This is the first movie review I am penning. There have been movies that have excited me, made me cry and some movies made me think. Of course there were others that were easily forgotten and faded into oblivion. Urumi is one movie that made me not only think, it made me aware; and probably that is the reason I am wielding this keyboard to write a review for it.
The latest offering from Santhosh Sivan, the multi-lingual historic (or rather history inspired) movie Urumi stands out elegant with scintillating performance by its cast, wonderful cinematography which is a visual delight. The most commendable thing about this movie is itâ€™s poignant and subtle takeaway message, which stick on to the audienceâ€™s heart leaving them pondering on a highly relevant question.
The movie starts off with two youngsters Prithviraj (P) and Prabhu Deva who are best buddies trying to lead a happening life albeit impoverished and debted. Life suddenly takes them on a different route when an international mining company approaches Prithviraj with interest on his ancestral property. There is also a league of politicians who talk about bringing development to the small village in Kerala behind the conglomerate.
P and P come to Kerala, where they bump into Vidya Balan, an NGO activist who is managing Pâ€™s hitertho uninformed property on his motherâ€™s instruction. She informs P about his lineage that is associated with the 100+ acre property and urges him to think twice before selling it off. P also needs the signature of Genelia, a mentally retarded girl who is the adopted daughter of Pâ€™s mother. Nonetheless as with any modern day youth, he resents lineage and prefers to take care of his monetary issues and benefits. However on a visit to his property he gets captured by local tribal and their leader â€“ Tamil actor Arya, who asks him about his ancestors, to which P has no answer. Here begins the flashback, Arya reads out the history of his great ancestor.
The core of the movie â€“ the story of Vasco Da Gamaâ€™s arrival as trader and later the hoisting of the Portugal flag in Malabar in the late 1400â€™s takes shape. It is in this segment the true heroes of the movie appear. Kelu Nayanar, played with grandeur by Prithviraj, inspired by the martyrdom of his dad â€“ Arya (Again a sterling performance) decides to take revenge for the atrocities committed by Gama and his army. P is ably assisted by Vavvali, a Muslim youth played by Prabhu Deva and Arakkal Ayesha, played by Genelia with Ã©lan. Jagathy Sreekumar comes across as a power hungry, shrewd and unscrupulous minister to the King. The story revolves around the Golden Urumi (Translation: Curling Blade; A long traditional Kerala Ribbon like sword) made with the gold ornaments of women and children whom the Portuguese butchered. This urumi stands out as the symbol of Keluâ€™s revenge. It survives centuries to be handed over to the new age P who wakes up to the importance of his lineage and historical tradition and decides not to sell the land, leaving politicians and representatives of the Multi-national mining company aghast.
The repeat of actors in the new age as a representation of their roles donned in the 1400â€™s story is the catalyst behind the idea of sending out the social message that people who had unwittingly or ravenousness sold our land to foreign powers exist in this new era. Even though the movie is a commercial pot boiler with comic tinge, romance, songs and thrilling revenge, the underlying message stands out clear and loud gaping at the audience.
India was always the most wanted jewel for conquerors and invaders. She has been plundered, looted, raped and violated for selfish reasons of a few power hungry, selfish natives. It took a Gandhi and several courageous martyrs to help us rise from the ashes of slavery. Alas! We are living in the age when history repeats! Today they have come back as MNCs and global conglomerates having interest in our soil, water and all available resources, including the much demanded human resources. Today in the name of globalisation and development unscrupulous politicians and businessmen sell our land and itâ€™s tradition for power and money. We the people â€“you and I, take pride in living a comfortable â€˜decentâ€™ life, with the pay packets of MNCs. We have forgotten our culture, our land, the scent of our soil and live in a foolâ€™s paradise. We have forgotten tradition, agriculture, and instead dream about providing luxury apartments for our old parents.
What pains me is that we donâ€™t know or even try and find out who our ancestors are, they may be someone whose sacrifices might help you hold your head in a pride that only an Indian can boast of. Our great great great great grandparents may have made a mark in history that we and the world may have conveniently forgotten.
The message that Urumi conveys is very simple! How many of us can be Kelus who can stand for our motherland, the dignity of our women folks? The answer is not so simple and pretty complicated!
Watch the movie, it’s a paisa vasool and thought provoking entertainer.
- Review By Indu Nair
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