Udhayam NH4 Review - A Decent Ride
PUBLISHED DATE: 19/Apr/2013
Udhayam NH4 Review– A decent ride
by Bharath Vijayakumar
You certainly go in with expectations to Udhayam as this was supposed to be director Vetrimaran’s debut flick with Dhanush in the lead. The project has finally taken shape under the helm of debutant Manimaran who has also co written the screenplay with his mentor Vetrimaran. The final product does not disappoint but at the same time this ride through NH4 has some speed brakers, most prominent being the dubbed feel of the film.
The film starts off with Siddharth and his friends kidnapping Ashrita Shetty who is the daughter of a powerful politician played by Avinash. Avinash entrusts the job of getting his daughter back, to an encounter specialist (Kay Kay Menon). He also asks Menon to kill the boys. As Menon starts his investigation he realizes that this is not a case of kidnap but Siddharth and Ashrita are in love and have eloped since Avinash was against this. From here on it is a cat and mouse game between the cop and Siddarth and the field of play is the Bangalore – Chennai highway NH4.
The role is a bit different for Siddharth. You always picture him as the urban youngster who is uber cool. But in Udhayam he plays someone who is a bit more local if you can call it that. He looks a bit grim and his emotions are understated even in the romantic scenes. Ashrita Shetty the svelte beauty makes a decent debut. Kay Kay Menon has a powerful role and it is through him we see the romantic track unfolding in flashback mode. He does have a unique presence. What mars the impact is the dubbing. Karthik Sabesh as Siddharth’s friend keeps the laughter coming at a few places.
Music and Technical Crew:
G.V.Prakash continues his fine form. The melodious ‘Yaaro aval’ and the ‘Orakannale’ number crooned by Gana Bala are already chart toppers. This is predominantly a road film where the responsibility of the cameraman increases and Velraj has done a neat job shouldering that responsibility. The plot moves back and forth but you are never confused thanks to Kishore’s seamless editing. The movie with a run time of just over two hours is reasonably slick.
With so many things going, Udhayam should have been a thrill ride. But it has its share of speed-breakers. Though not many in number, they do mar the impact significantly. The dubbed feel hits you right from the start. Looks like most of the scenes, if not all, were shot in and for Telugu. This comes as a shock as we are not prepared for it. The scene of action is Bangalore and we have many characters whose native language is not Tamil does manage to reduce the damage caused by the lip sync. While the build up to the chase is nicely done we actually do not get to see a lot of intelligence in the activities of Siddharth to overcome the cop on the trail.
Though not a perfect ride, Udhayam works well as a road movie that is quite crisp and engaging.