The positivity and goodness in Udanpirappe are so intoxicatingly high that I had to watch multiple reels of Flowers TV’s Star Magic to balance it out and come back to reality. Marketed as Jyothika’s 50th film (Felt more like a celebration of Sasikumar’s 32nd film), Udanpirappe is a total misfit for an OTT watch. Movies like Kadaikutty Singam and Namma Veettu Pillai have worked greatly in Tamilnadu B and C centers and Era. Saravanan’s attempt to crack that space should have been a theater release for that targeted audience.
So the film is about two siblings Maathangi and Vairavan. Vairavan is your typical Tamil hero who stands up against injustice and thrashes the bad guys. Maathangi has no issues with that. But her husband (Only addressed as Vaathiyar and Machan) is Ambi from Anniyan and can’t stand violence. This disagreement in ideology eventually culminates in a tragedy that separates these two families. The drama surrounding this ideological clash is what we see in Udanpirappe.
Almost a month ago, it was announced that Udanpirappe was part of the multi-film OTT deal between 2D productions and Amazon Prime Video. And yet, they have not tried to edit out the interval card from the movie. There is an introduction scene to Jyothika in the film that very obviously worships her. And there is a hospital sequence in the movie that might even make you wonder whether Jyothika has any plans to contest in the next election. In the entire film, director Era Saravanan treats the audience like a 5-year-old kid who just came back from school after the first day and realizes that the world out there is a bit rough.
Era Saravanan wants to project this movie as some kind of progressive one. But he blatantly justifies the old traditions. At one point, Jyothika educates another woman that marriage within the family is a thing of the past, and the same character is in tears when her girl says she will marry traditionally just to solve the family problems. There is a scene where Sasikumar’s character admits that it was because of his problem his wife couldn’t conceive a baby, and Saravanan would make you believe that he is trying to bring revolution in the template. But those sporadic statements are so disconnected from the overall statement of the movie. The movie is full of positive characters, and the only bad guy is a psychopath. I am pretty sure that one of the initial drafts of this script had Maathagi correcting the bad guy too. D Imman creates music that goes with the rural drama template.
Jyothika as Maathangi is pretty much in the same zone throughout the movie, and the expression is very close to the Chandramukhi troll image. Well, one can argue that these kinds of films need such daily-soap level exaggeration. Sasikumar, on the other hand, acts like Yuvraj Singh after a six. Pretty much the same numbness at every point. Poor Samuthirakkani once again tries to show his fellow actors how to keep things subtle but ends up being the lone good performer. Soori was less animated in comparison with his other outings, and actually, his reactions to certain sentimental scenes were my reaction to the entire movie. Sija Rose got a prominent role in this rural drama and did a fine job.
Udanpirappe is the mix of “Yenga Annan” from Namma Veettu Pillai and “Nanmayulla Lokame” by Ishaan Dev. The best way to watch this movie will be to approach it as a spoof on typical Tamil rural dramas. This Jyothika starrer is a cringe-fest that tests your tolerance and patience on multiple levels.
Udanpirappe is the mix of Yenga Annan from Namma Veettu Pillai and Nanmayulla Lokame by Ishaan Dev. The best way to watch this movie will be to approach it as a spoof on typical Tamil rural dramas.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended