'Uma Maheshwara Ugra Roopasya', delayed by at least two weeks, is finally streaming on Netflix. Directed by Venkatesh Maha of 'Care Of Kancharapalem' fame, this remake has started off to mixed reviews on social media. In this review, we analyze the hits and misses of the latest OTT release.
Mahesh (Satyadev Kancharana) gets a jolt when he gets publicly humiliated by a rash man during a skirmish on a busy street. Unable to bear the insult, the otherwise soft-natured photographer from Araku tells Babji (VK Naresh) and Suhas (Suhas), his acquaintances, that he will never let it go before giving it back to the attacker.
In a double whammy, his girlfriend Swathi (Hari Chandana) walks out of his life. While it all looks gloomy, Mahesh may be in for a sweet surprise in life. What happens in the second half is something for the viewer to explore.
This film proves that Satyadev Kancharana has always been far more capable of what silly films like '47 Days' gave him. He can be fabulous if the director has it in him to milk his talent.
Besides his strong act, 'UMUR' also benefits from the girls next door in Hari Chandana and Roopa Koduvayur. VK Naresh offers nothing new, but Suhaas shines in the role of the male lead's acolyte. Malayalam actor Rajendran is convincing as the hero's father. TNR, who has of late been bagging slightly less unimportant roles, fits the bill.
Malayalam remakes usually suffer from lifeless BGM, but Bijibal makes 'UMUR' stand out. The music director adds to the texture of the film with the four songs. Appu Prabhakar's camera angles are fine, although not outstanding.
The tender vibes of the film, as reflected by the gentle male lead, are engaging. The characterizations are different and don't care about the tastes of the mass audience.
The dialogues are intelligent. Though far from perfect, the simple yet effective lines spoken by the characters in most of the scenes are satisfying.
The love story between Satyadev and Hari Chandana is engaging.
The father-son bonding can work with a segment of the audience.
What is the probability of an average photographer who is pushing 30 finding a cool girlfriend soon after the old girlfriend ditches him? Very low. But films are escapist. And, in that respect, 'UMUR' is no different. But when Mollywood does it, people call it realistic. God only knows why.
Satyadev, much like the film, struggles to make us laugh in the second half. The humour may be enough for the standards of the Malayalam cinema. But the Telugu audience expects more.
You expect Naresh's character to occupy a big place in the second half. It doesn't happen. Somehow, Suhas gets as much importance as Naresh. The male lead has known Naresh for many years, unlike Suhas.
The father-son element, which is otherwise touching, is also cliched on a certain level. It all boils down to the old man inspiring his son in a simplistic way.
Given the trajectory of the story, the climax was expected to be sublime. But it plays to the gallery, that too imperfectly.
'UMUR' gets many things right and many things wrong. More than its director, it's Satyadev who is a revelation. Frankly, a director who made an original film like 'Care Of Kancharapalem' shouldn't have gone in for a remake. Did he do that for want of stories? Or did he do it because of circumstances? Only time will tell whether Maha is a one-film wonder or one of the most promising new-age directors. One thing is certain. It was premature to glorify him on the basis of just his debut movie.
Watch the film with low expectations. You may not find any reason to fast-forward it in the first half. But the second half could test your patience.