Yaakkai is a film you want to like. Yuvan’s back, or so the promos claim. Swathi, of Kangal Irandal fame, is back, so is Kreshna (whose last release Yatchan (2015) opened to middling reviews) and director Kuzhandhai Velappan, who made the nice Aanmai Thavarel.
Only, all these artistes bring with them a sense of what might have been.
This movie could have been better, if Yuvan had stuck to what he knew best, and not given us one EDM-inspired track after another.
If Kreshna had not been cast as the manic pixie man-child, Kathir.
If Swathi had been given a character she could do justice to.
If director Kuzhandhai Velappan had made a film that didn’t reek of every medical thrillers ever made.
If Prakash Raj had just said ‘No’, when they asked him to play the role of Sahayam, a cop on the trail of some bad, bad people.
If Guru Somasundaram (Sriram) had let this offer slide, so that we’d remember his Joker act that much better.
But, none of this happened. Kreshna and Swathi (Kavitha) play badly-etched characters – yet another Kollywood couple trying to find love. Radha Ravi is found dead, and Kreshna inadvertently stumbles into Sahayam’s investigation. In true Kollywood fashion, he needs to set things right. Even though he has neither the skills nor the common sense to tie his own shoe laces properly.
It’s not new, by any means. Velappan tries to make his film stand out by exploring multiple narratives. But they have little to no bearing at all on the plot, leaving a jumbled, incomprehensible mess.
Medicine is the great big evil in Kollywood right now. Kaaki Sattai explored it at some length; as did yesterday’s other release yesterday – Kuttram 23. Does Velappan’s Yaakkai add anything new to this genre? No.
Still, some leeway must be granted to Velappan for at least trying to make his film original.
The costume department has done some outstanding work with their jewelled patterns and bohemian-inspired fashion. The cinematography is nice as well.
But, the overwhelming sense of déjà vu makes this an impossible film to finish. It’s a victory if the viewer can even sit through the second half of the film. We know how it’ll end. And quite predictably, Velappan sticks to that pattern.
In a way, almost all of the people are miscast in this film.
And at the end of the day, Velappan turns to Yuvan Shankar Raja to salvage what is left of the movie with some inspired music.
Only this time, Yuvan took his inspirations from the gods of EDM. And it just doesn’t cut it.
One song in particular, is truly distasteful. The trend of these times seems to be getting Dhanush to sing Vignesh Shivn’s lyrics. Both these artists have a record of creating and indulging in sexist, misogynistic work on screen. And Kuzhandhai Velappan’s Yaakkai is no different. Here too, they come together for Solli Tholayen Ma – a song that asks the heroine to please give an answer. Except, there’s no please here.
And so, we certainly won’t say ‘Thank you’.
The Yaakkai review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.