Movie Review : 'Urumi'
September 24, 2015, Chennai
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Cast: Prithviraj, Prabhudeva, Genelia, Arya, Jagathy, Nithya Menon, Vidya Balan, Tabu and others
Script: Shankar Ramakrishnan
Music: Deepak Dev
Director: Santosh Sivan
After enthralling audiences with his work behind the camera in many films, ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan gets in front of it for Urumi.
Directing a fiction based on historical incidents is always a tough ask and to his credit, it ought to be recorded that Sivan has done a marvelous job. As you’d expect, his film is a visual treat besides sending a strong social message across.
Let’s now get to the script. Poor Krishna Das (Prithviraj) runs a music troupe in Goa along with his friend (Prabhudeva). They get an unexpected offer from a group of foreigners wherein a large sum is offered to them in return of Das’ ancestral property in Kerala leased out to an NGO by his late mother. As the place was rich in minerals, the MNC represented by the foreigners is intent in grabbing the land.
Unaware of this, Das is delighted to lay his hands on that much money. Problem arises when the other person who has to counter-sign the sale deed happens to be mentally challenged (Genelia in a never-before seen role). Das also has the tough task of vacating the tribals who have been living in his place for many years. The organizer at the NGO (Vidya Balan) explains to him the evils of mining in the area at the cost of civilians.
Arya, the tribal leader, tries his best to remind Das of his rich heritage and the way his ancestors had fought to protect the land and its culture from the foreign aggressors. The narration by Arya takes the viewers in the flashback mode where the story of the 15th century martial arts expert Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar (Prithviraj again) unfolds.
Das gets to know how they fought vigorously to eliminate Vasco da Gama and free his land of foreign occupation with the help of childhood Islamic friend Vavvali (Prabhudeva). Genelia appears as the warrior princess here and opposes the invaders valiantly. Watch the film to find out whether they managed to eliminate Gama and his ruthless son with their swords as against the pistols used by their enemies.
It’s neither a historical film nor a contemporary one and is caught in-between, inspired by some notable Hollywood movies of this genre. However, Sivan’s research shows in his watertight screenplay. The various diversities which held our country together on the basis of our culture and heritage is shown effectively and without exaggeration.
Dialogues are sharp though they appear ‘too much’ at some places. The story surrounding the two princesses in Genelia and Nithya is very likeable. Yet, we have a feeling as if we know the story and the sequences well in advance. This kills the curiosity element, a much-needed trait for a film to have a successful run. Santosh shines throughout the film and has been well-aided by stunt choreographer ‘Anal’ Arasu and music Deepak Dev who impresses with his background score but falters with the songs.
The ever-committed Prithviraj does justice to his role, has a good physique and looks every inch like a warrior. Prabhu Deva acts with ease and is a revelation in action sequences. Genelia D'Souza, as the warrior princess Aysha, breathes fire and has put in tremendous effort to justify her casting in the film. Nithya Menon does well in emotional scenes.
Vidya Balan looks awesome but she gets shoddy character and is unable to make notable impression in the minds of the viewers. The national award-winning actress’ much-touted ‘item number’ falls flat; so does Tabu’s appearance in a song.
All in all, the film ought to be viewed and appreciated by the audiences for the sheer hard-work put in by the cast and crew.
Urumi passes the test albeit without cent percent marks!