A couple of years has passed since Kamal Hassan's "Vishwaroopam" had graced the scenes & so naturally there has been a great deal of expectations surrounding his latest release "Uttama Villain". Well I feel it's kinda justified after all the legend always comes up with some brilliant movies or tries to do something quite different from his previous efforts. The promos had already generated considerable interest & the hype was further fuelled with the controversy related to some monetrary issues prior to release. So has the legend aced it yet again???
Manoranjan (Kamal Hassan) is the reigning superstar of the Tamil film industry for which he was indebted to his mentor & ace director, Margadarsi (K Balachander). However, he had to part ways with his mentor as he was acting in all the mindless commercial blockbusters produced by his filthy rich father-in-law (K Vishwanath) for the past many years. Since he suffered from recurrent headaches, his family doctor & lovebird Dr. Arpana (Andrea Jeremiah) subjects him to a couple of medical tests. At around the same time, an individual named Jacob Zachariah (Jayaram) comes to meet him with some startling revelations. To make matters worse, the tests revealed that he was in the terminal stage of brain tumour & didnt have much time left. So he approaches his mentor to direct him for one last time, who initially refuses but gives in to his ward's wishes when he is informed of his medical condition. So will Mano be able to complete the movie & make peace with all his loved ones???
This venture has been helmed by Ramesh Aravind, though the Kamal Hassan effect could be felt throughout the movie. There is no doubt that he has done an admirable job in executing Kamal's script onto the celluloid. Now coming to the movie, hats off to Kamal for coming up with a touching storyline with oodles of emotion but taking care that humour is also given adequate attention. Actually that's exactly where I felt the movie faltered as the comedy movie being shot in the film seemed pretty mediocre for large portions of the first half. However, the second half was fantastic & there are quite a lot of sequences where you might feel some moist eyelids. Each of the characters are given the limelight at some point of the film through the one on one interaction with Kamal but the highlight for me was the one involving his son & the other with his manager. Equally brilliant was Ghibran's music which actually elevated the viewing experience. As for the visuals, Shamdat has done a decent job while Vijay Shankar should have been more judicious in the editing of the first half.
Kamal Hassan absolutely rocked as the protagonist & you actually feel the pain that he expresses that you actually root for the character to defy death.Urvashi was fantastic as the superstar's wife while the late legend, K. Balachander makes his presence felt. Parwathy has once again proved her acting credentials while Jayaram & Ashwin (as Kamal's son) have also done a fine job. Nasar was awesome in his role even though it was restricted to the character within the period drama & equally impressive was M.S Bhaskar. As for Andrea & Pooja Kumar, both were average at best with the former's performance oscillating from mediocre in the first half to credible in the latter half.
Verdict: Being a Kamal movie, it should have a sensational initial & the producers should be laughing from ear to ear. Though a significant portion of the first hour or so, wont quite work for many of us...I can assure you that the movie gets better with each passing scene. In short, it might not be an uttama film in totality, but it gives more than adequate glimpses of it!!!