Friday, April 1, 2011

Urumi review: "Impressive depiction of an unknown yet vital piece of history!!!"

Finally the dust have settled in Mohali after the classic "Mother of all clashes", with India eventually prevailing over the extremely dangerous & unpredictable Pakistan. Now all eyes are trained on Wankhede with the Men in Blue locking horns with the Lankan lions for the summit clash on Saturday . With emotions & expectations running high as to whether Sachin will realise his dream & that of a billion Indians, what better time to release the magnum opus "Urumi",where a boy dreamt of extracting revenge on Vasco da Gama. Being helmed by the best cameraman of our country, Santhosh Sivan & an impressive star cast lined up..will "Urumi" deliver at the box office like the Men in Blue at the World Cup???

"Urumi" is a period drama based on an assassination attempt by the mercurial hero Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar on the famed Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama on his 3rd visit to Kerala. The film unfolds with Krishna Das (Prithvi) being offered an obscene amount of money for his ancestral property of which he wasnt even aware of. With the intention of finalising the deal, he lands in that area only to be whisked off the natives to make him meet their leader. Through him, Krishna gets to know that his ancestor Chirakkal Kothuwal (Arya) was a valiant warrior who was aware that Vasco da Gama was more of an invader than a trader & when he sets fire on a ship bound for Mecca, he retaliates only to be brutally killed by Vasco da Gama (Robin Pratt). Since that time, Kothuwal's son, Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar (Prithvi) harbours a raging fire inside him to avenge his father's death & he is aided in his mission by his friend Vavvali (Prabhu Deva). So will he be successful in his mission or will the famed fickle minded provincial kings who were the main reason why we became slaves in the first place plot his downfall???? All these & more are addressed in this epic saga over a span of close to three hours.

It is no secret that making a period drama is no mean task & the dearth of good scripts has contributed to this genre not being tackled at all. Hariharan's "Pazhasshi Raja" was the last one of this genre to hit the screens a couple of years back which was scripted by the legendary M.T Vasudevan Nair. "Urumi" is scripted by Shankar Ramakrishnan & full marks to him for having coming up with a very impressive storyline based on a part of history of which majority of us are not aware. As far as the story goes, there is not even a dull moment as its genuinely sincere with no over the top dare-devilry.
Santhosh Sivan is one name we always associate with jaw-dropping visuals, but he has also displayed his craft in direction as well, with an array of movies such as "Tahaan", "Before the Rains", "Asoka" etc to name a few. Being equipped with an impressive script, he delivers a decent product with "Urumi". However the movie does have its share of flaws, with the most prominent being with many of the scenes especially in the second half being dragged. The music by Deepak Dev was impressive , but I cant help saying the fact that some of the songs like "Aaro Aaro"  & "Chimmi Chimmi" though visually stunning  was not called for as it hampered the flow of the movie. Another drawback was the lack of background score at many places in the first half  which made it appear as too hollow since a period film inevitably thrives on that.
Prabhu Deva & Prithvi with Santhosh Sivan

Coming to music, Deepak Dev has come up with all aces with almost all the songs being equally good. However, "Aarane Aarane" rendered by Job Kurian & Rita & "Aaro Aaro" by Yesudas & Shweta are my personal favourites. "Chalanam Chalanam" rendered by Reshmi Satish deserves a word of praise as her voice clearly imparted the mood of that scene which focussed on the Oracle. As for other technical aspects, the editing by Sreekar Prasad was slick while the cinematography by Sivan was stunning as always though I felt he wasnt upto his usual lofty standards that he maintains.

In the performance department, Prithvi as Chirakkal Kelu has imparted a sincere performance & deserves kudos for his commanding presence. Prabhu Deva as Vavvali, manages to infuse laughs with his comic timing & romance with Nitya Menon as Bala, who attracts eye balls in this otherwise serious movie. Genelia as Arackal Aisha was outstanding with her stunts & skilfully handles a role which was diametrically opposite to what she has ever done before. Jagathy as Chenichery Kurup was brilliant as the evil conspirator & so was Amol Gupte as Chirakkal Thampuran along with Alexx O Neill as Estavio da Gama. As for the remaining cast, Arya in a cameo as Chirakkal Kothuwal was awesome & so was Vidya as the Oracle.

Verdict: "Urumi" is produced by August Cinemas in which Prithvi & Santhosh Sivan are partners. Being touted as the second most costliest movie ever made in Malayalam, its definitely an up-hill  task trying to recover the costs. There is no doubt that it will have a bumper opening but it will definitely require a sustained run to break even, as its released in only 70 centres. Its likely to garner mixed reactions but from my point of view, it will have word of mouth going in its favour. All in all, its definitely worth a watch as its got a great script & stunning visuals. So in short, do go for it!!!



  1. that was an excellent review Ben. i watched the movie yesterday and cant say i was overwhelmed by it. though loved genelia out n out. it was so nice to see her in a non-bubbly role. felt tabu was not given her due importance, the cameo role wasnt duly justifying to the amazing actress that she is. the movie as a whole, i felt like everything doesnt fall into place, some glitches here n there u know. nevertheless kudos to the ginormous effort the crew took to the realization of this epic movie.

  2. Thanks for your kind words on my review

  3. Sumi..would like to correct you here..the oracle is Vidhya Balan and not Tabu..