Vaaimai is a 2016 Indian Tamil language courtroom drama film written and directed by A. Senthil Kumar. Inspired by the script of Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men (1954), the film features Shanthnu Bhagyaraj and Muktha Bhanu in the lead roles amongst an ensemble cast. Goundamani, Thyagarajan, Ramki, Urvashi, Manoj K. Bharathi, Prithvi Pandiarajan and Poornima Bhagyaraj are also part of the cast. Though production had begun in 2013, the film released following a production delay on 8 September 2016, garnering negative reviews. Debutant Auggath has composed the music of this movie. Senthil Kumar chose to make his debut with Vaaimai after his other project, Thirudan featuring Vijay Antony, ran into production troubles during 2012. The film was subsequently shot in places like Delhi, Rishikesh, Haridwar and Kollimalai.
In their efforts to make a foolproof debut, I wonder if upcoming directors look at dialogue-driven movies like the Before Series, Coffee and Cigarettes and Primer as an easy first step. After all, they don’t require a big budget, stars or even a super-hit soundtrack. All one has to do is capture a few long dialogues in a believable setting and we have a hit movie in our hands, right?
Judging by the final output of Vaaimai, I’m guessing it has now dawned on the director (A. Senthil Kumar) that he would have been better off waiting for the stars, the money, the songs…
The film attempts to Indianise an all-time classic, 12 Angry Men. So, wouldn’t you expect the writers to at least come up with a convincing-enough explanation to bring back the long-abolished jury system to India? No such luck here. The reason is tossed up in exactly one line… a woman is on death row after several decades for a political murder, and the judge wants 12 jurors (not just men), chosen randomly, to take the call.
Directed by A. Senthil Kumar
Produced by S. Mani & S. Thamizhini
Written by A. Senthil Kumar
Starring Shanthanu Bhagyaraj, Ramki, Goundamani, Thiagarajan, Muktha, Manoj Bharathi, Urvashi, Poornima
Music by Augath
Production Min Max Movies
Distributed by Open Theatre
Release dates 8 September 2016