Rating: 3/5 (Routine Gautham Menon)
When an actor like Ajith Kumar and a director like Gautham Menon join hands, sparks are sure to fly. Released in February 2015, Yennai Arindhaal is the 3rd and final film in Menon's cop trilogy. How does the film fare? Find out in this review
Story: Satyadev (Ajith) is a widowed man who lives with his saughter in Chennai and is a cop. He meets Tamizh (Anushka) at an airport and the two bond over the flight and he saves her from an attack one day from Victor (Arun Vijay). The rest of story is who Satyadev actually is and a huge flashback containing why Victor wants to kill him and what happened to his wife Hemanika (Trisha).
Performances: Ajith Kumar is a revelation in this movie as always and gives a riveting performance once again. His undercover cop look with a beard is good and his salt and pepper look in present day is even better. However, Thala should seriously keep a check on his weight as he's packing on the pounds a bit. Ajith is the highlight of the film and main attraction of this film.
After Ajith, it's Arun Vijay who steals all the thunder. He is another revelation in this movie and he almost steals the show from Thala himself. He might be shouting half the time, but villainy and performance are just simply amazing. Full credit goes to Menon for extracting a superb performance from him but the problem with Victor is that his character is no different than Pandiya or Amudhan Sukumuran, a killing machine hellbent on destroying the hero.
Anushka and Trisha don't have much to do except appear in the songs but their roles have good importance towards the story.
Baby Anikha as Ajith's daughter is adorable.
Vivek provides some laughs as Revolver Richard. Nasser, Daniel Balaji, and Gautham Menon himself all have cameo appearances.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Harris Jayaraj is excellent. Mazhai Varu Pogudhae and Adhaaru Adhaaru are very good on screen. Cinematography by Dan Macarthur is good. Dialogues by Gautham Menon are fine. Editing by Anthony is questionable as the film drags and clocks out as 168 minutes. Art is good. Production Values by AM Rathnam are grand and fantastic.
Analysis: The combo of Ajith and Gautham Menon was definitely an exciting prospect and fans of both the director and actor hoped for a blockbuster. But if honestly put, Yennai Arindhaal is just another Gautham Menon product and nothing special. In fact, the film follows the same pattern as his two earlier cop films Kaakha Kaakha and Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. Just replace Suriya or Kamal Hassan with Ajith and viola you have the whole movie in front of you. The film has all the staples of Menon cop film. Vulnerable protagonist, bloodthirsty villain who wants revenge, a divorced wife with a child, and lots of violence and grisly images.
The film starts off with Ajith meeting Anuskha and a fight introducing Arun Vijay right away and the films story. The flashback is good and the film turns into a cat and mouse game between Satyadev and Victor for most of the second half but the problem is that the game gets dragged for way too long and tests your patience and the prolonged climax necessarily doesn't help.
The film is high on violence and has some graphic stuff such as organ smuggling so it definitely isn't the safest thing to watch with your kids.
On the positive side, Ajith and Arun Vijay's performance and the music make the film watchable and carry it to the finish line. This film belongs to them.
Overall, Yennai Arindhaal is just another routine cop film from the mind of Gautham Vasudev Menon. It's nothing special but not a bad film either. For Ajith and Arun Vijay's performances, this one is definitely a one time watch at best.