I have a few issues with Yennai Arindhaal. It is close to three hours long and the second act drags a bit. It resembles Vettaiyadu Vilayaadu to some extent in the first half. The BGM is too loud. Okay, now that we have gotten this out of the way, let us settle down and come to the enjoyable parts.

Yennai Arindhaal Poster 2Cheers Guys, the wait is over. Gautham Vasudev Menon is back and how! He delivers a stunning film that utilizes the star power of Ajith like no other film has. Produced by A. M. Rathnam, co-written and directed by Gautham Menon, edited by Anthony and beautifully cinematographed by Dan MacArthur, Yennai Arindhaal… (English: Well, if you know me…) is a thriller set in Chennai.

Despite some elemental flaws in logic and plausibility, this is a tense and potent film that almost reaches the sort of greatness that we can find to a greater degree in Menon’s best work, Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. The plot tracks the life and journey of Sathya Dev and how his life changes due to his choices. For a movie about Sathya Dev’s life, Menon boldly experiments by opening the film (and closing it) with the point of view of Thenmozhi (played by Anushka Shetty). And as a script writer and director, he is much more relaxed and confident and plays to Ajith Kumar fans’ galleries. (Remember the opening scene in Vettaiyadu Vilaiyaadu where he brilliantly used the star power of Kamal?!). There are many clap worthy scenes that remain with you even after the movie is over. (My pick is a scene involving the term Collateral damage!). Thala fans happy Annachi!

Yennai Arindhaal CollageAnd Menon also shows his true class in the subtle emotional scenes involving Sathya Dev and Esha, his daughter. (Esha trying out single plait after looking at the portrait of Hemanika is superb – almost as good as a Suseenthiran touch!). The romantic track between Trisha and Ajith in the first half has a uncomfortably close resemblance to Vettaiyadu Vilaiyaadu, but the scene where Ajith proposes to Trisha belongs to the best of Menon list(Trisha is brilliant in a cameo). Menon is supported by some excellent work by his crew. The action sequences are superbly staged and edited, the cinematography by Dan Macarthur is truly a class act and Harris songs gel with the film very well. (Harris – Tone down your BGM a bit please).

The complete cast is competent but the movie belongs to the director. With perhaps the best third act after Aaranya Kaandam, Menon carefully plans and executes a knock out punch in the third act. Shridhar Raghavan and Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s names in the scripting department, the well cut trailer and the catchy songs had raised expectations sky high for me. Every bit of the expectations has been fulfilled. Satya Dev Jayate!