Uncle review: Mammootty shines in this engaging tale

Uncle does not blind you with the spark and light from Mammootty’s stardom. Instead, you’ll find the actor shine through the gentle folds of a simple story told a little too simplistically, writes Deepa Antony.

What starts as a road movie, with Krishnakumar (Mammootty) driving from Ooty to Kozhikode, takes its time elevating the narrative into a harsh, and relevant, social commentary. With a rhythm and pace of its own, Uncle does not fail to deliver. But the real question is, do the “fans” have it in them to receive the actor without his stardom?

Shruthi (Karthika Muralidharan), a student at a college in Ooty is unable to get home, to Kozhikode, owing to riots near her college. That is when she comes across Krishnakumar uncle, her father’s friend. He is also on his way to Kozhikode and offers to drop her at her home. And thus, begins the film.

Karthika Muralidharan is convincing as a teenager. Her body language is that of a teenager at the cusp of womanhood. Muthumani Somasundaran garners all the applause by the end of it all. She beautifully raises to the occasion the script demands.

The real doing and undoing the film is the script. Joy Mathew pens down Uncle as an extension to his directorial debut, and masterpiece, Shutter. The central theme - the hypocritical public- remains the same. But unlike Shutter, Uncle tends to drag on and trail behind on what it sets out to say. The debutant director Gireesh Damodaran seems to have followed the script to a T adding little value in vision. The “Vijayan” comment, indicating the Chief Minister was totally uncalled for. It was a tasteless and blatant attempt at propaganda in the script. We get it, you lean towards the left! But can you please not make it this obvious and push it in our faces?

More than one-third of the story takes place on the road. And famed cinematographer Alagappan N raises to the challenge this poses as dexterously as is expected of him. Bijibal tunes two songs in this movie. The one by Shreya Ghosal is good, but seems totally pointless in the narrative. The one rustic folk song by Mammooty catches a beat and is a fun song.

Uncle does not blind you with the spark and light from Mammootty’s stardom. Instead, you’ll find the actor shine through the gentle folds of a simple story told a little too simplistically. The film presents the actor in a platter, and as real as it gets. He is a delight to watch as the fun loving, middle ager living a luxurious life. The character he plays reminds you of his own character from the Joshy-Lohithadas film Kuttettan from the 90s. However, by casting Mammooty in this central role they take render the entire story a predictability which does more harm than other otherwise.

Uncle re-introduces us to Mammootty the actor, who had recently been weighed down by the star. Yet, with a crisper script and a tighter storytelling Uncle would have been a movie better than the good film it now is.


 

reviewed byDeepa Antony

07 May 2018 | 10:43 AM

  • directed by
  • Gireesh Damodar
  • Produced by
  • Joy Mathew
  • Written by
  • Joy Mathew
  • Starring
  • Mammootty
  • Joy Mathew
  • Genres
  • Drama