Yemaali (Eng: Naive) is an Indian Tamil romantic thriller film written and directed by V. Z. Durai. The film features Samuthirakani in the lead role, with Sam Jones, Athulya Ravi and Roshni Prakash also in pivotal roles. Produced by Latha Productions and featuring music composed by Sam D. Raj, the venture began production in April 2017 and was released on 2 February 2018.
Yemaali is the story of a youngster who wants to take revenge on his lover, who ditched him mercilessly. He is so upset that he doesn’t want to think about anything else, but her death. It all starts with Rithu aka Ri2 (Athulya), a possessive girl, questioning her boyfriend, Maali (Sam), about a girl with whom the latter had posed for a photo. What begins as a small verbal fight turns out into something big, even as Maali tries to calm things down, as he is interested in continuing the relationship. Ri2, however, is in no mood to forgive and bids adieu to their courtship.
A peeved Maali seeks the help of Aravind (Samuthirakani), a brother-like person to him, and his friend (Bala Saravanan). Though Aravind, a motivator by profession, advises Maali to think positively, the latter, who is completely heart-broken, decides to finish Ri2 off for the sole reason that she is happy despite his absence, whereas his life has become meaningless. The practical and experienced man that Aravind is, he asks Maali to plan things in such a way that there won’t be any trace of evidence. Hence, they start imagining a series of possible situations which are bound to occur post the murder — the police investigation, gathering of facts, court decision, handing over the case to a higher authority, and so on. They plan it this way to avoid loopholes in their act.
The interesting thing is that it is Sam and Samuthirakani who come as the police officers and central investigation team in the imaginary sequences. The idea is good on paper, but falls flat in execution. The scenes that are imagination and the real sequences are, at times, shown simultaneously, which kind of creates confusion and fails to hold our attention. As a major portion of the film runs on the imaginary scenes, the chance of developing an interesting plot in the real-life sequence is wasted. As viewers, we are aware that the scenes are ‘unreal’ and take the sequences for granted, and evince little interest in how they turn out. Finally, post the imaginary scenes, Aravind tries to persuade Maali to stay away from harming Ri2. Will he listen to him?
Meanwhile, there is also another track — a live-in relationship between Aravind and Divya (Roshni), which is unconvincing due to the lack of chemistry between the two actors.
A message towards the end comes across as too preachy, and one needs patience to sit through until the final portions. Athulya, who was seen as a girl next door in her previous outing, Kadhal Kan Kattuthe, has undergone an image makeover this time, and she could be the one to benefit from the film.
Directed by V. Z. Durai
Produced by M. Latha
Written by V. Z. Durai, Jeyamohan (dialogues)
Starring Samuthirakani, Sam Jones, Athulya Ravi, Roshni Prakash
Music by Sam D. Raj
Cinematography M. Rethish Kanna & I. J. Prakash
Edited by R. Sudharsan
Production Latha Productions
Release date 2 February 2018