25 Mar 2011
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Directed by : Santosh Sivan
Produced by : Prithviraj,Santosh Sivan,Shaji Natesan
Written by : Shankar Ramakrishnan
Starring : Prithviraj,Prabhu Deva,Genelia D’Souza,Nithya Menon,Arya,Tabu,Vidya Balan,Jagathy Sreekumar
Music by : Deepak Dev
Cinematography :Santosh Sivan
Editing by : A. Sreekar Prasad
Studio : August Cinema
Distributed by : August Films
Release date(s) : March 31, 2011
Budget : 20 crores
Review By : Unni

‘Urumi’ may have its flaws, but it has got more plusses than minuses, in fact much more of plusses than our usual films and is very much unlike any film that we see in Malayalam.

‘Urumi’, as has already been told through posters and promotional trailers, is the story of a person who wanted to kill Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who came to India in 1498 and then paid two visits later and also became the Portuguese viceroy in India. The film explores history from a purely Indian perspective and tells the story of Chiraykkal Kelu Nayanar (Prithviraj), who had pledged to kill Vasco da Gama, who had inflicted cruelties upon many Indians and who was merciless in his ways. Kelu Nayanar is accompanied by his friend and trader Vavvali (Prabhudeva). Into this story come characters like Arackal Aisha (Genelia), Chiraykkal Bala (Nitya Menon), Chenicheri Kurup (Jagathy Sreekumar) etc.

The film begins from the modern day, where we meet Krishna Das (Prithviraj) and Tarzan (Prabhudeva), two friends who take life in an easy-going manner and who want to make some easy money. They are brought face to face with some facts from history that has got something to do with Krishna Das and which also would affect his future and perspective.

The way the film has blended the present with the past, using the same artists (Prithviraj, Prabhudeva, Genelia, Nitya Menon, Vidya Balan, Jagathy Sreekumar etc) in both the present and the past to play different characters and drawing parallels is indeed notable. The film stands out by way of notable performances, excellent technical features, good music and a really remarkable script. Of course there are scenes where we find things a bit tedious, like in the final battle scenes and all, there are places where the makers should have made the film crisper, there are places where we feel the director is not able to rise to the level demanded by the script and the subject, there are times when we feel the film could have been trimmed a bit. But overall, ‘Urumi’ is a movie that stands out. It’s excellent work, but I am sure we can’t have more of such movies as such a big budget is not feasible, except very rarely.


Prithviraj is simply superb as Kelu Nayanar. Prabhudeva too puts in a commendable performance. Genelia leaves an impact with a role which no one would imagine her to be doing. Amol Gupte, who is already proven to be a great performer, makes his mark, Jagathy, Nitya Menon, Vidya Balan, Arya etc do justice to their respective roles. Everyone is good in their respective roles.

Technical aspects

Santosh Sivan’s cinematography, as usual, with locations hitherto unexplored in Malayalam Cinema, simply leaves us spellbound. Sreekar Prasad, ace editor, too does a wonderful job, but the film could have been trimmed a bit it seems. The other technical aspects too sync in perfectly well.


Deepak Dev has done a wonderful job of the songs and the background music. I had never before expected Deepak Dev to be part of such a project, a period film. Hats off to Deepak Dev.


Shankar Ramakrishnan, who is in charge of the story and script, has no doubt done great amount of research. That shows not just in the screenplay, but in the dialogues too. The film owes a lot to the excellent script that he had done. Kudos Shankar.


Santosh Sivan is of course better as a cinematographer than a director. But he no doubt has directed ‘Urumi’ as the subject deserves. There is no point saying that some other director could have done better, because ‘Urumi’ is a Santosh Sivan film and he has done it the way he wanted it to be. Perhaps only someone like him could make the feel come live. Of course there are portions which he should have trimmed and made in the way it’s handled in Hollywood films like ‘Brave Heart’. But it’s to be remembered that he is making a film with a big budget and he has to keep in mind that it’s the audience of Kerala who’s coming to see his films and not the international kind of audience. So, he has definitely had to make the film the way it would appeal to average film goers too. Good work, Santosh Sivan and team.
Overall verdict- Different, excellent, must-see movie…
Rating: 4.25/5
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