Unda Review & Rating|
Unda Review: A Reminder That Mammukka Is An Actor First And A Star Next
After two highly acclaimed films in Tamil and Telugu, Megastar Mammootty enjoyed a commercial film playing the role of a demigod who runs the entire show on his little finger with Madhura Raja. But he has yet to unleash the actor in him in a Malayalam film this year. It's about time. And like a tracer bullet, comes out of his arsenal, Unda. The Khalid Rahman directorial.
The movie is as much about the central characters - 9 in all - the policemen from Kerala who attend the election duty in Bastar, Chattisgarh, as it is about the actor who has been dusted out of Mammukka. he doesn't have any heroics except in such situations that make ordinary people heroes. Ordinary is the word to remember here. Mammootty's Manikandan is an ordinary man. Just like the father in Peranbu.
He is helpless in the face of an unknown adversary just like in the scene where he helplessly watches a child die in the hospital in the Telugu film Yatra. He is an ordinary mortal who falls down when he has to face the Maoists. But he is genial. He can sadly remember openly to his colleagues that he had never chased a criminal nor did he attend a murder case. He is just like all of us. For him, it is just a job. As he has no other option, he is going for it. He is middle-aged and the senior among the bunch.
He and his team of freshly recruited cops are asked by the authorities to uphold the values and display valor in the face of danger and bring honor to the state of Kerala. Our Kerala. Ente Keralam. Without any ammunition. Wooden protective gear. And no training at all. Doesn't Sub-inspector Manikandan aka Mani sir said that he never... Yes. Exactly!
But when the situation demands, all these men who have several real-life problems, frailties, and fears, punch above their weight. This is where the charm of Unda lies. The ordinariness is pretty. And pretty much a fun ride until the interval block where the protagonists including Mammootty learn of the danger they have come into.
Mammootty and others
Mammootty has delivered an understated but intense performance as expected. He has left all things heroic outside and just brought in the best of his acting capabilities. It is certainly not his best role nor had he given the best performance of his career. But after a string of films where he kicked the asses of bad guys just like that (which we have taken for granted), he played a role that is all flesh and blood.
He is just your average middle-aged person who happened to be a policeman. He might have gotten the opportunity to lead the others just because of his seniority. Filmmakers Ranjith and Dileesh Pothan play their small roles as senior policemen and they are good. Bollywood actors Bhagwan Tiwari and Omkar Das Manikpuri played crucial roles. Shine Tom Chacko, Arjun Ashokan, Rony Davis did justice to their roles. Newcomers Abhiram Podhuval and Lukman are neat.
The music of the film is used to up the tempo of the proceedings and it worked well. The cinematography is decent. The chaotic atmosphere towards the interval and also during the climax is captured well. The editing is good. The production design has an inherent familiarity. The production values are up to the standards.
Writing and direction
The writing and direction of the film are the real show stealers of the film. It is not just the story of a few days (where can 40 days be few?) in the lives of beleaguered policemen from Kerala in unknown terrain. The dialogues are excellent. The way humor is built is top-notch. Not every time you get to watch a film which marries tense situations with black humor without deviating from the seriousness of the situation.
The only problem with the film is: despite the commentary on the travails of the police because of ... well... ahem! it lacked depth when it comes to presenting the Maoists. Granted they have been shown not as devils or some evil predators. Nor or they commented upon in a stereotypical manner. In reality, some of them are branded Naxals/Maoists or any other name because they fought against oppression. But this doesn't take the credit away from the director.
All in all, Unda is a pleasantly obvious reminder of how good an actor Mammootty is when he is given a role that requires the actor in him and nothing more. Aided by some excellent writing and a bunch of enthusiastic acting talents, he and Khalid Rahman delivered a serious film which has risen many questions and has shown the problems faced by cops in the line of duty with situational humor which is part of life. Watch it this weekend without expectations. You won't be disappointed.
- Novel presentation of a cop film
- Mammootty at his obvious best
- Ample situational humor
- Excellent writing and direction
- Grounded narration
- Lack of depth in a few areas
- No masala heroism from Mammootty
Pycker Rating: 3 out of 5
Unda Critic Reviews
Unda User Reviews
One of the highly anticipated films, Megastar Mammootty starrer Unda has been constantly upping the buzz without appearing self-indulgent. The movie hits the screen today and with the early shows rolling on well past the interval, the general talk is positive. Mammootty's understated performance and the way the narration went about are praised. The first half is said to be good and it has a few light moments.
The first half is peppered with a lot of natural humor arising from the situations the characters found themselves. Mammootty is said to have displayed another dimension in his acting. The background score also receives thumbs up so is the cinematography. The first half ended with an interesting lead into the second half creating curiosity. Few are even saying that the role of Sub-inspector Manikandan is one of the all-time best played by the Megastar. Overall, Unda meets the expectations it created.
Keep watching for more Unda public talk and live updates.
What is Unda About?
Unda means Bullet is an action thriller which tells the story of a group of 9 Kerala policemen led by Sub-inspector Manikandan C.P. is sent to a Maoist affected area of Chhattisgarh as part of the election duty. Sub-inspector Manikandan is played by Megastar Mammootty and the movie has been constantly in the news and has created a high buzz among the movie buffs. With the commercial success of Madhura Raja and several critically acclaimed roles in his recent films, Mammukka too has been in great form.
The Khalid Rahman's second directorial venture is a tough subject to deal with. The unit of policemen, within the limited means provided by the department/government, tries to make the election process happen, without any trouble. The fear, the anticipation, the anxiety caused by the impending presence of the Maoists, and their determination to help the smooth run of the Parliament elections without a hitch form the major portion of the story.
An intense drama
The policemen are asked to represent their department and Kerala state itself with honor and uphold the same. They can be attacked at any moment, or ambushed suddenly. They have to face it all. The team has to work in Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and finally in Jharkhand for about 40 days. Unfortunately, they have to work with meager facilities. As one of them jokes, they have to travel in a van which is used to carry bulls and buffaloes.
With all this and many more troubles, the team braves the Naxals in few of their strongholds. The narration appears to be presented in a humorous for some part of it. But it gets more intense as the film progresses as is the case obviously with the subject. With a subject that has dramatic scop, we can expect Unda to be a great choice for this weekend.
Mammukka's best to the fore
Megastar Mammootty has been on a roll this year. He acted in multiple languages and received high acclaim for his portrayal of different roles in Tamil and Telugu cinemas. He has represented Malayalam Film Industry in other areas with honor and brought applause just like the protagonists in Unda are asked to by the authorities.
And he also scored an out and out commercial success after some time with Madhura Raja. Unda gets to show him in the role of a policeman and he is expected to deliver an understated but intense performance. From what is evidenced by the trailer, Mammukka has indeed given one of his best performances in this film.
Khalid Rahman and his team
Khalid Rahman of Anuraga Karikkin Vellam fame had previously assisted Anwar Rasheed in Ustad Hotel. He has come up with an excellent subject for this film. He also roped in Prashant Pillai as the music director. The score in the trailer is excellent and raises hopes for an excellent job. The cinematography by Sajith Purushan has a vibrant nature in the trailer.
Stay tuned for Unda review, rating, and complete analysis.