Uttama Villain: When your death is near.

Uttama Villain was released during my Intermediate days when I had nothing in mind but to get into an IIT. My brother (Virinchi) is a fan of Kamal’s work as an actor, and hence he was listening to the songs of this film (Telugu audio). On one Sunday, when I had an outing, I went home, and he made me listen to the film’s songs, and they were and still are refreshing.

During my B.Tech days, with film suggestions from friends, I expanded my watchlist to multiple languages. I explored different cinema genres, keeping aside commercial entertainers that I initially thought were only films that exist.

Uttama Villain has been on my watchlist for the past one year, and alas,! I watched it last weekend. This movie is written by Kamal Hasan and directed by Ramesh Aravind (actor). Let’s get into the content now.

Before that, if you have not seen the movie yet, please click below and watch this here:

Note: I will discuss the movie first, followed by a briefing on the frames I liked in the film. All images used here are taken from above video available on YouTube.

Kamal plays Manoranjan (means Entertainment), a hero with a huge fan following who does commercial entertainers mostly produced by his father-in-law, played by K Viswanath garu. Kamal’s wife Varalakshmi (a boon to his cinema life), played by Urvashi, loves him, whereas his son Manohar despises him.

Manoranjan (I call him Mano henceforth) has an extramarital relationship with Dr. Arpana, his family doctor, and he doesn’t have a good rapport with his guru, Margadarshi (no need of name explanation here) played by K Balachander garu because of the movie choices Mano made several years ago.

The movie unfolds in an exciting way when we know that Kamal has a brain tumor and has limited days to live. He then learns about his daughter (Manonmani, played by Parvathy) from his first love, Yamini. With death nearing to take away his life, he tries to sort out his personal life and end his professional career with a memorable film with his mentor, Margadarshi, produced by Mano.

Now, Mano has personal issues to sort out — to have an open discussion with his son, meet his daughter, to be with his wife, Varalakshmi, during his last days, and to know about his love & letter to Yamini written 25 years ago. On the professional side, he wants to get associated with his mentor for one last time to make a memorable film that brings smiles to the audience’s faces at the end.

“Uttama Villain” is the name of the film Mano begins with his mentor is folklore comedy on the life of Uttama, who dodges death several times, and a king (Nasser) calls him to learn Mrithyunjaya Mantra (the secret to immortality) from him. It’s ironic to see Mano, who’s nearing his death plays a character who escapes death in his film multiple times.

Have a look at this incredible song composed by Ghibran and written by Kamal:

This song is the finale of the movie “Uttama Villain” by Margadarshi. To explain a bit further, this song is a play on “Hiranya Samhaaram” inside the folklore movie Uttama Villain (starring Mano) inside the movie, we see Uttama Villain (starring Kamal).

Why Hiranya Samhaaram, you may ask yourself. Hiranya wanted to be immortal, but he misses to mention the twilight time while asking the boon to Brahma! Again, Prahlada seems to be immortal as Hiranya tries to kill him many times, but Vishnu protects him. Kamal wrote this screenplay with much attention to detail that at the end of the play, even though the characters of Hiranya and Narasimha get exchanged, Hiranya, played by Mano, survives by twisting the tale of Hiranya Samhaaram.

Mano wants to live. Asking Yama not to take him.

Coming to his personal life, there are some frames that convey the story much better than whatever I write here. Mano was in love with Yamini, and they are separated by Poorna Chandra Rao (K Viswanath), who does this at the request of his daughter Varalakshmi as she fondly loves Mano.

After Mano learns that he has a daughter with Yamini, he wants to meet her. Soon, his manager reveals that the letters written by Yamini and Mano to each other 25 years ago are with him as he did not pass those letters as per the orders of Poorna Chandra Rao. Manonmani reads the letter written by Mano and understands that there’s no mistake with her biological father.

The scene where Manoranjan reveals his terminal illness to his son, Manohar, is a reflection of how we see outrightly violate the personal space of the film stars and expect a happy response from them irrespective of their sufferings.

Are we letting celebrities to have their personal space?

Dr. Arpana — Mano and she loves each other, but they can’t live together in public. Even when Mano dies at the end, she’s left alone while his whole family and aides are together.

She’s left alone.

He truly loves Yamini without any second thought. This frame with Manonmani (his daughter).

Mano’s thoughts are only with Yamini.

His tree of life (in the shape of the brain) and places his hand at the tumor’s location.

With his daughter and son.

I focused only on the writing of the movie in this post. Many aspects enhanced the film to the next level and my heartful appreciation for giving me an excellent cinematic experience.

The quality of a movie depends on the coordination among the team involved and the script’s depth. To summarise, movies like Uttama Villain are rare, and we shouldn’t let them go without our appreciation.

I’ll meet soon with another piece of content. Until then,

సృష్టి నియమం

ఖాయం మరణం

గాలికి ఆరే దీపం ప్రాణం.