This is a landmark gangster film that balances commercial elements with a stirring screenplay. It stands out as a perfect summary of lead actor Sri Murali’s screen image as a tough but soft-hearted hero through his role as Agastya.
Considering all the hype that preceded the film’s release, Ugramm turns out to be a admirable debut for director Prashanth Neel. Ugramm manages to set a new standard in Kannada film for on-screen violence.
Nithya (Haripriya), who is based in Sydney, comes to India to pay her respects at her mother’s grave. To her shock, she is chased by gangsters who want catch her alive. Nitya is saved by Agastya, a mechanic. Time and again, Agastya is trailed by gangs who attempt to kill him and abduct Nitya, but all of whom fail badly.
Nitya is charmed by Agastya but is shocked to learn about his past. Agastya’s real identity and the secret to why he strikes fear among many dons is revealed in a brutal second half. A crisp narration is maintained, thanks to tight editing by K M Prakash and team.
With dialogues that pack a punch, slick characterisation, and cinematography by Ravi Varman, the film also offers a frightening glimpse into the dark side of underworld and poses disturbing questions about family ties.
Despite the novelty of the setting, the family drama that forms Ugramm’s core is predictable.
This is definitely a ‘comeback’ film for Murali, a carefully thought-out project for him by the director. Murali is smarter than he looks and tougher than people expected him to be. This keeps the conflict in the film’s story honest.
A strong performance by Haripriya, who is natural in her act. Along with Tilak and Atul Kulkarni, the rest of the characters have been portrayed by a powerhouse group of supporting players.
Shot at Kolar Gold Field, Chintamani and Mysore, the locations add some visual glamour along with Prashanth’s fluid camera work.
A couple of moody scores adds depth and feeling to the emotionally charged story.
The Verdict: A very well-made film, Ugramm is full of action, drama and fleshed out characters.