Friday 1 May 2015
Kamal Haasan, Urvasi, Pooja Kumar, Andrea
First things first. We got the privilege of watching the uncut 172.50 minutes version of Kamal Haasan's ambitious film Uttama Villain and to be honest, the man stuns you with an extraordinary performance. At this running time, it's no surprise that the film feels inordinately long and has its own indulgent moments but on the whole, it is a courageous film that breaks away from being predictable, is gripping and emotional with few funny moments thrown in.
The sheer thrill of watching a film and not knowing what will happen next is one of the great pleasures offered by director Ramesh Aravind. Manoranjan ( Kamal Haasan) is a superstar with arrogance, insecurities and vices. People close to him are his Man Friday cum manager Chokkalingam, father in law Poornachandra Rao (K Viswanath) who produces his films, wife Varalakshmi (Urvasi) and his doctor Arpana (Andrea).
One day he suddenly decides to return the advance taken from a producer and instead do a comedy film with his mentor and guru Margadarsi (K Balachandar). This is big news that comes as a shock to everyone including his family and manager. But Manoranjan has a reason and how he goes about it forms the rest of the story.
An ensemble of fine actors is assembled to breathe life into the film's plot, and each is integral in their own way, despite the length of their parts. Andrea exudes confidence displaying range of emotion as Arpana, Pooja Kumar is adequate, Bhaskar is terrific as manager Chokku, Nasar is over-the-top as Mutharasan and in a small role with minimal dialogues Parvathi does a neat job.
We get a flesh-and-blood star wife in Varalakshmi played brilliantly by Urvasi. Watch her in that hospital scene as she blurts out her frustrations and insecurities of being the wife of a superstar. Kamal Haasan is riveting, and he sinks his teeth into the role of a superstar. Late veteran director K Balachandar in his last film has a very apt role.
Ghibran's songs and background score is a major plus for the movie. On the whole, its shortcomings notwithstanding, Uttama Villain is a good example of an entertaining commercial film that didn't need to be lazy or senseless.