Uttama Villain (2015)
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Movie: Uttama Villain (CBFC U)
Cast: Kamal Haasan, Jayaram, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah
Direction: Ramesh Aravind
Producer: N. Lingusamy, Kamal Haasan
Banner: Thirrupathi Brothers, Raaj Kamal Films
Music: M. Ghibran
Genre: Comedy,Drama
Run Time: 172 Mins
Release Date:

Uttama Villain (2015)

Good: Kamal's screen presence, Narrative technique, Climax
Bad: Movie Length
User Score
7.1
(171 votes)
Click to vote

Uttama Villain, roughly translated to ‘a virtuous villain’ is about a struggling actor past his prime, getting ready for one last act that will establish him as the biggest performer of all time. The story covers a time span of approximately 1500 years as it keeps moving to and from in different time of years.

Story

Manoranjan ( Kamal Haasan) is a superstar with arrogance, insecurities and vices who was introduced by Marghadarisi (K Balachandar). People close to him are his Man Friday cum manager Chokkalingam, father in law Poornachandra Rao (K Viswanath) who produces his films, wife Varalakshmi (Urvasi), an adolescent son (Manohar) and an affair with a doctor Arpana (Andrea).

After his association with his father in law, he becomes a commercial hero and is targeted in the box office numbers for the past twenty five years. His wife loves him so deeply and they have a son who is not so impressed with the kind of movies his father works in. He is kind of not attached to his father for various reasons.

In a success party, Manoranjan encounters two bitter truths of his life which shakes him altogether. When he faces the truth, he makes some quick decisions. He suddenly decides to return the advance taken from a producer and instead do a comedy film and moves back to his guru Marghadarisi against his father in law which creates few disturbances in his family life.

Manoranjan goes to his guru Margadarsi and begs him to make a film based on his screenplay and after some reluctance the director agrees to make ‘Uttama Villain’ in which the Theiyam artiste Uttaman (Kamal Haasan) who escapes from the jaws of death many times due to some divine intervention and he becomes a legend as Mritunjayan or the one who is immortal. An evil King Mutharasan (Nasser), who gains the Kingdom after killing the King, who is his brother in law and imprisons the princess after attempting to marry her. Mutharasan learns from astrologers that his life is in danger and hence brings Uttaman in the hope of extracting his immortality. What happens to Uttaman and Manoranjan is told parallel in the screenplay that leads to a riveting climax.

6 Reviews

  1. Siddharth Srinivas
    8/10

    Immortal classic! Classy, compelling and connecting

    The film is new, pure and compelling at the same time. As we go through the life of the Superstar (only in the film) Manoranjan, we are belted with a lorry of heart touching moments which make the ride worthwhile.

    When you come back from watching a Kamal film, one of the first questions that pop up are whether you understood it. In the case of Uttama Villain, the question is irrelevant since it is a simple film with a lot of heart. There are a few lows here and there, but when you eat the fruit, throw away the seeds. If you connect with the film, you will surely drop a tear at the end. Kamal Hassan has come up with something new yet again. Classy, compelling and connecting – that’s Uttama Villain for you.

  2. Good example of an entertaining commercial film

    172.50 minutes version of Kamal Haasan’s ambitious film Uttama Villain and to be honest, the man stuns you with an extraordinary performance. It is a courageous film that breaks away from being predictable, is gripping and emotional with few funny moments thrown in.

    An ensemble of fine actors is assembled to breathe life into the film’s plot, and each is integral in their own way, despite the length of their parts. Andrea exudes confidence displaying range of emotion as Arpana, Pooja Kumar is adequate, Bhaskar is terrific as manager Chokku, Nasar is over-the-top as Mutharasan and in a small role with minimal dialogues Parvathi does a neat job.

    We get a flesh-and-blood star wife in Varalakshmi played brilliantly by Urvasi. Kamal Haasan is riveting, and he sinks his teeth into the role of a superstar. Late veteran director K Balachandar in his last film has a very apt role.

    Ghibran’s songs and background score is a major plus for the movie. On the whole, its shortcomings notwithstanding, Uttama Villain is a good example of an entertaining commercial film that didn’t need to be lazy or senseless.

  3. Galatta

    Kamal’s treat guaranteed. Watch without any prejudice and let the movie engross in you on its own.

    Every actor in the movie have just lived as their character. Performances are so shuttle and down to earth and Kamal makes you weep and sob at some emotional sequences that stirs the reality in you. So many intricate emotions have been entangled into one script.

    Uttama Villain travels as a story within a story and the Uttaman character has many shades that easily establishes the many different facets of Ulaga Nayagan. Costumes are ravishing and suit the mood of the shot. It is a bliss to watch late director K Balachander on screen again. This movie is a tribute to him by Kamal Haasan. Urvasi steals the show with her natural acting, needless to say. Uttama Villain is a feast.

  4. Behindwoods
    7/10

    Screaming of mastery in every department, Uttama Villain is True cinema

    There are many movies in Tamil cinema that have talked about the life of a film star. But the way it has been delved in Uttama Villain appears different which showcases the other side of fame in an emotional manner and tugs at your heart’s strings.

    Performances are top class and for an actor of the caliber like Kamal, it is a sleep walk. There could not have been a better tribute than Uttama Villain for Late K Balachander. M S Bhaskar has a role of his lifetime and is superb. Nasser brings in the humor quotient with his cronies and Jayaram has a small but significant character. Pooja Kumar gets an opportunity to demonstrate her dancing talent and Abirami’s voice is a plus for her.

    Dialogues written by Kamal himself are sharp, witty, intelligent, and mischievous. His play of words in the scene where Nasser falls sick tells us his prowess with the language.

    The film aces in all the departments from performance to music to direction to set designs to cinematography. There is not a single area that can be said to stay behind and this works hugely for the positive feel about Uttama Villain.

    A film that is high on emotional content is rare to find these days for the simple reason that it has not many takers. But Uttama Villain scores its brownie points in this domain.

    When you walk out at the end of the film, after the credits roll, there sure would be a lump in your throat and you would tip your hat in favor of this amazing artist called Kamal Haasan. Take a bow sir!

  5. Indiaglitz
    8/10

    Immortal! Will find a place in heart as one of Ulaganayagan’s best efforts.

    Kamal Haasan oozes charisma as Manoranjan the film superstar who also acts in real life to everyone until the change comes when he begins to show his human side. Balachander is there in the entire story and leaves a lasting imprint and so does K.Viswanath. Urvashi gives a realistic performance as the star wife.

    Nasser as the shabby and cruel King Mutharasan completely outshines everyone in the film within the film, including Kamal Haasan. Andrea fails to impress even though she is given a meaty role.

    Ghibran’s music is the lifeblood of ‘Uttama’ Villain. Shamdat’s camera and Vijay Shankar’s editing all work seamlessly to give a wondrous movie watching experience and kudos to Ramesh Arvind for attempting to bring Kamal’s dream to the screen and succeeding to a great extent. Thirupathi Brothers can take pride for ‘Uttama Villain’ coming from their stable.

    The two hour thirty two minutes runtime becomes noticeable as the pace of the screenplay drops many a time. Uttaman’s get up and the eighth century episodes remind one of Vadivelu‘s ‘Tenaliraman’ and makes us wonder whether a superstar would choose such a story to be his swan song.

    Some films you applaud, some you whistle and hoot , but audience’s appreciation of ‘Uttama Villain’(read Kamal Haasan) is expressed through the tears in their eyes as they leave the theatre. A question does arise whether Kamal Haasan’s ingenuity would reach all sections of the audiences, but still for the lovers of cinema ‘Uttama Villain will find a place in their hearts as one of Ulaganayagan’s best efforts.

  6. The story of a star and his legacy.

    No doubt, the narrative technique is inventive. The simultaneous unfolding of these two stories; with the story of Uthaman, set many centuries ago, unfolding almost as a fantasy of Manoranjan, offers a very interesting perspective of ‘reality’ of fiction in cinema, and how cinema is merely an illusion of reality.

    There was tremendous potential to work on this interesting interplay of reality and fantasy, but one can’t help feeling that these sequences don’t quite hit the notes. The comedy film-within-the film, which has its funny moments, impacts the narrative’s ability to sustain the illusion within an illusion.

    The culprit seems to be the nature of the jokes in the period film: a good chunk of which depends on scatalogical humour and associated wordplay, which we have come to expect from Kamal Haasan and co. What lifts the segment are the Theyyam-inspired performances, which are beautifully choreographed, conceived and shot. Actors Kamal Haasan, Nasser and Pooja Kumar nail these scenes.

    At the end of the film, what stays with us is the story of Manoranjan, the star who has accepted the reality of his mortality and his vices. This could be because of the world that he inhabits that feels more real. We empathise more with a man who makes one last ditch attempt to redeem his legacy on celluloid. That’s the Kamal Haasan we are more interested in.

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