By Mithun
Uttama Villain – Speculations from its Teaser, Kamal Haasan, Uthama Villain


Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan had always been known for doing things differently. While others up the curiosity element only when they release their trailers and teasers, this man does that right from day one – right from the first look posters, the title font, the cast and crew – everything about his projects raises expectation levels to improbable proportions. Uthama Villain’s posters and first look teaser are no different.

The teaser of Uthama Villain features a masked face, which according to online reports is based on North Kerala’s Theyyam art form. Also known as Theyyattam or Thira, it is ritual kind of worship, with several thousand years of customs and traditions. The people consider the practitioners, generally belonging to the lower class community, of this art form as God – Kamal Haasan’s home ground, where he can score sixes and boundaries, every time and with ease. Even, a poster of the movie seems similar to Michelangelo's fresco painting, The Creation of Adam, which depicts Genesis - an image of near-touching hands of God and Adam. The imitated version, Uthama Villain has an image of near-touching hands of Kamal Haasan (God) and a child (Adam).

Also, the legendary actor’s practice of alternating between big and small movies, between serious and entertainers, in succession, suggests that Uthama Villain, coming after Vishwaroopam, might be a jolly ride. The involvement of Crazy Mohan, who had penned dialogues for classics such as Michael Madana Kama Rajan, Apoorva Sagodharargal, Avvai Shanmughi and Panchathanthiram also suggests the same.

A cult similar to Theyyam is followed in the Tulu Nadu region of Karnataka, in a different name as Bhuta Kola. The involvement of Ramesh Aravind, who has the Kannada roots, and the fact that the team is shooting in Karnataka, suggest that Uthama Villain may probably not be based on Theyyam, but on Bhuta Khola. And, given Kamal Haasan’s interest in experimenting with dialects, emulating Tulu language onscreen is a challenge never attempted before in Tamil Cinema, and only he can pull off.

The title card of Uthama Villain also provides a lot to contemplate on. Uthama is shaped like a bow (villu), and Villain is shaped like a key. The makers probably point to the popular Tamil Nadu art – Villupaattu, a musical story-telling form where narration is interspersed with music. It uses a Villu (bow) that has a long string under tension, and a bunch of keys called veesukols or villadi kol in each of his hands. Thus, indicating that the film might be about the dying art forms!

Well, as Uthama Villain is straight from Kamal Haasan, no one can be sure of anything, until the release of the movie. Let’s speculate as much as possible, and be surprised with something entirely different.


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