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Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Dhanush, Genelia, Vivek.
Direction: Mithran R. Jawahar
Music: Vijay Antony
Production: Mohan Appa Rao

Uthamaputhiran – literally translates to ‘the ideal son’. Well, this Diwali, if you are searching for the ideal entertainer, then chances are that you will have your gaze firmly fixed on Uthamaputhiran, the only star driven release of this festive season. Does Uthamaputhiran stand true to its title?

Uthamaputhiran is all about love, family,
  Uthama Puthiran
relationships, fun and laughter. It begins by portraying Siva @ Dhandapani (watch the movie to find the reason behind the second name) as a boy who does not have too many talents or positives except for an uncanny knack of getting into trouble and sticking his neck out for others when they need him the most. One such sojourn of his goes horribly wrong and he is stranded on the highway with Pooja in complete bridal attire and a band of goons hot on their heels. You think that the film is all set to get into a ‘road race’ mode with fights, chases, isolated locations and songs. But, the director introduces us to a large joint family headed by the inimitable Bhagyaraj. It is all fun, chatter and laughter from then on in the first half until a twist ushers the interval in. Post-interval we shift focus to two other families; completely contrasting to the one we have seen so far. They are loud, obnoxious, garrulous (takes a bit of getting used to)and gullible all at the same time. But, the humor and fun continue undiluted here too, pepped up even more by the arrival of ‘Emoshonal Ekambaram’ (Vivek). The fun goes a notch higher with the introduction of ‘Washington Vettrivel’ and ‘Chicago Shakthivel’. The role play keeps you amused and enthralled right down to the wire. The finer details of the plot, the connection between the three families and the reason behind names such as ‘Washington Vettrivel’ will be best understood in theaters.

If a clean family fare, full of fun and humor (clean, no double entendres), no ‘supermanism’, no glamour, little bit of sentiments and a slightly melodramatic climax is your idea of a good entertainer, then you certainly have found the ‘Uthama’ entertainer for Diwali. Right from the outset the director makes it clear that his aim is to entertain the audience. There are not many moments in the movie where the proceedings get excessively serious or somber. That is not to say that the central plot is weak or trivial; far from that. But, the director has presented it all in a fun and frolic manner which keeps us amused throughout. The credit here definitely goes to the script; humor has been cleverly woven into the proceedings, both by means of dialogues and situations. It is only in the latter part of the first half that romance takes a slight precedence over fun. But, of course, that is necessary to set the pace for what is to come in the second half. The second half rockets off to a great start with the introduction of Emoshonal Ekambaram (the name being slightly reminiscent of Vadivelu’s Encounter Ekambaram character). Dhanush and Vivek rock together, each complementing the other with superb timing. Vivek’s stunned and bemused look after the introduction of the ‘Vettrivel-Shakthivel’ brothers will have you in splits; so will his wordplay with ‘subconscious memory’ which becomes ‘sami dhadile fire’. With all the comedy and role play, romance does take a backseat in the second half.

Scripting and direction really show their maturity with the pacing of the movie. A consistent tempo is maintained right through and there aren’t any portions that elicit yawns. Also, the conscious decision to cut down on high-flying fights (there are just two very brief stunt sequences) and foreign location dances (only one, ‘Ussume Laresay’ has come out well) makes the movie a refreshing experience. The songs too, just 4 in number, have been seamlessly placed into the narrative, which is great. The director also deserves a round of applause for character establishment and maintaining a consistent graph for all players involved. Even the smallest of roles (like Mayilsaamy’s ‘Santhosh Khan’) have been carefully constructed.

Looking at the performances in Uthamaputhiran will require a long time because of the sheer size of the cast. But, to start with Dhanush; we have grown used to the kinds of films and roles that Dhanush chooses for himself, the gangly, no airs guy. Uthamaputhiran is perhaps testimony to the fact that Dhanush has identified his strengths and is firmly playing by them, not making too many mistakes. The role of Siva fits him to a T; it is difficult to imagine anyone else as this character. Credit is due to Dhanush for agreeing to do away with many commercial elements like the intro song and appearing as just a simpleton. Genelia is her usual sprightly self. The huge supporting cast has worked wonders for the movie. Listing them all here will be an exercise in itself; Bhagyaraj, Ambika, Rekha, Ashish Vidhyarthi etc.. all showcase their experience. The comedy brigade lead by Vivek is irrepressible; Mayilsaamy plays a delightful part while Dhanush’s group of friends also liven up the screen; it is only Karunas who gets very little to do. Shriya plays a cameo right at the start.

Camera, by Balasubramaniam, has ensured that the screen is always bright and cheerful, suiting the mood of the film. Vijay Anthony’s music has been used well by the director; the composer deserves special mention for the BGM; especially the ‘nadaswaram’ tone for Vivek and the ‘Shanty Shanty’ refrain for Mayilsamy. Editing is crisp.

Finding faults with Uthamaputhiran will be difficult. One feels that with the given plot, premise and resources, Mithran Jawahar has delivered the best possible results. Yes, there is a feeling that 3 hours is a tad too long; that the climax is a bit sugar coated, that certain portions could have been avoided (like the Spiderman bit) and such minor things. But, the final product stands above all these glitches.

Of course, it is not the kind of ground breaking attempt that will change Tamil cinema overnight. But, it is a clean ‘family entertainer’, that can be enjoyed by all age groups, made with very honest and earnest intentions. It is clean, its fun and its feel good. Go for ‘Uthamaputhiran’. Chances are that you won’t be disappointed; we have been needing this kind of a family flick for some time now.

Verdict: Diwali outing for the entire family

Tags : Uthama Puthiran, Dhanush, Genelia, Vivek, Mithran R. Jawahar, Vijay Antony
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