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Cast: Mohanlal, Innocent, Mani, Jagathy, Manoj, Laya, Sukanya, Bindu Panicker
Camera: Ramachandra Babu ISC
Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery
Distribution: Varnachithra Release
Straight off the bat! Udayon is an extension of director Bhadran’s favourite milieu and characters seen in his classic Spadikam, the typical Syrian Christian ambience and characters seen only in Palai.
Udayon depicts the life and times of Sooranadu Kunju a brave, hardworking settler who build up an empire after years of handwork, optimism, determination and toil in the hilly lands where agriculture was the main occupation.
Udayon is nowhere in the league of Spadikam, still if you are looking for fresh, off-kilter cinematic experience, then this one will not disappoint you. The film works only due to the acting prowess of Mohanlal, as a 74-year-old Kunju the rough and tough old man.
Sooranadu Kunju (Mohanlal) believes that land will never let you down and his only obsession in life is to fight against all odds including nature to build an empire of his own. He is a self made man who has five children including an eight-year old son born out of his second marriage. The others are Rarichan (Innocent), Pappoyi (Mohanlal), Itti (Babu) and daughter Molly (Sukanya).
Kunju does not think highly about his children as they do not have the same kind of passion that he has for land and agriculture. In fact he had given the three sons 10 acres of land though none of them bothered to cultivate and they sold it!
Rarichan wants to be a clock mechanic, Itti is a budding politician and Poppoyi is a wayward youth who wastes his time by gambling and loitering around doing nothing worthwhile.
Kunju thinks that all his children are good for nothing and he treats them with scant respect. He always curses them, refuses to listen to their problems nor part with his hard earned money even to get his daughter married off at the right age!
Added to all this Kunju’s only sister Ichamma (Bindu Panikkar) realizes that he had cheated her of 5 acres of land. She demands back her property but Kunju refuses which creates a rift in the family. Her children Mathan (Kalabhavan Mani), Thoma (Jagathy) and Pottan (Manoj K.Jayan) turns against Kunju and want to take revenge on him.
The rest of the film is about the conflict between Kunju , his children and sister, which leads to a riveting climax. The trouble with Udayon is that the whole film is character driven and is heavily dialogue oriented. It will take some time for the audience to get into the groove and relate with the characters.
The comedy track of Jagathy as Shavapetti Thoma hampers the proceedings. If it was the Mundoori Adi which was the highlight in Spadikam, here it is Mala oori Adi in which Pappoyi takes of his long chunky gold chain and suffocates his opponents!!
Though Ouseppachan’s three songs are good they are out of place and slow down the tempo. The background score of using Panchavadyam during fights is good and the camera of Ramachandra Babu gives the film a rustic feel.
Among the supporting cast there is Manoj.K.Jayan and Bindu Panikkar who are good. Innocent, Jagathy, Salim Ghouse, Laya and Sukanya are not well utilized. The character of Papoyi is also stale as it is an extension of umpteen roles that Mohanlal has done in the past
Udayon belongs purely to the Sooranadu Kunju. As the protagonist with negative shades he is brilliant. His make-up, body language, dialogue delivery, arrogance and his final break-down when he cries out "Deivame..." is the highlight. Undoubtedly, the actor re-invents the idiom of acting once more with feeling. Watch it for Mohanlal’s great performance.
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