‘Subramaniapuram’ started it, ‘Renigunta’ followed suit and now ‘Maathi Yosi’ (U/A) more or less on the same lines arrives. The violence and gore place ‘MY’ in the ‘A’ category, hence the ‘U/A’ certification is intriguing. The title suggests that the protagonists are an astute foursome who think and act ingeniously -- they do so too, for a while. But very soon the story and screenplay shift to a much-travelled track. On the way director Nanda Periyasamy touches upon a social evil, said to be still extant in remote villages around Madurai – caste discrimination. The move deserves compliments.
Heroine Shammu who has played pivotal roles in ‘Kanchivaram’ and Karan’s ‘Malayan,’ enters only towards the end of the first half, but again in a solid part, far removed from the run of the mill roles heroines generally play. That the film has just one duet sequence is a case in point!
Four young village boys -- Paandi, Onaan, Manga and Mari -- are close friends. Their peccadilloes and defiant acts land them in trouble but they continue unfazed. When they cross limits the village head (G.M. Kumar) goes for their jugular and hence they flee to Chennai where their crime range touches a new high …
They may be murderers but their purpose is noble. They may be thieves but their sense of right and wrong cannot be faulted, seems to be the director’s stand.
Harish as Paandi is a capable find. You had enjoyed Gopal’s poker-faced humour in ‘Kalloori.’ Here he dons a diametrically opposite part of a devoted friend and eccentric killer. His encounters with the cobra and the boys’ apathetic attack on hapless animals are a little too eerie.
The cold-blooded murders get repetitive and after a point, predictable. Thankfully, at this juncture Ponvannan enters and infuses some positive energy into ‘MY.’ The cameo offers an interesting twist, though again Ponvannan’s plight in the film has been seen quite often on screen. The actor’s underplayed performance is commendable.
The first fight sequence between the police inspector and the reckless four is realistic -- ‘Speed’ Sayed is the stunt choreographer. In keeping with the mood of the film, cinematographer Vijay Armstrong indulges in an interesting interplay of dark and light tones.
Snehan’s words and Guru Kalyan’s score meld to make ‘Saathirangal’ an ear-friendly number. Bharatiyar’s ‘Achcham Thavir’ has been effectively incorporated into the music But the decibel level of the re-recording where the title gets repeated over and over again bruises the aural nerves.
Writer-director Nanda Periyasamy’s initial venture, ‘Oru Kallooriyin Kadhai,’ with Arya and Sonia Agarwal, was a poignant tale of love and friendship. But ‘MY,’ his second, is a marked deviation from the softness and serenity of the former. A dark film, it takes you on the trail of four youngsters, who begin boisterously, end up tragically, and in between attempt to think differently. A skewed take on vulnerability and violence!