Director Deekay’s Yaamirukka Bayamey is an interesting film that combines well-known stylistic elements of the horror genre — a haunted house, make-shift graveyard, a gory looking ghost and so on — with dry and adult humour. It is a surprisingly well-made ‘horror-comedy’ that succeeds in continuously exploiting our irrational fear of the unknown even while nudging us to laugh at it.
The film is populated by eccentric characters caught in strange situations — like Kiran (Kreshna), a conman, who is pursued by a local don who has erectile dysfunction after popping a pill that Kiran sells. Then, there’s a caretaker who has played the lead in a popular porn film, a good-for-nothing rock-star god-man, and an old beggar whose flashback reveals that he was once romantically involved with the ghost. Despite such a range of characters, the film is lazily set up — the first 20 minutes merely do a functional job in the narrative and make for quite a weak segment.
However, once we get past this stage, the film takes off quite well. It settles into a good rhythm and explores various angles. Most interesting is the ambiguity that exists until the halfway mark about whether the house is really haunted or if it is all the handiwork of someone pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes in order to grab the property.
The central plot itself is nothing new — Kiran, the conman, wants to develop his ancestral property in Kolliyur into a resort. He moves in with his girlfriend (Rupa Manjari), a caretaker (Karunakaran) and his super-hot sister (Oviya). Soon, the guests start to kick the bucket one by one.
We have seen this in several Hollywood movies — more recently in James Wan’s The Conjuring. In Yaamirukka Bayamey, we also have a ghost perched on top of cupboards, dramatically appearing when someone is peering through a key-hole, hiding behind curtains or getting into someone's body. But it works because the film, thankfully, depends heavily not so much on visual effects to scare the audience but on focussing on the basics. Thus, we have sound to manipulate emotion, visual imagery to create scary atmospherics, and scene cuts that escalate the tension to the maximum before the final moment. The weak set-up is compensated for with a highly entertaining final act, where all the actors — especially Kreshna and Karunakaran — turn in exceptional performances. All in all, this is a fun summer film and should work regardless of whether one believes in the supernatural or not.
Cast: Kreshna, Rupa Manjari, Karunakaran and Oviya
Storyline: Is a ghost haunting Kiran’s ancestral property? Or is it a conman’s master moves?
Bottomline: Works in parts, weak in parts, but overall good time-pass.