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Review: Uppena

February 12, 2021
Sukumar Writings & Mythri Movie Makers
Panja Vaishnav Tej, Vijay Sethupathi, Krithi Shetty, Sai Chand, Brahmaji
Buchi Babu Sana
Shamdat Sainudeen
Naveen Nooli
Monika Ramakrishna
Cherry
Vamsi Shekar & Madhu Madur
Anil Y & Ashok B
Devi Sri Prasad
Naveen Yerneni, Y Ravi Shankar & Mohan
Buchi Babu Sana

'Uppena' is out in the theatres. Mythri Movie Makers has produced it with prestige and the film's medium-range popularity has received so much boost from all the pre-release hype about its content. What does 'Uppena' have in store? Is it worth a watch? Does it live up to all the big talk? Find out in our review.

Story

Vaisshnav Tej plays Aasi, a young man belonging to the fisherman's community. He almost worships Krithi Shetty's character and, one fine day, she happens to be charmed by him. They fall in love with each other instantly. The heroine's father, played by Vijay Sethupathi, is obsessed with family honour and disapproves of the love affair. He takes a shocking decision that can have some painful repercussions. What is the decision? Will the lovers ever find redemption?

Performances

Vaisshnav Tej, who has prefixed his name with the word 'Panja', proves to be an able debutant. A number of males have come from the Mega family and there is little doubt that he is overburdened with unrealistic expectations. The character needed him to be believable in serious scenes and the 25-year-old actor delivers goods. His chemistry with his female lead, Krithi Shetty, is effective.

Krithi's performance is alright and some of her acts remind us of the heroines of Teja's movies. She is beautiful and the first half's romantic portions make the best use of her ability to smile gorgeously.

Vijay Sethupathi, after wowing the audience in 'Master', is engaging throughout. In the role of a father who violently disapproves of his daughter's love affair, he is apt. But the dubbing is a big letdown. Sai Chand and others fit the bill.

Technical aspects

Devi Sri Prasad's tuning for 'Nee Kannu Neeli Samudram' made 'Uppena' a film to wait for big-time since it was released early last year. The songs have been milked well by the director. DSP's background music complements the mood of the film but there are some dull moments, too. Shamdat Sainuddin's frames lend the film a touch of realism.

The production design understands the film's backdrop (a Seatown) and the period in which the story is set (in the early 2000s).

Analysis

Uppena's biggest selling proposition was the sensitive point that the makers had hinted at before the film's release. The anticipated element is very much there in the movie. Revealing what exactly it is would be a spoiler.

The hero-heroine duo is given enough space and screentime to marvel at each other in the first half. A few stock situations (like the lovers dating each other every day in the village's secret locations) don't add much to the viewer's experience.

After establishing the love story, the film introduces us to the rage of the villainous father. The problem is that most of these scenes are underwhelming. The second half is consistently serious. However, it doesn't give as much high as the subject would have warranted.

The drama inside the heroine's house involves a paralyzed woman. While the drama in the hero's family is about a doting father. The writing department should have avoided the familiar situations. The drama would have been great.

The climax delivers impact. The performances, too, are good here. However, something seems to be amiss, especially in terms of the dialogues and the BGM.

Closing Remarks

There is something surely shocking in 'Uppena'. However, it doesn't leave you as shocked as the writers would have expected. A number of situations reek of familiarity. At 145 minutes, the run-time may be seen as a bit lengthy.

 

Critic's Rating