Charu Niveda appears for exactly 3 seconds or so in the only song in the movie. Not sure, if that was the only shot he acted in that movie or Mysskin has edited out all his portion after their recent outbursts against each other!
PS 2: Yuddham Sei is the third movie I have seen in the last 2 weeks. I think Sunday afternoon is the best time to hit the theatres, when everybody at home is busy with their own things or slowly slipping into their siesta. I did that exactly last week and watched Yuddham Sei at AVM Rajeswari.