With a theme like, ‘Live for Today’, Upendra seems to have again achieved what he is best at. Leaving the audience puzzled. In Uppi 2, Upendra’s mix of action and emotion and everyday wisdom keeps the audience engaged, but unlike life that offers no answers sometimes, he leaves the audience with the option of revisiting the film to draw their own conclusions. And probably find the clues to live better.
It may be an ambitious attempt to teach life lessons to the common man, but that is exactly the reason why Uppi 2 could fall into the category of films which were bold enough to go beyond the obvious. And surely, even with its little puzzles, the film does not disappoint.
Through his hero, Neenu, Upendra tries to bring in various aspects of today’s life - prosperity, happiness, adversity, seclusion, betrayal, love, and while treading through each of these aspects, he brings in the story of the obscure common man, who could be better than the most illustrious, if he only lived in the present. His creative take on explaining the very essence of ‘You’ and ‘I’ is laudable as he opens the film with the end credits with the title track sung by Puneeth Rajkumar. He sets up a mind game by giving a reverse screenplay that briskly follows Neenu who is considered a heroic character in a college. Lakshmi (Kristina Akheeva), a student at the college after hearing about him, gets curious and wants to know more about Neenu. Her search leads her to his village where Neenu lives a carefree life, spreading the message of ‘Don’t think too much’.
Curiously, it is not just Lakshmi, who is in search of Neenu. A gang led by Saleem (Shobaraj) is trying to find his whereabouts while a couple of police officers are also looking for him. Lakshmi is impressed by Neenu's lifestyle and falls in love with him while keeping the local don Bala updated about his whereabouts, who in turn keeps gangster Saleem informed. Just when Lakshmi wants to get engaged, comes a shocker as another character, Sheela (Parul Yadav) reveals the other side of Neenu’s life. Lakshmi comes to know that Neenu was a baba (ascetic) in the Himalayas and Sheela was in love with him. But then she also reveals that he is a fraud and is in the village..eyeing a property worth `10 crore. Parallely, Mandakini, a rich women is also trying to get rid of Saleem, who is eyeing her `10 crore property, as well. She meets Baba and before she goes away, she leaves a will for him in which she wishes her property be given to her daughter Kushi.When does Baba become Neenu and why he is after the property and how he deals with his pursuers puts the audience through a suspenseful experience. And just when the audience hopes to find clarity towards the end, Upendra leaves a question mark. The entertainment factor in Uppi 2 is definitely sensible, and through multilayered issues, he tries to convince people to not think too much about life.
As a director Upendra shines in dealing with complexity of the subject. He has managed to create a sensitive portrayal of people’s mind set, who are either thinking of the past or future but not living the present.
As an actor too, he portrays the various shades of life with élan. His different avatars all send a message. Kristina Akheeva has tried her best to live up to expectations while Parul Yadav’s short and sweet role has a good impact. Actors like Shobaraj, Bank Janardhan, Tennis Krishna, Sayaji Shinde among few others, have justified their presence.
Cinematographer Ashok Kashyap has literally followed Upendra’s directorial thinking while Gurukiran’s music and background score well.
For some, the film might to be too philosophical and for others, it may teach some lessons or might just be a no-brainer. So, if you plan to go for the Uppi 2, grease your thinking cells, suspend disbelief and just enjoy the ride. And yes, don't think too much!