| Director Vasanth displays an alarming inconsistency with respect to the quality of his movies. While his name offers promise of
enjoyable fare based on class offerings like Keladi Kanmani and Aasai, we have been
disappointed more often than not recently with duds like Appu. While the interestingly titled
YNRAI does display some trademarks of his better films, it also shares a number of traits with his failures. The result
is an uneven motion picture populated by nice characters but let down by a weak screenplay culminating in a disappointing,
Hari(Shaam), who works in an ad agency, is good friends with his cousin Raji(Sneha) and firmly against any attempts by their parents
to see them married. Swapna(Jaya Re), who works in a competing ad agency, is a practical joker and one of her pranks sets up her
initial meeting with Hari. She falls in love with Hari, only to be told that he has no such feelings for her. Hari has by now now realised that
he is in fact in love with Raji but unfortunately, she does not reciprocate his feelings. Raji's friend's brother Bharath(Rajeev Krishna), who
is staying with her, is also the victim of one-sided love. But Hari, Swapna and Bharath, who have all seen their love fail, respond differently
to the failures.
With real-life headlines picked off newspapers, about tragedies stemming from love failures, Vasanth sets us up for a movie focussing on
failure in romance rather than success. And he does succeed in creating three characters that behave in different ways after failing in
love. The reactions of Shaam, Jaya Re and Rajeev Krishna to the failure of their one-sided love are believable and bring out their
characters well. Furthermore, it is not often we see a love triangle where there are no successful romances or a hero whose romantic
advances are rejected by the heroine!
Like Rhythm, YNRAI too is marked by underplayed sentiments, down-to-earth dialogs and natural
relationships. Be it friendship or romance, Vasanth manages to bring a touch of naturalness to the relations in the movie. Dialogs are mostly
short and crisp and more importantly, do not reek of artificiality. The initial friendship and easy camaraderie between Shaam and Sneha is
more believable than what was shown between the lead pair in movies like Piriyaadha Varam Vendum and
Poovellaam Un Vaasam. Even love failure, which almost always provides the directors with the license
to bring on sentiments, has been handled with subtlety. While Shaam's way of reacting makes it easy to be low-key, even Rajeev Krishna's
plight, which offers the opportunity to be loud, is handled quietly.
But Vasanth loses his grip on the screenplay towards the end. Having built up likeable characters and established a scenario where the
ending is not easily predictable, he lets it all go to waste by resorting to cliches to bring about the ending. Worse, the climax seems like
a cheat considering the way the movie started and the message established upto then. It is almost as if Vasanth decided that he had
conveyed his message forcefully enough and so decided it was time wrap things up in the traditional, Tamil cinema manner. But the way he
goes about it is silly. A different climax, in line with what has transpired upto then, would have been welcome and elevated the quality of
Shaam follows up well on his 12B debut. Though the scope of the role doesn't allow us to judge whether his acting
skills have improved, he does seem well-rounded with good looks, dancing and stunt skills. Sneha looks great and displays a welcome
casualness in her performance, especially during the initial portions. Vivek raises quite a few laughs with his routines though he doesn't
come up with anything novel. Rajeev Krishna, who seems to pop up once in a while after his successful debut in Aaha, plays the
dejected lover well. Jaya Re wears a lot more clothes than she did in Chocklet but doesn't stand out.
Vasanth has always had good luck with the soundtrack in his movies, whoever the music director(Aasai,
Ryhythm, Poovellaam Kettuppaar), and has the same success here too. Unfortunately, he exhibits the
same talent for not capitalising on the songs by coming up with sub-par song sequences. Barring Yamini Yamini..., the songs appear
disconnected and pop up at unexpected moments. They are also choreographed poorly. One would definitely enjoy songs like
Ini Naanum... and Thottu Thottu... a lot more with eyes closed!