Yaan - Fails the drug test

The word ‘fugitive’ raises many questions: Why is he/she hiding and from whom? The 'fugitive on the run' movies not only weave into its narrative a ‘chase-a-minute’, but also make a larger comment on social issues, laws, rights and politics in the society. Take for example, Tony Scott’s Enemy of the State: it is not just about the protagonist, who is being chased by a corrupt bureaucrat, but the film speaks against ‘intrusive surveillance’ of the population by the government. Or take director Shankar's Gentleman, which goes beyond the Robin Hood protagonist to talk about corruption in the politics.

It’s not difficult to understand why celebrated cinematographer, Ravi K. Chandran had pinned his hopes on a similar ‘fugitive-on-the-run’ story for his directorial debut, Yaan. Like most fugitive films, it pits an innocent playful youth named Chandru (Jiiva) against the judiciary of a fictional Middle Eastern country named, Basilistan, whose legal system is based on the strict interpretation of Islamic law.

It is a setup that could have been milked, but the filmmaker seems to have believed that aesthetic visuals can make up for loose, ordinary writing. The first half of the film is generic; the kind of scenes that we have seen over and over again in Tamil films. It is a cocktail of male bonding, stalking, ogling and songs sprinkled through the narrative.

The actual film only begins in the second half when Chandru goes to Basilistan and is detained for being in possession of drugs. Just when one expects the film to get interesting, it totally breaks down. The dynamics of life inside a foreign prison are barely explored and the film says nothing about the struggles of an innocent youth tried in a religious court without a fair trial.

It is high time that filmmakers recognise the fact that packing a two-hour film merely with chase and action sequences is not going to hold the audience's attention. What is needed is a meaty story narrated in a coherent manner. Much was expected of Ravi K. Chandran's debut film. But, it looks like his time hasn't come yet.

Movie: Yaan

Actors: Jiiva, Thulasi Nair

Director: Ravi K. Chandran

Music: Harris Jayaraj

Producer: R.S. Infotainment

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 12:26:13 AM |

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