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Friday, February 26, 2021

‘Uppena’ assessment: Romance on the excessive seas

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Uppena (‘excessive tide’ in Telugu) is a movie that may set off conversations. The romantic musical discusses social strata divisions. So much is spoken about honour however fortunately, the movie probes one thing apart from honour killings. It discusses masculinity, which is a welcome transfer.


  • Solid: Vijay Sethupathi, Panja Vaisshnav Tej, Kriti Shetty
  • Course: Bucchi Babu Sana
  • Music: Devi Sri Prasad

After Color Photograph, that is one other story of romance set in a time earlier than cell phones grew to become extensively prevalent within the inside cities. Debut director and author Bucchi Babu Sana leads us right into a seaside hamlet close to Kakinada of 2002.

A mixture of awe, worry and thriller shrouds Kotagiri Rayanam’s (Vijay Sethupathi) daughter Bebamma a.ok.a Sangeetha’s (Krithi Shetty) journeys to her school. It looks as if a chip-off-the-old-block trope when two children are manhandled for daring to enterprise close to the automobile to get a glimpse of the aristocratic lady. However when the charade is unmasked in a couple of minutes, it exhibits the ominous and almost insane extent to which Rayanam would go to guard his honour.

Casting Vijay Sethupathi is an indication that we aren’t going to witness a cardboard antagonist. There’s scope to point out one thing sinister and Uppena does this, whereas nonetheless working inside the realm of mainstream Telugu cinema.

The story has been instructed over a long time and can nonetheless ring true. A poor boy falls in love with a wealthy lady and her father is not going to tolerate it. The divisions of social strata are stark. The love that Aasi (Vaisshnav Tej) nurtures for Bebamma is adoration laced with innocence.

The romance is poetic, with Devi Sri Prasad’s lilting compositions matching the ebb and stream of the waves captured fantastically by Shamdat. Aasi belongs to the fishing neighborhood, which supplies ample scope for music and cinematography to romance the ocean. A few of the songs are earworms and fantastically picturised however there are one too lots of them because the movie strikes alongside.

Nonetheless, we stick with it due to the freshness with which the romance is portrayed. The lady travels on their lonesome in a bus (a mark of privilege) and the couple manages to steal a while en route. It’s hilarious when he tries to beat his stutter and pronounce her actual title.

Nonetheless, worry lurks across the nook. Bebamma isn’t protected in her own residence when a creepy relative comes visiting. For all of Rayanam’s thunder, he doesn’t take the creep to job, as a result of, honour!

It’s on this context that a number of ideas on masculinity shared by a school lecturer (Geetha Bhaskar in a visitor look) has an affect on Bebamma. By then she has discovered Aasi who makes her really feel snug in his presence and even calls out to him utilizing a time period from her biology lesson; and this holds the clue for issues to return.

For some time, Uppena explores acquainted tropes of the wealthy man eager to oust fisherfolk from their properties, and later issuing a menace when the daughter goes lacking. The explanation behind Rayanam harping on honour comes throughout as shallow. His indifference to his ailing spouse additionally merited a greater dialogue. In distinction to that is the nice and cozy bond shared between Aasi and his father (Sai Chand, reliable as all the time).

The pre-mobile cellphone period setting is smart because the story navigates a wet night time when the couple is stranded on excessive seas and later, after they transfer from one metropolis to a different.

Uppena loses a few of its steam because it progresses. One thing has modified between the couple too. The ultimate reveal places issues in perspective. Had Uppena been crisper and fewer melodramatic, it may have had an excellent higher affect. But, it’s commendable that it enters an uncomfortable territory and discusses masculinity at size.

Vijay Sethupathi’s presence lends the movie extra gravitas and he’s formidable. I want he had dubbed for himself although. The dubbing artiste is sweet, nevertheless, those that have watched Sethupathi’s Tamil movies would know that he has the knack of conveying menace even whereas uttering the dialogues in a standard pitch. Right here, the ‘enti…’ is thunderous, with an echo.

Krithi Shetty is superb within the climax the place she takes on Setupathi. All by way of the movie, she portrays the naivety and first flush of romance good. In her, Telugu cinema has discovered yet one more new expertise to faucet into. Vaisshnav Tej can be enough in his portrayal of Aasi and mercifully, although he comes from a star clan, this movie doesn’t prop him up as a larger-than-life hero. The story takes centre stage, which makes all of the distinction.

Uppena was initially scheduled to launch in theatres in April 2020 and didn’t take the OTT route. It’s an aural and visible feast that deserves theatrical viewing. Not simply in its depiction of the excessive seas and lifetime of the fisherfolk, the cycle mild sequence within the lifeless of the night time additionally deserves a point out. For a quick second, it’s harking back to the killing fields sequence from Rangasthalam. Possibly it’s Bucchi Babu Sana’s hat tip to director Sukumar, who has co-produced this movie.

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