I was earlier skeptical about Santhosh Sivan’s Urumi. And for good reason. (Specifics of which will be posted in another post)
For the impatient, here it is – Don’t miss it.
Its a gem among the utter non-sense that is running now in theatres; namely Christian Brother and August 15. A real serious, dead-on-the-money commercial film from the master craftsman – Santhosh Sivan makes the film the best visual treat available now.
Update : This review got listed in the Malayalam movie review site – varnachitram.com calling it “detailed and innovative review”. (link)
1. Cinematography – Of course, no one needs reminding that the camera is set in motion by … and he still continues to wonder.
2. Art – Minimal/Simple/Effective/Impressive
3. Lighting – The most awesome and un-appreciated part of this film is lighting or rather the lack of it. This film is an excellent example to other Malayalee directors on how to make use of ambient light.
4. Direction – Commendable improvement from Sivan’s last Malayalam outing – both in terms of story and direction. I see that Mani Ratnam’s closeness is finally producing some positive effect on this guy’s direction. A drooling pace was his trademark so far. With this film, he almost manages to break it.
5. Makeup – On target. I hardly noticed any makeup.
6. Costumes – Always costumes are invariably the worst part of every Malayalam period film. Everybody from the rich to the poor, wear brand new un-soiled clothes. But this time, its taken care of. And I respect the artists involved for their meticulous effort.
7. Acting – Prithvi brings in muscle effectively to the role; Jagathy is an absolute wonder; Prabhu deva excels in comedy timing; Vidya stunning; Genelia fights surprisingly well;Nithya Menen – well she is a pleasure on the eyes in white dress.
8. Fights – Stupid like in all period Malayalam films. But grand than Pazhassi Raja’s sequences.
What? Pros are over so soon?
Reason :I wish to make myself in to a drastically different critic than what is available in the market right now. I will applaud what needs to be and I will smack red the asses of those guys who take us, the viewers, for fools. If you are not someone who doesn’t treat films seriously, the following is not for you. Read the verdict and get the hell out of here.
- Direction – As I said, commendable improvement from Ananthabhadram which made me doze off thanks to an utterly bullshit story and acting from Kavya. Santhosh Sivan has tightened his pace in this and it pays of neatly with you never wanting to check the watch or guffaw.
- I loved Prabhu Deva for being his lively acting and timely comedy. Last time I found so charming and beautiful was in Minsara Kanavu with Kajol.
- Prithviraj brings in muscle to a much demanding role. I wish he talked less before and after each fight!
- Genelia looked gorgeous and Vidya stunning. The song ‘Chalanam Chalanam’ never would have been so spectacular without her. I wish she talked better Malayalam. Her lip syncing sucked. [youtube xM6oXJ2HjxQ]
- And that makes me wonder why these guys didn’t cast a female lead that could at least speak fluent Malayalam. And we seem to have no problem at all! For me its hard to watch when the lip syncing goes haywire.
- Nithya Menen has a nice ass and the song ‘Chimmi Chimmi’ is a nice tribute to her assets.[youtube _ZEwfhSYgy0]
- Of all actors, Jagathy is the only actor that has brought something in to his character with his mannerisms and body language. Especially commendable is when he coaxes the king to take the pan.
- Tabu looks old and moves like she is sixty. Well, since she is hardly seen 5 mins on-screen, its okay. But Tabu, why?[youtube mu0TNz4aPRw]
- Gama and his son ( portrayed by unknowns foreigners ) are simply marvelous. Especially, Gamma’s son. Boy, does he impress!
- Special Mention – All the extras ( read Junior artists) sucked, big time! But with the exception of the Kurathy, who does the singing in the King’s court. It is absolutely ridiculous to watch them when Kelu walks out of the dead king’s chamber to the wailing crowd. The sound artist has tried his level best to mask it off on many occasions with loud bangs.
- Remember – If I let out anyone from the list, it is because they are either horrible or I am too exhausted to waste my time.
- I believe fights are interesting when they are done fast – I mean, real fast. You are dueling for your life. Then why in slow motion? I saw it done right in ‘The Bourne Trilogy’. Plus, when it comes to traditional weapons like urmi or sword, seldom do Malayalee actors mastered the weapon and seldom have they done it right on-screen. And Prithvi Raj is no exception. Prithvi, make me wow the same way Brad Pitt did in Troy. You definitely have the potential.
- Again, junior artists are sad to watch during the fight as well. I totally didn’t understand why during the final fight, people are jumping up throwing weapons in the air in unison. That normal?
- Also while Kelu Nayanar is charging towards Junior Gama on horse-back, bomb shells explode left and right with deafening noise. Why was he not affected by it? Want to know what an explosion could do to your hearing? Watch the film – The Town . ( For the impatient – It will knock you off your balance; almost in to a trance like state. Easy to kill then, you know.)
- Genelia impresses with her stunts. I always thought she is just a sweet doll. But, wow!
- More to come, as and when it dawns on me.
On comparison, Pazhassi Raja is a dud. Actually it made me scream in pain. It was so horrible – combined with all the jumping in the air and the other buffooneries involved – that I switched the TV off and stayed a good ten feet from it.
(Special thanks to Manoj K Jayan and Padmapriya for the most-stupidest acrobatics on silver screen ever!) Urumi is better on all aspects of film making than Pazhassi Raja.
Scene in the theatre
It was a jam packed audience today at 10:45AM in thodupuzha which is unthinkable for any film recently. People left the house clapping.
Update: Rakesh tells me that the crowd for Urumi is nothing compared to Christian Brothers.
Let me hear your side of the story. Don’t be shy. Scream it out.
Prithviraj talks about Urumi in Technopark, Trivandrum
PS: The poster at the top is shamelessly copied from some site(!!). I apologize for the copyright theft. I had sent Privthiraj a mail. No response came … since the mail Id I used was non-existent 😉