The central theme of Kamal Hassan’s new movie UTTAMA VILLAIN is not only unique and daringly original; it also has an autobiographical tinge to it. Written by the thespian himself, the story unfolds to reveal the traumas faced by a star past his prime, when he comes face to face with two realities. One pertains to his becoming aware of his fathering a child by his lover before his marriage to another woman and the second pertains to his impending mortality. These incidents and narration which make up nearly half of the movie are very sensitively handled by director Ramesh Arvind, who is himself a notable actor in the South. The acting in these parts is brilliant, with Kamal superbly emoting the emotional scenes.
With a view to come to terms with his impending mortality, the star convinces his early stages mentor and film maker to make a movie with the theme of a 8th century nobleman who seemingly is immortal with the star playing the role of the immortal. This idea is an outstanding one, but the detailed storyline and the enacting in the movie inside the movie leaves the viewer rather bored. That the quality of computer graphics and the inordinate length of this movie within a movie acts as a drag on the original idea is not an understatement.
Unfortunately, this movie in a movie narration is interspersed in a manner which distracts the viewer from the rest of the movie, which by itself is outstanding. Apart from Kamal, the director’s role played superbly by the real life director Balachander who passed away recently and the star’s secretary played by veteran Bhaskar are noteworthy.
The narration of the main story has several scenes excellently handled by Ramesh Arvind: one only wishes that the story in the story was trimmed and kept to a bare minimum. If that were to be the case, this movie would have been truly outstanding. In its present form, however, it remains just a little above average offering.
RATING : 3 out of 5