Samantha Ruth Prabhu Impresses, But Film Requires Little Patience

An hour into Samantha Ruth Prabhu’s Yashoda, writing and directing duo, Hari–Harish, places you in a maze with two cases running simultaneously. The loose ends don’t seem to have connections, but it knots up perfectly by the end of it.

Yashoda begins with the death of a Hollywood star visiting India. Although it appears to be a case of drug combination gone wrong, the police are convinced there’s a bigger picture that they should investigate. Eventually, the thread gets tangled with a minister, a beauty company and the death of a business giant with a mystery drug involved.

On the other hand, we meet Yashoda (Samantha) who is struggling to make ends meet. Life takes a turn when Yashoda’s sister has to undergo surgery and Yashoda has no option but to become a commercial surrogate.

She’s taken to a care facility that houses surrogate mothers. Initially, the centre appears to be perfect stay. But Yashoda begins to notice that there is more to the stay than what meets the eye. Snooping through the facility, Yashoda learns that there is a morbid scam taking place with these pregnant women. The story eventually connects the scam with the mystery drug.

Yashoda makes for an interesting concept. The premise, without trying to ruin the big twist, fictionalises past international reports involving alleged pregnant women and their unborn child which shows stories of surrogacy in new light.

Though the concept is new, the execution could have been better. The film, though 2 hours and 15 minutes, feels like a stretch in the first half. Understandably that the film needed to give Yashoda time to discover the big plot twists, the build up to it feels like fluff filler scenes.

Nevertheless, the film is engaging, especially the second half. The loose ends tie up well and the final twist makes up for the slow first half.

Samantha shoulders even the weakest of scenes seamlessly. While we’ve seen Samantha in her chirpy avatar in her previous movies, Yashoda offers Samantha to put her action foot forward and she shines in those scenes. I’d want to watch her experiment with action genre more or even star in a Rohit Shetty cop universe movie some day.

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar as the menacing anti-heroine doubles up as a perfect match for Samantha on the big screen. She manages to get under your skin with morbid character. While the women carried the film together, Unni Mukundan felt weak in a couple of places. He shares a heartwarming chemistry with Samantha but falls short when the spotlight is solely on him.

Yashoda requires patience and attention. Once you get through the first half, the film holds your complete attention, making it worthy of your time.

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