Santosh Sivan’s Urumi is a miniature masterpiece of moods, emotions, anxieties ruled by a thirst for revenge. The film unfolds like a ballad and is a sweet and simple fairy tale. The 170 minutes film works to a large extent to its perfect casting, fantastic performances, soothing score and technical brilliance.
Santosh has made it like how a period drama should be made without too much talk about freedom struggle, no bombastic dialogues or playing to the gallery for heroism. His vision and concept gives this epic the feel of a Brave Heart or Gladiator.
It provides us a new insight into the hearts and minds of ancient heroes and shot in locations that reflect the period as everything looks fresh, green and clean and one can feel even the mist. Another major plus is that there are hardly any CG special effects that one would associate with a period war film.
Shankar Ramakrishnan’s script is simple and straightforward and keeps the narrative absorbing and inspiring. The film starts in the present day with a modern don’t care youth Krishna Das (Prithviraj) and his friend (Prabhu Deva) having a jolly good time. A big corporate offers Krishna Das a bomb for his ancestral property in Kerala.
On his arrival in Kerala to sign the papers, he learns the truth about his land and ancestors, which is told in a flashback. A brave warrior (Arya), wants to kill Vasco da Gama, the Viceroy of Portuguese Empire in India. But he is brutally killed by the invaders and his son Chirakkal Kelu Naynar (Prithviraj) is out to take revenge with a golden Urumi, that he makes with the ornaments of dead women and children who were burnt alive in a ship that was going to Mecca. It was set on fire and sunk under the instructions from Vasco Da Gama.
The film is spread between the second and third visit of Gama to India and chronicles a varied version of how Gama could have met a bloody death in 1524 AD. Kelu is supported by his childhood Muslim buddy Vavvali (Prabhu Deva). In the journey he meets warrior princess Ayesha (Genelia), who has her own axe to grind against the foreign invaders. Will they be able to kill Vasco Da Gama ?
The major highlight of the film is the performances of its lead actors. Prithviraj as Kelu Naynar is dashing. You cannot take your eyes of him, it’s a difficult role and he has come out with flying colours especially in the climax scene. Prabhu Deva is there in as many frames as Prithviraj, and is a real treat to watch. He does comedy and romance with ease and the chat song with Nithya is a scream.
However it goes without saying that this is Genelia’s show. She has shed her bubbly image for an out of the world controlled performance and her Kalaripayattu action scenes are thrilling. Nithya Menen looks pretty and is a scene stealer, while Jagathy is outstanding. Amol Gupte, Alex, Robin and others are lifelike. There is also walk in cameo appearances by Arya, Vidya Balan and Tabu.
Music of Deepak Dev enriches the film with Aaro nee aaro, Chimmi Chimmi and the theme music is haunting. A pat for Shankar Ramakrishnan for his intricately crafted script, super editing by Sreekar Prasad without any gimmicks and eye catching beautiful camera work by Sivan and his assistant Anjuli Shukla.
Santosh Sivan has come out with a story of valour with an admirable degree of craftsmanship and clarity. The producers Santosh, Prithviraj and Shaji Natesan can be proud of this epic.
Urumi is a fairy tale fantasy film that has a heart and technical artistry. Go for it.
Verdict- Very Good