'Uyir Thamizhukku' movie review: Plenty of reasons to zone out in this political drama

As the first half doesn’t end on a startling note, there was not much to expect from the second half. But one would at least not want things to descend into further mess, which is exactly what happens.
'Uyir Thamizhukku' movie poster
'Uyir Thamizhukku' movie poster

CHENNAI: There is a scene in 'Uyir Thamizhukku' where Imaan Annachi’s character snatches the microphone away from Ameer’s character and advises him not to make a three-week-long speech where three minutes would suffice. We wish the film internalised this advice.

'Uyir Thamizhukku' follows the peak and valley pattern, it alternates between highs and lows. However, we soon realise that the film meanders through the low points more than we expected and that it has been quite some time since the film picks itself up to a high point. Once the realisation dawns upon us, this film turns into an excruciating watch.

The film opens with the murder of a prominent politician named Pazhakadai Ramachandran (Anandraj), who belonged to the opposition party. We are told that this could be a conspiracy hatched by MGR Pandian (Ameer Sultan) as Ramachandran doesn’t favour Pandian’s love for his daughter Thamizhselvi (Chandini Tamilarasan). What follows is not just Pandian’s bid to prove his innocence and win the Bypoll of the constituency that fell vacant, but also a test of our determination not to fall asleep.

Debut director Adham Bava lacks clarity on whether he wants to elevate Ameer’s off-screen image, as a vociferous critic of government policies, or to make a story-focused political satire with him. His dilemma persists throughout the film’s 129-minute runtime. If Adham Bava says Pandian has entered politics solely to woo Thamizhselvi, why does he deliver a lengthy dialogue explaining his action plan if he wins the poll?

Another blindspot in Bava’s directorial choice is the lack of brevity and the abundance of exposition. Several scenes are devoted to explaining the plot where few lines would have sufficed. On the other hand, scenes that did require more attention, are skimmed over hastily. The level of detailing required in a high-profile murder, that of a sitting MLA, is shockingly absent. It so happens that the MLA is muffled and stabbed to death by two in the middle of the street. On the other hand, scene after scene of Pandian’s amorous exploits is forced on us. As the first half doesn’t end on a startling note, there was not much to expect from the second half. But one would at least not want things to descend into further mess, which is exactly what happens. The stakes of the Bypoll outcome were thought out flippantly.

'Uyir Thamizhukku' also suffers from logical loopholes. If Pandian is in love with Thamizh shouldn’t he join her party instead of the rival party? The winner of the Bypoll, which was said to have eight rounds, gets announced after only just six rounds. The list of such issues goes on and on.

While 'Uyir Thamizhukku' boasts some good actors in its star cast, including Ameer, we are left searching hard even for an average performance. Except for the MGR song with catchy lines, Vidyasagar’s music too is passe. Ameer in his recent interviews has said that he will not call the film a special one for him. We can’t agree enough.

Film: Uyir Thamizhukku

Director: Adham Bava

Cast: Ameer Sultan, Chandini Tamilarasan, Anandraj, Imaan Annachi, Raj Kapoor

Rating: 1/5

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