Yatchan

Apparently Yatchan means puppeteer or creator (according to Vishnuvardhan in an interview). I thank him for the learning opportunity.

Yatchan is a “two-hero subject”, he says. Wait, I think he forgot to include the third hero (a cut-out of Ajith). This is all becoming a bit too much. Heroes referencing other heroes, in an attempt to do what exactly? Aim for stray whistles and scattered applause? Who are these people who clap anyway? Die-hard fans of the hero being referenced? Do they not realize they are watching somebody else’s movie?

We have Chinna (Arya), a random rowdy-for-hire somewhere in Tuticorin; and Karthikeyan (Kreshna), an aspiring actor from Pazhani. Both of them end up in Chennai: Chinna because he (accidentally) killed the person who tore into pieces tickets to an Ajith movie that he had (yes, really) and Karthik because he wants to try his luck in Kodambakkam. Also, Karthik has a girlfriend (Swathi) who is of course supportive etc etc, and right about the time I started thinking “Oh looks like an interesting character”, she becomes a variation of loosu ponnu. Deepa Sannidhi plays a woman who has a superpower (after being struck by lightning when she was a child, this scene was unintentionally hilarious) – every time she touches a person, she sees what their fate will be. Amidst all these characters, we have Thambi Ramaiah (a manager of henchmen…or something), and Adil Hussain (playing a good guy and a bad guy…oops did I spoil the movie for you?), Ponvannan (as Otteri Durai) and RJ Balaji (loverboy/wannabe rowdy).

Every third dialogue of Chinna’s manages to incorporate the word “Thala”, and in one song sequence, Karthik kisses a poster of Thala. I understand Vishnuvardhan is a Thala fan/devotee, but I find this kind of pandering somewhat annoying. Arthi (the comedienne subjected to fat shaming everywhere else) has an “item song” of sorts (which in turn sounds suspiciously like a Honey Singh song), except I don’t know what this is supposed to mean. People still laughed (at her). Was it meant to be funny? I’m not sure I get this. RJ Balaji loves (stalks) Deepa Sannidhi and tries to pass off corny jokes as witty one-liners. A found it funny that he was in this movie at all – one only needs to think back to everything that was said in the glory days when he reviewed movies for his radio show.

The climax is a bit confusing (and LOUD). All the actors assemble and proceed to yell and fight and escape, which is strangely reminiscent of Sundar C movies from the 90s (or maybe even now). The mistaken identities give you a headache. There is no kind way to say this: everyone in the movie seems to have graduated with top honours from the SJ Suryah School of Acting (he’s in there somewhere too, playing himself). Everyone except Arya, that is. He is himself…which is to say, he is about as expressive as a puppet.

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