Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada is a 2016 Tamil action romance written and directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon. It stars Silambarasan, Manjima Mohan, Baba Sehgal and Daniel Balaji. The film explores the changes a young man’s life takes when he decides to go on a road trip before he wants to find his life’s true calling.
The film has all the hallmarks of a Gautham Menon film and also a few very new things one may have never expected to see in a film made by him. When the thought of seeing something new in a Gautham Menon film is put into the movie watching audiences’ consciousness, one can expect to see a lot of excitement among them. The fact of the matter is the new story telling elements are not very impressive and they take away from the glorious build-up the film provides throughout its run time. In completely anti Gautham Menon fashion, the female lead is a very thinly written character. Her motivations or actions seem very cookie cutter and underwhelming. It might be a question of expectation playing spoilt sport but the man’s track record invites the audience to have a higher expectation from his work.
The film suffers from a weak and rushed third act. It elicits the feeling of the director writing the story into a corner and having no clue on how to write out of that corner. A deus-ex-machina later, the film’s end sticks out like a sore thumb. The songs, which are melodious, are either misplaced or too many too soon. The bad guys are as paper thin as the film’s female lead and their motivations are plopped on the audience in one long 10 minute exposition scene which is a part of that aformentioned segment of poor writing.
The film however boasts or some gorgeous cinematography and exceptional story telling in its first two acts. Gautham Menon is one filmmaker who understands love builds with genuine connection and not with loud, grand displays of shallowness. The genuine emotion that builds between the two leads is beautiful to watch. A recent Hindi film, I watched, wishes it has such good chemistry between its leads. The dialogues are very well penned and add so much gravitas or levity to the scenes they are in. They move the viewing experience by a few notches. There is a lot of intricate storytelling. Silambarasan’s performance is a treat. It might give the audience small flashes of his role in Vinaithandi Varuvaya. But make no mistake, this is a wholly fresh and different role for the actor. He excels in a lot of his scenes and it is clearly a showcase for the man’s range as the film’s lead. The fight and action scenes are very well directed and composed. The film does not resort to any cheap, no tension action scenes. They are composed in a way which shows the lead character’s inexperince with fights or weapons. It is refreshing to watch a director pay attention to those minute details. It authenticates the film that much more.
The film has its positives and negatives. It comes very close to being another Gautham Menon classic but falls painfully short at a few instances. Those instances though are very jarring and stay with the audience after they have left the cinema hall. The movie however gave me, personally, a moment of sheer joy at its intelligence. A roaring applause was heard around the theater when that moment came up on-screen. Any film that does that cannot be wholly bad.
OVERALL SCORE – 3/5