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Movie Review: Yogi (2009) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 76%%76%% 76% (10 votes)
Movie Still Ever since Subramanyapuram, the dark, raw and gritty approach has been favored by directors who portray the lives of rowdies onscreen. Yogi, which sees director Ameer turn actor but for a different director, adopts the same approach to what sometimes seems like a light-hearted story. But inspite of the the violence, the lapses in logic and the familiarity of execution, the film eventually works because of the tenderness in its heart.

Yogi(Ameer) is a hard-hearted, remorseless rowdy who is not averse to slitting someone's throat to lay his hands on the person's money. On the run from the police after a robbery, he spots a car outside a fruitshop and uses it as his getaway vehicle. But the car has an occupant in the backseat - an infant. Unable to walk away after he hears the baby's cries when he abandons the car, Yogi takes the baby home. Realizing soon that the baby can't go hungry, he forces a single mother Rajasulochana(Madhumita) to be the baby's wet nurse. Meanwhile, the baby's father Lyndon(Vincent Asokan) starts looking for the baby.

Yogi's broad story outline of a hard-hearted rowdy who undergoes a transformation is a rather familiar conceit in masala movies. All the familiar building blocks that are used in such stories - like the fact that the hero targets only bad guys(the first guy Ameer is shown to kill is a drunk who beats up a kid) - are in place here too. The catalyst that brings about the change in him - his experiences as an unsuitable father - is also something that has formed the basis for some comedies. Here again we get familiar scenes where Ameer learns how to raise a baby the hard way. But director Subramanya Shiva chooses a dark tone for telling these stories. The ploy may be new but it doesn't always work.

The segments that showcase Ameer's life with the baby contain too many divergent tones to work. For one, the mix of the serious, baby-in-danger scenarios and overt comedy is unpleasant. While Ameer tries to make us laugh with his resourcefulness at fashioning a diaper and his attempts to stop the baby from crying, we instead feel sorry for the baby as it suffers through some horrific scenarios. And while the raw, earthy approach usually brings a sense of realism to the proceedings, that doesn't happen here and its rather unbelievable that Ameer manages to raise the baby in his house without anybody suspecting anything.

But the film gets back the right tone once Ameer and the baby bond. After the horrifying flashback that manages to create, in Ameer's father, one of the most detestable characters recent times, the key point of how Ameer sees the baby is clear. This makes a big difference since it illustrates his closeness to it. The relationship assumes a new meaning after that and justifies his acts. Similarly, the matter-of-fact nature of his relationship with Madhumita also makes it quite unique and interesting. Considering the serious tone of the film, the way things end doesn't come as that big a surprise but it does make an impact nevertheless.

Ameer doesn't show any first-film jitters and even his awkward dance moves suit the role of the rowdy. A deglamorized Madhumita once again proves her acting mettle. The way she is scared of Ameer and gradually thaws is believable and she manages to make us laugh inspite of her unenviable situation. Swathi is mostly bedridden while Vincent Asokan plays the kind of role that would've been played by Raghuvaran a few years ago. The very funny Seermevum Koovathile... is picturized just right as Ameer's gang enjoys the spoils from their latest job.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam