In Indian film industry, if anyone talks about Significance then he/she should be redirected to Kamal Haasan because his every film has its own significance. Otherwise it won’t be a Kamal’s film. So he came up with “Uttama Villain” this year with a lot of significant elements. Written by Kamal himself, his friend and the then reputed actor “Ramesh Aravind” has directed this flick. Late “K. Balachander”, whom Kamal claims his godfather, appeared on the screen for the last time whereas another veteran director K. Vishwanath appeared in a pivotal role.
A well-established middle aged superstar Manoranjan (Kamal Haasan) approaches his godfather Margadarsi (Balachander) to do a film with him so that he will be remembered forever. The plot deals with the reasons for Manoranjan making that wish and also revolves around his hidden personal life.
Trailers and other promotions stated as if this would be a serious subject but it’s of genre comedy – drama. Still Kamal proved his significance by presenting a 1000 year old dance form “Theyyam”.
The screenplay runs at a lower pace for the first 30 minutes showing Manoranjan’s fan base and his family and other attachments, a wastage of valuable time. Here comes a song “Lovee Lovea” from one of the movies of Mano which literally examines the audience’s patience. Neither the audio is bearable nor the video is watch-able. Kamal’s dance in this song can be accepted as a dissatisfied actor’s performance but this could’ve been taken care of, by the makers.
With the arrival of Jacob (Jayaram)’s character, we get introduced to the most important character “Yamini” who never appears on screen but travels along, till the end. This is an appreciable aspect. The introduction of Balachander gears up the interest towards the movie and the initial conversation between them is the heart of the movie.
Movie turns entertaining once “Uttama Villain” starts. Here the character Muthyala Raju (Nasser) steals the whole show. As Nasser said in his interviews, this is the most appreciable character he did in his career. There also comes the first “Theyyam” performance portraying “Arjuna blessed with Paashupata Asthram from Lord Shiva”. Kamal’s performance is much appreciable and we could also observe a change from the first song’s dance to this one. I felt this is the best Theyyam performance but got disappointed as it’s runtime is lesser.
Coming to second half, emotions were more employed than entertainment. The scenes where Manoranjan and Margadarsi talk to Poorna Chander Rao (K. Vishwanath) about his condition and the conversation between Manoranjan and his son Manohar (Ashwin) are adorable. Later a scene between Manoranjan and his wife Varalakshmi (Oorvasi) balanced the emotions and situational comedy well.
The song “Kaanuke Bondumalli” was shot very well and Pooja Kumar’s dance is the biggest asset for this song. The most important performance of “Uttama Villain” which portrays “Hiranyakashyap – Prahlad” conversation was expected in a level above all but it disappointed due to its poorer impact when compared to previous Theyyam performance.
Kamal reverted himself to NORMAL Kamal in the climax. If I want to talk about his dedication towards acting then this article wouldn’t be enough. So, I’m not going to speak about it.
On a whole, Kamal delivered a message that an actor can be satisfied with a good movie rather than a successful movie. This movie cannot be declared as his BEST movie but can be said as the BEST TRIBUTE and the farewell he could give to his godfather K. Balachander.
- Kamal Haasan. I think no need to elaborate, the name conveys everything.
- Ghibran’s Music. This movie has two stories of different times running simultaneously. He delivered the apt songs and background score for both of them. Surely we’re going to listen his name in the coming years.
- Nasser’s Performance. Though he is bound for a single story, he will be remembered in both the stories.
- Vijay Shankar’s Editing. Balanced the stories well.
- K. Balachander. This is the second and last movie he appeared on the screen with a lengthy role. If you are a die-hard fan of his movies then you can watch this movie for him. Famous mimicry artist Harikishan has lend his voice for Balachander.
- Run time. As said before, a lot of time was wasted in the first half.
- “Lovee Lovea” song. This tested the patience of audience and Kamal’s voice didn’t suit well for this kind of song.
- Language. Telugu language used in this film reminds you all the time that this is a dubbed movie. It should’ve been better.
- Low quality visual effects at some places.
A Telugu version of this Review can be found here.
– Yashwanth Aluru