Crime stories always sell. If it is murder mystery, the score doubles. Tamil cinema audience’s fascination for murder mystery dramas is not any different. It is this aspect of the genre that director Ezhil seeks to capitalize on. To do that he picks one of the works of the master of crime novels author Rajesh Kumar. He has chosen to retain the title of the novel for the film as well. Veteran film maker Ezhil of Thullatha Manamum Thullum fame has returned to directing after a long gap with Yutha Satham. Actors R. Parthiban and Gautham Karthik have played the lead roles. So, how has the flick come out? Is it solid enough to give actors Parthiban and Gautham Karthik a winning medal and put story teller Ezhil back on the winning track? To know that let us get in to the movie review.
Yutha Satham depicts the investigation that happens around a murder. When the film opens, we see a bunch of cops carrying out their routine night checks. Nakulan (Gautham Karthik), a young man who runs an independent detective agency gets pulled over on drunk and drive suspicion. Later, we witness Raghavi (Saipriya Deva), getting stabbed by an unidentified person right in front of a police station. The police station comes under the jurisdiction of Kathirvelan (R. Parthiban), a cop who has come back to duty after suffering a personal tragedy. He starts to investigate the case. After initial investigation, he comes to know that Raghavi was in relationship with Nakulan.
Since, Nakulan gets pulled over by the cops on the day of her murder, Kathirvelan cast his doubt on him. Citing Nakulan’s investigative skills he takes him in to the investigation. So that he could keep him under his eye. With every event they unearth from Raghavi’s life, Kathirvelan’s wariness on Nakulan grows. Why was Raghavi killed, is Nakulan the real murderer as Kathirvelan suspects, if not who is the real killer, is what makes the rest of the flick.
First thing, it is quite surprising that Yutha Satham came from a film maker who is well versed with his craft and has been in the industry for so long. Because Yutha Satham appears to be like a drama that came off the work of an amateur. Watching the film, one cannot help but feel that the team got excited with what they saw on paper and went head to shoot. But half way through realized what they have shot, is not how they pictured, what was on the paper to be. Then, completed the project anyway just because they started it. The main character of Yutha Satham, Kathirvelan is the corroboration to it. Like most investigators in a murder mystery, even director Ezhil wants his character to be battling its own personal tragedy while investigating the case. But we see Kathirvelan coming around passing funny remarks. And suddenly gets to the gloomy mood when its time to show the audience that the character is coping with a personal loss. This is quite evident and hard to overlook.
Yutha Satham is billed as an investigative thriller drama but all we get is the blaring background score but nothing of intellectual investigating exercise to crack the case. Not even once. To top it all, the tedious portions that are played as comedy make it difficult for us to stay through. Trimming of these sequences would have at least kept the running time of Yutha Satham short. Director Ezhil seems to have had a dilemma as to whether to bank on the mystery facet completely or to throw in some commercial elements to try his luck. He opts to do both. So, we are forced to endure the insipid comedy, the contrived melodrama, and the unnecessary songs that do not even care to hold our attention. By the time when Yutha Satham decides to reveal the murderer our mind is four hours forward, thinking and planning our activities for the rest of the day.
Actor R. Parthiban plays Kathirvelan is his own jovial style not realizing that the character demands otherwise. Being a veteran, the actor should have avoided such a contradicting performance. Actor Gautham Karthik seems unconcerned with the proceedings. He just rushes through with his performance. He seems to says this is enough for Yutha Satham. Actress Saipriya Deva in a bleak role has done her part well. Comedians Robo Shankar, Manobala, Vaiyapuri, and Chaams suffer mainly because of the badly written comical part. Actor Mithun Maheshwaran is adequate. Actor Muthaiah Kannadasan is functional. The rest of the cast has delivered a below average performance.
On the technical front, musician D. Imman is clearly not at his best. His tracks seem apathetic. Even there is no life in his backgrounds score. Cinematographer R. B. Gurudev’s frames are very amateurish. Editor Gopi Krishna fails to trim out the shortcomings in the work of his colleague.
On the whole, for a film that cannot get its basics right, Yutha Satham takes an ambitious bite of more than it can chew.