CAST AND CREW
Production: Kamal Haasan, N Lingusamy
Cast: Andrea, K Balachander, K Viswanath, Kamal Haasan, Parvathi Menon, Pooja Kumar
Direction: Ramesh Arvind
Screenplay: Kamal Haasan
Story: Kamal Haasan
Music: M Ghibran
Background score: M Ghibran
Cinematography: Shyam Dutt
Dialogues: Kamal Haasan
Editing: Vijay Shankar
PRO: Nikkil Murugan
Distribution: Thirrupathi Brothers
In the oxymoronic titled film of Kamal Haasan, director Ramesh Aravind narrates a story of remorse and redemption in a way that both endears and moves the viewers, eventually leading to an excellent cinematic viewing experience for the audience.
The narrative style is new and different from the ones we have witnessed all along and Ramesh Aravind has adeptly interspersed two different time periods in this story that is replete with many sub-texts and ironies.
Coming to the story, Manoranjan played by Kamal Haasan is a popular hero who seems to have it all. There is a doting wife Varalakshmi (Oorvashi), father-in-law producer Poornachandra Rao (K Viswanath), Doctor Arpana (Andrea), a loyal secretary Chokku (M S Bhaskar) and a roaring career.
And then comes a point that becomes the trigger for many things to come. The mere mention of the main knot in the film will be a spoiler and there is a conscious refrain from discussing it in this review.
There are many movies in Tamil cinema that have talked about the life of a film star. But the way it has been delved in Uttama Villain appears different which showcases the other side of fame in an emotional manner and tugs at your heart’s strings. The best example is the scene where Kamal bonds with his son in his garden which narrates the price that celebs pay for their stardom.
The film aces in all the departments from performance to music to direction to set designs to cinematography. There is not a single area that can be said to stay behind and this works hugely for the positive feel about Uttama Villain.
Performances are top class and for an actor of the caliber like Kamal, it is a sleep walk. The Hiraniyan Naadagam demonstrates the length that this gifted actor can travel, to perfect his moves and infuse life into his role. His interactions with his son and later with Parvathi or with K Balachander are guidelines for the next generation.
Late K Balachander dons on a role very similar to his off screen and sure makes us miss him a lot. There could not have been a better tribute than Uttama Villain for him. M S Bhaskar has a role of his lifetime and is superb.
Nasser brings in the humor quotient with his cronies and Jayaram has a small but significant character. Pooja Kumar gets an opportunity to demonstrate her dancing talent and Abirami’s voice is a plus for her.
Dialogues written by Kamal himself are sharp, witty, intelligent, and mischievous. His play of words in the scene where Nasser falls sick tells us his prowess with the language.
The technical departments scream of mastery. Music director Ghibran rocks big time in Uttama Villain. If his songs are the major attraction of the film, his BGM reaches a different level and accentuates the feel of every scene, be it a heavy duty emotional one or a light humorous one.
The Hiraniyan Naadagam is the highlight of the film where Ghibran’s work is intense and powerful. Shamdat’s camera is brilliant and captures the period segments regally. Major credit should be given to set designers Lalgudi Ilayaraja and Mohan Kere for depicting the royal period.
A film that is high on emotional content is rare to find these days for the simple reason that it has not many takers. But Uttama Villain scores its brownie points in this domain.
When you walk out at the end of the film, after the credits roll, there sure would be a lump in your throat and you would tip your hat in favor of this amazing artist called Kamal Haasan. Take a bow sir!
Verdict: Screaming of mastery in every department, Uttama Villain is True cinema