There is plenty of blood, several deaths, ear splitting screams, eerie grunts, weird animals, sinister looking men and all other horror film requisites in 'Yakshiyum Njanum'. But what disappointed me the most about Vinayan's latest flick is that in spite of all this, there is no genuine scariness in it.
Shyam (Goutham) is a poor goon who agrees to bump someone off because his sister is moving towards the operation theater for a surgery on which her life depends. With the task done, he hides in a deserted palatial mansion where he meets the beautiful Athira (Meghna) who has been doing the rounds there for quite a few years. Before he knows it, he falls in love, and the Yakshi responds with equal fervor.
This isn't a run of the mill Yakshi that we are dealing with. She admits that she falls in love with hardcore terrorists and names Ajmal Kasab as her dream man. Shyam is no Kasab, but he has got his name in the news headlines for murder, and this is reason enough for the Yakshi's heart to go fluttering. Perhaps it's the smell of blood that goes with these men, and you can't really blame the Yakshi given her bloodthirsty circumstances.
This Yakshi is one that has moved ahead with its times. For one, she knows that the usual women in her fraternity are pathetically over dressed. She takes care to keep those white long flowing chiffons out of her wardrobe, and decides to go for something more contemporary. She has been lying in wait for revenge, for about three decades, and those clothes would have long rotten away anyway.
Out she emerges quite brightly dressed in a variety of costumes that seem to be screaming that less is better. The camera just doesn't seem to be getting enough of this suave Yakshi and keeps panning around her and up and down to make sure that every bit of the desire for that deep revenge inside her is clearly captured. Those low cut blouses and the midriff on display 24 x 7 emphasizes that this is a Yakshi on a mission.
A waterfall is something that the Yakshi cannot do without. The sound of water is as enticing as the smell of blood it seems, and off she runs to dive into the pool. Rain is another tempter and with all the bathing that goes on, this should be one of the cleanest Yakshis we have had in a long, long time.
Vinayan has moved miles ahead of Akahshanga, and has tried to bring in a few fresh scares into his new film. There are plenty of dogs running around, a bloody vulture with jaws screeching every now and then, and even a bison all ready for attack. Before I forget, there are the two hands that prop up even from under ceramic tiles and grab you by your legs. Not forgetting to mention that black cat (of the canine kind) that makes an appearance on the minister's table during a press conference!
There are several other unintentional scares in the film as well, like the comic trio of servants who try to make things more relaxed, and scare us with their (un)funny antics. There are also scenes like a blind man chasing a girl through the woods like even a man with eye sight wouldn't. The Yakshi's heart rending speech towards the climax when she admits that she has no other choice but to surrender before the chants of Narayanji (Thilakan), for she had always held him in high regard while alive is another true scare. Quite horrifying, indeed.
All said and done, I should add that Meghna who plays the Yakshi is a charmer. She is gorgeous and puts up a confident performance as well. In fact, this film entirely relies on her, to bring things to life. Goutham is perfectly cast and looks good, but needs to work on his dubbing quite a bit while Jubin makes a promising debut. And Thilakan is there as well, as you would expect him in the room that looks all red with the exorcism about to start. The songs in the film composed by Sajan Madhav are quite impressive, and the Anuraga Yamune number stands out. The visuals by Navas see to it that the horror ambience is maintained through out.
'Yakshiyum Njanum' is a film that has the Vinayan stamp all over it. I wouldn't rush to see this two hour twenty minutes creep show all over again, since this one certainly isn't a horror movie monster for me.