Critic's Rating: 3.5/5
Cast: Prithviraj, Prabhu Deva, Genelia D'Souza, Arya, Amol Gupte, Nithya Menon, Vidya Balan
Direction: Santhosh Sivan
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
Story: Kelu Rayanar (Prithviraj) wants to avenge the killing of his father Sedirayan (Arya) at the hands of Vasco da Gama. In his quest, he gets support from his friend Vavvali (Prabhu Deva). When the fight becomes a struggle against the invading Portuguese, the story takes epic proportions.
Review: Winston Churchill said, "History is written by the victors". Vavvali says the same, about how their names will get buried in history. This is the simple story that Santhosh Sivan spins into a magnum opus in 'Urumi'.
The story and the screenplay (Shankar Ramakrishnan) have all the elements needed for an epic - action and magical images, all rooted in history. The glorious visuals, captured by Santhosh Sivan himself, make this movie a treat to watch.
Set in 1500 AD when the Portuguese reached the southern shores of present day India, 'Urumi' captures one of the earliest fights for freedom in the pre-British era, at a time when the subcontinent first saw canons and pistols.
Dubbed from Malayalam, 'Urumi' has one of the finest screenplays in recent times when it comes to historical drama. Shorter than the earlier version by 30 minutes, the Tamil version works well, thanks to the dialogues by Sasikumar. They are in the Tamil of yore, but at no point will you find them difficult to understand.
'Urumi' has a fabulous cast and Santhosh brings out the best in them. Prabhu Deva comes out on top, particularly because of his comic timing. His best scenes are when he romances the wide-eyed and quirky Chirakkal Bala (Nithya Menon). Genelia breaks the stereotype of the bubbly and chirpy character she is usually saddled with and shines as the angry and violent Arackal Ayesha. Prithviraj does a good job as Kelu Rayanar, his muscular physique and dialogue delivery helping him make the character convincing. Arya and Nithya Menon are also okay, though their roles are rather small. But Vidya Balan gets a raw deal with little to do, and her role as an oracle fails to impress.
Music by Deepak Dev comes out best in 'Yaaro nee yaaro' and the theme song.
Tip-off: A stylistic movie with arresting visuals.