The power of fantasy
When a normal family turns abnormally violent to avenge the death of their daughter, you know it’s natural. But, when they turn into a pair of serial killers using sophisticated weapons, you know it’s a sort of gory fantasy. Myshkin takes on gore fantasy in Yuddham Sei. But, it is reasonable enough to believe that such a family does not exist.
But, that’s just the back story. The film has a vindictive detective, J.K. working on a case of butchery. Severed arms and legs start appearing everywhere and it’s evident that there’s a freak out there somewhere. Soon, police officials are kidnapped and everything turns nasty. Myshkin adds another back story, this time for J.K., whose sister has gone missing. The way he lets the narrative loose at times is prejudiced, but strongly artistic.
Performance wise, this is Myshkin’s best. While Jayaprakash as a mortician plays his role cool as a cucumber, Cheran exults in his flamboyance as a character actor. He plays a silent detective unlike the ones Hollywood usually projects (J.J. Gittes in Chinatown, Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes).
The only letdown is that ridiculous fight scene in which Cheran fends off his attackers with a switchblade from a nail clipper. How absurd that a detective cannot find a bigger weapon in his house?
And yes, that item number was totally unnecessary. Myshkin just had to keep up with his ‘yellow sari’ tradition, didn’t he? And I still proclaim ‘Vaalameenu’ as the best, as it defined the word ‘item’.
Yuddham Sei is not a thought-provoking movie like Anjaathe. It’s an effervescent crime thriller which lacks the thrill, but showcases human trauma.