Study on Uttama Villain

Study on Uttama Villain

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60 Year youngster - Kamal Hassan in normal makes mind blowing films and this one is a tribute to his Master so once an imagine how the film would be - And yes absolutely in International Standards and a Master Piece.  Actually it takes a sometime for his food to get digested (Understand) because our digestive system is so used to other kind of foods that digests easily. 


As we all know that this film revolves around "Art" and "Artist"... I watched the film for 4 times It always excites me to write a review for Kamal Hassan films rather than any Director in the world, This is not first time Kamal Hassan sandwiches multiple layers of story in his screenplay he has done copious number of times and this movie no way escapes from his usual way to telling multiple stories through multiple layers... And as usual he is King of symbolisms...


Before I start we all know how people welcome Masala/Substandard Commercial Films and Art Films in general. By the way don't read this if you haven't watched the film as you might not understand. These are just my observations.


1 - Manoranjan is a brilliant actor who slid towards Commercial films eventually. Even the name "Manoranjan" means one who entertains or pleases to entertain. In the first scene where Urvasi feels proud about Fans support asks Mano to realize the greatness of the Star. Manoranjan and her son says  "Its Noise" which is negative vibe of sound. In the next scene he pours out his frustration to his Girl Friend that his Dad has done a cliché Masala/Substandard Commercial movie. And fans blindly accept him and refers this Hero Worship to Religion, saying anyone can be God and it’s hard to convince those Hero Worshippers. Also his Son ignores to drink Coco Cola which he believes that it’s not good for health for which his Mom asks why can’t you be like others. Coco cola and Tender Coconut is a common example given for Masala/Substandard Commercial and Art Movies off late :) Probably Kamal Hassan has used the same example.


2 - TV Reporters, 100 Crores hypes and first day record break are Masala/Substandard Commercial film accessories that makers carry to any media person/channel or Magazine within the first 2 to 3 weeks of release. In the TV Show - The host asks which is his best moment and Manoranjan says this is my best moment, hinting Commercial Heroes promote channels and vice versa. 


3 - In the scene where Manoranjan says to Chokku that he is doing a film his Master Margadarsi, Chokku asks "Yevan avan Producer" the tone of voice denote that though Margadarsi is a well reputed director of making good films but yet there are no producers to produce his film. Just the way how it happens to most of good directors in Film Industry. 


4 - When Manoranjan requests Margadarsi to do a film, Margadarsi says "You think you can just throw some money and you can buy me". Despite not getting producers for these films he is still arrogant in working only for good scripts and not for commercial scripts for Money. Probably this is one of the main reasons why Manoranjan wants to make an art film with Margadarsi and not a commercial one. Quite obvious that Manoranjan has the blood of Margadarsi and thinks alike.


5 - Now coming to the Period Scenes (Historic Scenes) - The entire episode of Historic scenes are very brilliantly penned by Kamal Hassan. The most common word used in the film is "Mruthunjaya" in Historic scene. Mruthunjaya means Immortal. Kamal Hassan has brilliantly portrayed the state of Art and Artist in our Nation..... To put it more simple - 


Uthaman (Kamal Hassan) - Artist

Karpagavalli (Pooja) - Art

Mutharasan (Nasser) - Politician


6 - Artists and Arts existed even before Governments were formed during civilization. Am not being specific about any particular art but Arts and Religions never went smooth, not just in India but outside too. Every-time Uthaman is tested or pushed close to death he raises again. He doesn't do it intentionally but that's how he is destined to. This artist is addressed as Mruthunjayan - Probably Kamal Hassan is hinting at Art as Mruthunjayan.


7 - Mutharasan arrests Karpagavalli and her Tiger and cages them. For the society Karpagavalli is shown as a mentally retarded, though she is not one. Tiger is fed with Curd and Pickle, Probably this is a parallel scene to what some Politicians and some Organizations restrict Artists in the name of "This is not our Culture" and "This is not our Tradition" they enforce their ideas into Art and made sure they are followed. This has nothing against Brahmins alone as Art and Artists are targeted in most of the countries with a religious glove. History of Magicians (Artists) will talk volumes for it... To add to this once Kamal Hassan said that Sivaji Ganesan is a Tiger and we fed him just with curd rice and he died that way.


8 - Mutharasan loses one of ear to Karpagavalli, post which he can hear only one side, probably this scene is about selective hearing of politicians (some). 


9 - Some brilliant usage of Symbolisms in the film - The scene where Manoranjan will be waiting to see his daughter for first time, Jacob Zackariah will be at the door with a background of ancient building sets while Jacob Zachariah gently pushes Parvathy inside the room simultaneously even the background is moved to real world, symbolizing that Parvathy also enters the real world of meeting her real Dad. 


10 - Right at the same scene in one shot Camera would be against Mirror as the frame is divided by a Mirror frame where on left side only Manoranjan is seen and on right side His daughter and Manoranjan is seen. Probably a scene to show that his Daughter wants to live in present not in the past as , as per past Manoranjan is her Dad which she doesn't want to live with but wants to believe Jacob Zackariah is her Dad, for which the next conversation is the evidence.


11 - The scene where choku reads letter to Kamal Hassan find it tough reading hence he moves to screen and reads it in projectors light. Symbolizing that he is bringing the letter to light which was in dark for 2 decades.


12- The scene after the fish net scene by Uthaman - Kamal asks for short break to clean up the blood in his nose, he stands there as he watches fishes - Some are alive and some are dead that were caught in the fishing net he observes them. Symbolizing that even he is in the 

same condition of dying soon just like those alive fishes that will live just for minutes more... And Kamal smirks his face as he wipes the blood from his nose. 


13 - After a Narasimhan Scene shoot where Manoranjan is dressed as Narasimha, where Manoranjan invites Parvathy to read the letter, when his son says "Are you sure you guys don't want me to leave you alone" which means even his son wants to know what's about the letter. The scene where Parvathy reads the letter as Manoranjan wipes the painting that was masked him as Narasimha, symbolizing that letter has helped Parvathy look in the real face of her Dad Manoranjan who is not a Narasima but a Hero off-screen. And his son realizes too. 


14- In the scene where Manoranjan speaks to his son, his son expresses his ambition to learn Screenplay writing and says that he wants to prove who is Dad is to Kodambakkam, as his Dad probably did only Commercial films and stopped doing Meaning full films which is 

void in his Son's life. The scene is to prove that son doesn't want to do Masala films as his Dad but instead wants to make a meaningful film and prove Kodambakkam as who Manoranjan is. 


15 - His Son wants to make meaningful films following his Dad, his Dad wants to do one meaning-full film before his death by working with Margadarsi. So I think by now you would understand the song "En Uthirathin Vidhai" (The seed of my blood) :) This song is 

probably a proud mind voice of Margadarsi to Manoranjan and again Manoranjan to his son Manohar. As all  3 Men stand for Art and not for Masala films. Probably that's why all these Men's name start with "M" may be another form of hierarchy shown. I have translated it below.


Yen Udhirathin Vidhai - The seed of my blood, 

Yen Uyir Udhirtha Sadhai -  The flesh of my flesh 

Veroruvanai Baghavan Yena Poruthiduvaenaa -  How can I take it when he calls another as GOD

Konarga Pragalaadhanae Kaetu Tharugiraen  - Bring Prahalada, I shall make him understand by questioning him


Iraivan Yaavena Ulagae Unarndhadhu - 

Iraniyan Maganae Madham Maaruvadhu - My son worships another after the world has proclaimed me as God

Utramun Pizhayai Thiruthu - Repent for your sins now

Unmaiyin Naamam Solli Ivan Pol - And chant your father's name


And Margadarsi says "Cut it"  "Fantastic da Fantastic"... As a reviewer I think fantastic is a minimal word for what Kamal Hassan has made us understand through this song and lyrics... And after that scene Manoranjan asks Margadarsi if he needs to do that scene again, for 

which he is invited to see the Monitor and it says "Utramun Pizhayai Thiruthu Unmaiyin Naamam Solli Ivan Pol - Repent for your sins now, And chant your father's name" despite director's suggestion Manoranjan walks to the stage for a retake but where he falls down only to see his death shadow on the other side calling him with his hands for whom he says he signals that he is not ready until he completes the scene and tries to walk again. A piece of scene to show what Artists are to Art for some its beyond their lives...  So the final words Manoranjan uses on sets before his death are "Utramun Pizhayai Thiruthu Unmaiyin Naamam Solli Ivan Pol - Repent for your sins now, And chant your father's name" portraying as Iranian Character. There can’t be a better scene to Tribute his Master Margadarsi. 


16 - Right in the same scene, Pooja says "Ya ALLAH" it’s against Islam to mask as any other God or chant other religion slogans, even in 10 commandments in Christianity it’s against God to accept anyone else as God, and it’s the same in every religion. But in that scene that's the first time we know that Pooja actress is Muslim, who utters "Ye Allah"  just like saying "Oh Gee (Jesus)" or "Aiyoo Rama or Muruga"... and she has donned a Hindu mythological figure Iraniyan Son's role. Another piece of scene to prove ART IS BEYOND ALL RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS. If you remember Karpagavalli who says "That is what is Mruthunjayan all about, who should be daring to do anything" This sums up the entire scene. 


17 - As Manoranjan's request of doing a comedy film and make audience laugh before he dies to Margadarsi, the same way his family will be laughing watching his the Theatre play while Manoranjan dies in Operation Theatre.


18 - There are 2 BGMs used with the word Mruthunjayan, one is used only for Historic scenes the funny BGM Bugga Bugga and one more is used at the end the serious EPIC BGM by Ghibran. These 2 BGMs are never mixed with real life and Film scenes, but in the climax where Narasima dies, Karpagavalli comes running while which the serious Mruthunjaya BGM is played. When the Mutharasan dies the Art is free to express itself and joins the Artist Uthaman, after which Uthaman, Karpagavalli and Tiger get thunderous applause from the audience.


19 - In the climax after Manoranjan dies, Andrea looks through Operation Theatre window as reflections show that Manoranjan's body is taken away from the bed and instantly through the same window and its size the screen changes to Film theatre where audience are cheering and celebrating, transition from one theatre to another theatre the screen goes Black and White. Audience are also in Black and white but the theatre screen is in Color. Symbolizing that the sadness of death of a True  artist and the crowd is cheering for good films only after his death while they didn't encourage him while he was alive. On the screen Manoranjan is in King's Attire riding on the Tiger (ART). Probably that's what Andrea was seeing from the other side of Window. Right on that King's (color) screen the last dialogue of the 

film goes like this................


Malaanadhu Kavi um kalai um - Undying is Poet and Art

Maranadhu naam arivum anbu um - Love and Brilliance never changes

Saagavaram pol sogam undo -  Is there anything that sadder than immortality?

Theeraa kadhaiyai ketpaar undo - Will there be listeners for my endless stories? 


Kamal Hassan is trying to explain that though Manoranjan died but Art has no death ("Mruthunjayan") despite so many restrictions, bans, people have stopped his film and sometimes banned film too but ART HAS NO DEATH, If not me another artist will RISE and make it in another film... The last line - "Theerar ka.dhai ye ketpaar undo - Will there be listeners for my endless stories?" Should I have to explain this line? If you know Kamal Hassan and troubles he faces in the name of society or religion or caste or hurting sentiments or film bans you will know what that line means "Theerar kadhai ye ketpaar undo - Will there be any listeners for my endless stories? ..... After which the film ends with a sarcastic laugh and then Manoranjan's image turns into Stars in the sky on screen. Finally Manoranjan turned into a 








This is not end of my review/analysis/study but this is what I understood until now. As people say it takes years to understand Kamal Hassan films, probably he is ahead of times and ahead of others. That why most of us ignored Anbe Sivam and Hey Ram 10 to 15 years ago but today............They are Master Pieces for US..........


Thank you Kamal Hassan for this Maalaana Kalai - Uttama Villain. :)


Harish Tinkku

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