Enna Avamanam (what a disgrace).
There were just seven people (eight initially, but one guy vanished) for the opening 8:30PM ET show of Unnaipol Oruvan in the U.S. on Thursday at Anil Ambani’s crappy theatre Movie City, Edison.
Of the seven, three didn’t think much of this movie. Yes, all three had seen A Wednesday, the fine Bollywood movie of which Unnaipol Oruvan is a remake.
Enna Kodumai (What Agony)
Compared to A Wednesday (as it inevitably will be), Unnaipol Oruvan is a crude piece of shit with none of the suspense, none of the drama, and most importantly none of the sui generis acting of the Bollywood stalwarts Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher.
Kamal Haasan (in a vain attempt at reprising Naseeruddin Shah’s role) and Mohan Lal (who plays Anupam Kher’s role here, i.e. the Police Commisioner) are podi pasanga (kids) compared to their Hindi counterparts.
Kamal Haasan – Utter Farce
Completely oblivious to our howls of pain, merciless in his cannibalistic orgy of the audience’s flesh, and heedless to our repeated pleas for relief, Kamal Haasan in Unnaipol Oruvan delivers a horribly bad and totally unconvincing performance.
Not remotely credible as the terrorist and comically unconvincing as Unnaipol Oruvan (common man), it’s incredible that this Ulaga Madayan oops Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan is marking 50 years in films. Only in Incredible India.
With his ridiculously phony accent when he slips into English, too much blah blah blah in every call to the police chief, affected gestures and gross overacting, Kamal Haasan just does not allow for the buildup of the suspense and tension the way Naseeruddin Shah did so beautifully in A Wednesday.
When Kamal Haasan’s character tells the Police Commissioner in the first call (??): I’m sure you are aware of the Czech state of the art explosives C4 we felt like crying at the stupidity of it all.
If Naseeruddin Shah was a treat in every scene he featured in in the Hindi version, Kamal Haasan proves to be a torment.
Naseeruddin Shah brought charm and elan even to simple scenes like standing on the terrace of the tall building, calmly replacing a SIM card, disposing off the old one down a long pipe and pouring himself a cup of tea from a flask.
In not one scene in Unnaipol Oruvan did Kamal Haasan deliver the acting goods.
If Unnaipol Oruvan is our reward for supporting this bozo for 50 long years in films, it’s the occasion not for celebration but time to gather the logs for the funeral – of art.
Mighty Poor Execution
Unnaipol Oruvan’s story hews mostly to the original plot of A Wednesday but it’s in the execution that director Chakri Toleti, Kamal Haasan, Mohan Lal et al stumble.
They trip right into the opening scenes, fall flat on their faces into the mud, and never recover.
The clashes between Mohan Lal’s character and Lakshmi’s character of Chief Secretary at the height of a terrorism crisis just didn’t fit into the movie at all. Plain silly.
None of the dialogs in the Tamil version pack of punch of the muscular words in A Wednesday. Completely effete, particularly the conversation between the Police Commisioner and our ‘Terrorist.’
The final scene in A Wednesday had a touch of class. Au contraire, the meeting between the Police Commisioner and our common man in Unnaipol Oruvan at the end had a touch of crass.
As a young boy, Chakri Toleti messed up the pictures in Salangai Oli. As a grown up, Chakri Toleti messed up the full picture in Unnaipol Oruvan.
How’s that for continuity?
Mohanlal – Depressing
A veteran of dozens of Malayalam movies, Mohanlal is a big letdown here.
Anupam Kher brought a sense of urgency to the Police Commissioner’s office during the terrorism crisis adding to the tension.
All that Mohanlal brought to Unnaipol Oruvan was a perpetual frown. And a bad one at that.
Mohan Lal has taught us one key lesson – Not to think highly of all actors from Kerala.
Others – A Joke
As our neighbor said outside the theatre, even the side actors did very well in A Wednesday.
Jimmy Shergill, Aamir Bashir and Deepal Shaw brought credit to themselves in A Wednesday. Even the four terrorists, who had a limited role in A Wednesday, turned in a good job.
The bozos in Unnaipol Oruvan just drew sniggers.
God, what was the necessity to introduce that hag Lakshmi here. A total waste of film stock. The woman was tolerable when she was young because there was at least the blossom of youth to ogle at. That grimalkin now belongs in a kennel.
Shruti Hassan = Zero
To write any more about this coasting-on-her-connections little twit would be a waste of bandwidth, your time and ours.
Skip This Movie
Folks, unless you’ve taken leave of your senses, unless money is burning a mighty big hole in your pocket, unless you suffer from mastilagnia, stay away from this wanton insult that goes by the name Unnaipol Oruvan.
Hesitate not to extend the middle finger to this bunch of dilettantes.