By: By Moviebuzz

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Monday 08 February 2010

Movie Title



R Sukumaran

Star Cast

'Thalaivasal' Vijay, Mammootty, Navya Nair

Director R.Sukumaran's Yugapurushan is based on certain incidents from the life of the great social reformer, philosopher and the legendary figure, Sree Narayana Guru (1854-1928). Well, the film definitely has relevance in the current scheme of things, but the problem is that it has not been made into an engaging watch.

It is Tamil actor 'Thalaivasal' Vijay who plays Sree Narayana Guru and that is the silver lining in the film. He looks convincing in the role and gives the character an authentic feel with the similarity to the original pictures of Guru. There are mentions about several historical incidents and quite a few legendary figures become part of the storyline.

There are national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindra Nath Tagore, and illustrious personalities from Malayalam history like Mannath Padmanabhan, Ayyamkali, Dr.Palpu, Sahodaran Ayyappan, T K Madhavan, Kumaran Asan and K C Kuttan (played by Mammootty).

There are some sub plots as well, like the story of Koran (Kalabhavan Mani), who belongs to a low-caste and his wife, Savitri Antharjanam (Navya Nair). There is another one involving Jagathy Sreekumar as a drunkard and his suffering wife, played by Kalpana.

It should be appreciated for the honesty that has gone into its making. There are several incidents from history which we all have all read about but here it has been recreated in a nice way. From the historically important Vaikom satyagraha and the Redeemer boat tragedy that killed Kumaran Asan to the well-known Kannadi prathishta at Kalavancode, several events get featured here. In all fairness, the actors who play most of the roles look quite like the historical figures as well.

But it is not clear why Yugapurushan has not been made as a biopic on Sree Narayana Guru. It is indeed nice that they could find the right faces for some of the roles. Like for instance, Kumaran Asan and even Gandhiji for instance. But why is it that they make an appearance one after the other as if in a line and are rarely seen again?

It could have also been made as a fictionalized account on the saintly figure, but what we see on screen is a string of incidents, some of which we may have heard about as part of history. The sub-plots are often too weak or irrelevant and as a result, affect the whole mood of the film. The marriage between Koran and Savithri Antharjanam and worse still, Jagathy's buffoonery, in fact turns out to be distractions from the main theme.

Mammootty as KC Kuttan perhaps gets more importance to the story just because of his star-status. His dialogues are often in tune with his commercial heavy-duty flicks and the fight sequences are straight out of some B-grade masala entertainers. Imagine Ayyamkali (Babu Antony) and K C Kuttan (Mammootty) fighting their rivals just like the usual masala film heroes! During all those sequences, the film's actual purpose gets sidelined and it is indeed quite disappointing as well.

It's a wasted opportunity for the director, as the relevance of Guru's teachings will remain forever and a well made film would have been part of Malayalam history. With all the right ingredients in hand, what he makes is a string of events from Guru's life, told in an ineffective way. The visuals or the music doesn't take things to a different level as well.

Let's forget the flaws considering its noble intentions, Yugapurushan has its moments and if that could prompt the viewer to learn more about the teachings of Sree Narayana Guru, it should be a great achievement in itself. But as a film, well, it lets you down considerably!

Verdict: Watchable

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