Following different story selections of Vijay Antony in his films Saithan (2016) & Pichaikkaran (2016), I went in with expectations to Yaman (2017). The story begins as a typical village caste rivalry, but it turned out to be a city-based gangster/politics film. In a village near Tirunelveli which is the centre of most rural films of Kollywood, a succession rivalry follows between the son Thangapandian (Arul D. Shankar) of the deceased four-time MLA and his political heir Arivudai Nambi (Vijay Antony). Thangapandian deceptively murders Nambi and starts his successful journey in politics.

Nambi’s wife commits suicide leaving her young son Tamizharasan (Vijay Antony) under the care of her father (played by Sangili Murugan). Many years later when he urgently money to save the life of his grandfather, Tamizharasan goes to jail for a murder he didn’t commit. There starts his journey of becoming a gangster and eventual entry into politics under the guidance of an opposition politician Karunakaran, played compellingly by Thiagarajan whose Malaiyoor Mambattiyan was my childhood favourite. What follows is how Tamizh outsmarts, outmanoeuvres his way to become a minister and on the way eliminating all his opponents. We get 2 hours of typical Tamil Cinema – fight scenes, treachery, and romance with the heroine (Mia George). I liked the climax scenes where the villain is killed by Tamizh without knowing he was behind his father’s murder and then Tamizh hallucinating the image of Karunakaran, his benefactor on stage during the swearing in ceremony.

Vijay Antony is progressing well in the acting department; we could see improvements in the dance and romance scenes – something which was abysmal in his earlier films. I liked Nambi, the father character, unfortunately, he appeared only for few minutes. Mia George’s character is an add-on for the story which she has done well. Her costume designer needs to do better – appearing modest is one thing but wearing a blazer on a bar dance floor for a song sequence was ridiculous.

Yaman – Not the King of netherworld I thought!

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