Behind the Movie Uttama Villain: Actor Kamal Hasan loves to take risks as a producer. When an actor and producer in him are united, obviously it’s an experiment to recognize. Delayed by couple of days, ‘Uttama Villain’ directed by Ramesh Aravind has hit the Telugu screens just few hours ago. Let us see, whether is this film worth the wait and does it live up to the expectations?
In the Movie Uttama Villain: Film begins with introduction to Super Star Manoranjan (Kamal Hasan), a commercially hit hero married to Vara Lakshmi (Urvashi), daughter of kingmaker producer Poorna Chandra Rao (K Vishwanath). For outsiders Manoranjan is a big celebrity but he has a disturbed private life. Hell breaks down to fall on Manoranjan when personal doctor Arpana (Andrea Jeremiah) diagnoses him at Stage 4, Brain cancer.
Entry of new character Jacob Zachariah (Jayaram) into story reveals a past youthful romantic life of Manoranjan whose love bond with Yamini resulted in birth of daughter Manonmani (Parvathi Menon). The girl wants to meet her biological father. Now, Manoranjan also has a last wish to go back to his mentor director Margadarshi (K Balachander) and work together.
Manoranjan and Margadarshi take up a comedy film ‘Uttama Villain’ narrated in ancient folklore dance form of Theyyam with Pooja Kumar as Princess Kalpavalli and Naazar as villain King Muthyala Raju. By the time ‘Uttama Villain’ completes the shooting, story of Manoranjan ends on a tragic note.
Values of the Movie Uttama Villain: Kamal Hasan is a tough taskmaster. He stays away from formula concepts unmoved by Box Office results. So, he decided to take up the responsibility of writing, production and acting in ‘Uttama Villain’ while his friend Ramesh Aravind is the director. Script wise, a simple family drama throwing the glimpse on building of image, stardom by a film artist and the way he loses valuable personal side is cleverly mixed with artistically passionate story telling of Mrithyunjayudu Uttaman set with Theyyam dance form. So, it’s like a film with in a film. Two stories of Manoranjan and Uttaman unveil in parallel. Each of them has an emotional goal to achieve. If Manoranjan is a reality for us, Uttaman is pure fantasy. Sounds interesting…right? However, a prolonged and boring narrative with feeble direction from Ramesh Aravind upsets the patrons.
Theyyam is an outright wrong selection for Telugu audience. Despite inspiring performances from Kamal, Pooja Kumar, Naazar and dedicated technical excellence in these portions, they have never hit the right notes. Put the blame on both Kamal and Ramesh Aravind. This so called comedy left a tragic impact. By the time we leave cinema hall, Manoranjan’s story alone drives our thoughts. So, ‘Theyyam’ is a ‘Theda’ experiment.
Shamdat’s camera work is just brilliant. Editing by Vijay Shankar could have relieved some pain from our heads. Ghibran’s music left a soothing effect in BGM. Songs wise, none of them are remember-able. Set work for ‘Uttaman’ episodes is top notch. Dialogues are partly good at times. Production values of C Kalyan and Thirrupathi Brothers are first class.
On performance front, this is Kamal’s show all the way. For an actor with caliber like Kamal, any role can be a just cake walk. He oozes life into both the characters of Manoranjan and Uttaman. He is a natural fit for Manoranjan because this plot resembles his personal/off screen life. As Uttaman, there was more homework. Donning different getups and putting loads of makeup aren’t new to Kamal. Still, we see a lot of devotion here. Late K Balachander got a memorable last role. He played crucial character with elegance. His introduction chapter followed by Kamal, Balachander’s chemistry is a delight to watch. K Vishwanath looked so cool. Pooja Kumar isn’t so attractive yet adequate. Urvashi swells your eyes in tears. Andrea Jeremiah is hot and her running of affair with patient Kamal is a bit unconvincing. Naazar tried to evoke laughter. Jayaram and Paravthi Menon are in brief roles. Rest there is no need for a big mention.
Out of the Movie Uttama Villain: Like every Kamal Hasan film, this one is also hard to analyze at. As an actor and writer, Kamal’s artistic passion to deliver something new and innovative with each film is quite appreciative. At same time, uninspiring narration testing the patience of patrons is also unpardonable. When we are bowled by the hard work and dedicated efforts of Kamal in designing the minutest of on-screen element above a perfection level, the next moment we are shaken by usage of the same for an unfruitful and failed purpose. All the awe inspiring business of Uttaman character driven by ‘Theyyam’ folklore is hard to visualize. Unfortunately, all this is a waste run into drain. So, it’s a confusing carriage for reviewers whether to feel pity or carry the regular carnage. That’s how Kamal plays with our moral policies.
Despite plenty of drawbacks when seen from a common viewer’s perspective, Kamal Hasan rides big on emotional blocks trading on husband (Kamal)-wife (Urvashi) bonding or father (Kamal)-daughter (Parvathi Menon) attachment and Guru (Balachander)-Shishya (Kamal) connect.
Uttama Villain runs at a very leisurely pace in first half. Just before interval, it picks some momentum. Second half is a passionate wastage till the time family sentiments are bonded in pre climax. Towards the climax, Kamal loves to show the exit on painful tone.
UV is a definitely below average film pulled off by Kamal Hasan’s amazing screen presence. Those who have a shipment of patience can sit till the end. Especially, those who forever acknowledge Kamal’s visionary fervor are also to support the film. For common viewers, this is devoid of any sort of commercial entertainment and there is a danger that you may walk out of theater before interval. Commercially, UV may fare a bit well in metros and urban centers.
Cinejosh Verdict of Uttama Villain: Passionately Connected - Entertainment Disconnected.
Reviewed by Srivaas