I have been seeing some very clever cinema in the last few months, but this one has forced me to come out of movie-critic retirement. It just forces one to stand up and take notice, both in terms of pure film making quality and in terms of what lies ahead for audiences to devour on the Indian screen.
Yudham Sei by Mysskin is an intense, gripping, irregular but relevant movie. It feels like an unputdownable book despite being quite slow paced in the first half. With a plotline about the enormous capacity of male perversion and stellar performances with no real superstars in the movie, it made for fantasy cinema, in my humble opinion of course.
There won't be any spoilers in this blog, I will more specifically talk about the movie watching experience. You will be thrilled if you are one of those people who relishes clever writing. The first half is quite haphazard and gives you only a few pieces of the puzzle and leaves you begging for the intermission to get over real fast. There are very few scenes which I would call over the top, except for the otherwise stoic Cheran flooring 8 rowdy-types with just a knife from a nail cutter.
The Neetu Chandra number is unnecessary but I guess it does fit into the script, and maybe Mysskin felt to just take his foot of the pedal just before the climax of the movie.
Acting is top notch. Cheran does his role to the T, I really cannot picture anyone else who could have pulled it off. On hindsight, maybe one really can't for any brilliantly portrayed roles. But in my opinion, it was Y. Gee Mahendran, Lakshmi & Jayaprakash (Dr.Judas) who really grab at your heart. The old couple tonsured heads and all make for a frightening last few minutes.
There are two particular sequences in the movie that I totally loved. The dying words of Dr.Judas, where he says to JK - " They came at us, a family with no inclination towards violence with their power, illegitimate, political and financial ; pushed us into a corner. They chased us till we could run. With their limited mental capacities if they can commit such crimes and get away with it, imagine what we with our intelligence are capable of. Now we will do the chasing. They can do the running."
The other clever reference to Mysskin's inpiration - "Rashomon" through Cheran is subtly hidden in the conversation, should make the Kurosawa fans smile.
My advice - Take your brain to this movie, enjoy the puzzle solving process with the protagonists of the movie and do not miss a minute of it.
Intelligent plotlines seem to be the flavour of the season after Aadukalam & Yeh Saali Zindagi. Maybe they will not fare as well as their blockbuster counterparts from the respective industries, but I'm sure that a Sudhir Mishra or a Mysskin will be remembered, or for the fanatics like me REVERED in the generations to come.