Does fear have a new face? Yes it does... it is the theatre that is screening Yavarum Nalam and I mean that in the positive sense.
The thriller-horror genre in Indian movies have not been unexploited. The scary fare that is usually fed to us is of bad quality with even worse storyline. Vikram K Kumar has tried something different with Yavarum Nalam. The premise may see too childish to some, but the treatment of the subject is extremely interesting and I must say scary too!
The movie revolves around a family of eight members, Manohar (Madhavan), his mother (Saranya), his wife Priya (Neetu Chandra), his elder brother (Hari Nair), sister-in-law (Ameetha), his nephew and niece and younger sister. This happy close knit family moves into a new apartment 13B on the thirteenth floor of a newly constructed building. Like any family, the women in this household are TV soap fanatics and their latest obsession is a serial called Yavarum Nalam.
Manohar, a civil engineer by profession, is very happy to have moved to this new house and lots of good things happen in the family, his brother gets promoted, his sister passes her college exams, his wife gets pregnant. But he is also surrounded by some strange happenings and an unknown fear...a fear that changes his life. What is that fear... well you have to go and watch the film.
Coming to performances, Madhavan has done a fine job, proving once again that given a good script he can do wonders. The struggle of a man trying to protect his family is well conveyed by him. He is a natural in the role. Neetu Chandra who makes her debut in Tamil with this movie emotes well, but needs to work on her lip sync of Tamil dialogues. The rest of the cast provides good support to the story.
Cinematography by P.C Sreeram is amazing. Not that the veteran cameraman needs the applause, but for this genre of cinema, the camera annd lighting play a very important role and P.C has created that 'edge of the seat' feel. Editing by Sreekar Prasad is also top notch, though a tighter first half could have made this film even more thrilling.
Talking about the story and screenplay, I must applaud Vikram K Kumar for trying something different. In today's cinema, what we need is a novel concept, film-makers willing to take the risk. And Vikram has done a fine job of that.
Of course another important element of the thriller-horror genre is music. Composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, the fans of these composers may miss their usual fare, but the background score by Tubbi-Parik is good. It may be jarring at places, but the script demands that.
Final Word: Presented by Big Pictures, produced by Suresh Balajee and George Plus under the banner of Wide Angle Creations, Yavarum Nalam is a commendable effort and is certainly recommended for viewing, but preferably not alone!
Starring: Madhavan, Neetu Chandra, Saranya, Sachin Khedekar, Dhritiman Chatterjee and others Banner: Big Pictures, WIde Angle Creations
Producer: Suresh Balajee, George Plus
Story, screenplay, direction: Vikram K Kumar
Editing: Sreekar Prasad
Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Background score: Tubbi Parik
Art: Chetan Pathak
Creative Consultant: Samir Chanda
Dialogues: Neelu Ayyappan
Audiography: A.S. Lakshmi Naryanan