Mind games Reviews

Yaman: A political plunge

Vijay Antony in ‘Yaman’  

His name is Ashok Chakravarthy, son of a man named Gandhi whose political future is abruptly cut short due to a vicious ploy by his rivals. Destiny brings Ashok to the same platform. Vijay Antony plays both parts in a taut political drama that signifies his entry into stardom. Yaman rides on his aura as much as the plot. The background score is chirpy as for any star vehicle. The political game stays unidimensional in comparison to his other outings (where he preferred to be the underdog) and he seems invincible.

Yet, there’s hardly a character devoid of purpose, the lines are sharp and the political milieu is authentic. Ashok’s spectacular rise from being a proxy prisoner to a political competitor to his guru is backed by writer-director Jeeva Shankar’s strong eye for detailing. He explores key aspects like caste, timing, hereditary and charisma, makes references to Chanakya and Sakuni in this political seesaw. Look for the situation where a politician’s personal assistant turns an approver against his boss. Ashok here is always a step ahead of his counterparts Karunakar and Panduranga Rao. Though the writing explores only Ashok’s highs one after another, there are momentary lows, yet none that send a chill down your spine. The storyteller however keeps you guessing on the ‘how’ over ‘why’.

What helps the film is the focus on mind games. Most chases and action sequences are crisp while more emphasis is laid on counter-strategies. Only the songs liberate the audience from political tension. Miya George plays Vijay Antony’s love interest as actor Anjana a.k.a Ahalya. Although the track distracts from the story, the storyteller makes amends soon.

Strong performances and good dubbing notwithstanding, you wish the script had more layering. An unconventional choice like Thiagarajan (father of actor Prashant) as an edgy politician and popular comedian Charle’s strong author-backed role works in the film’s favour. Vijay Antony’s background score does the job where the songs don’t. The film’s release timing is apt in the country’s politically active scenario.


Cast: Vijay Antony, Miya George

Director: Jeeva Shankar

Music: Vijay Antony

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 10:42:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/Yaman-review-A-political-plunge/article17361606.ece

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