Co-incidentally, on the same weekend as we decided to review Ready for the blog, I found out that the Tamil remake was releasing in the cinema. It took a few phone calls, messages, and hanging around the cinema, but eventually the showing was confirmed and I was able to settle in to watch Uthama Puthiran.
I was a bit apprehensive about seeing this film – Ready is such a favourite of mine, and much as I love Dhanush, I wish he would tackle something other than Telugu remakes. But I needn’t have worried. Mithran Jawahar has done a great job with Uthama Puthiran and it is a very good film in its own right.
As this was another adventure without subtitles, thankfully the film follows the basic storyline of Ready. Gopimohan wrote the screenplay and seems to have both retold the story and given it a few new twists. Dhanush plays Siva, (the role originally played by Ram) while Genelia reprises her role as Pooja. As we’ve just described the story in the previous review I won’t go through it again since it’s fundamentally the same. The main differences are in the comedy subplots and in the interactions between the two feuding sides of the family.
Dhanush is laid back in his role as Siva and plays it very cool. He is convincing as the carefree student, zipping around on his motorbike, with a knack for impromptu marriage planning and accountancy. Genelia makes the character of Pooja a little more serious, but still has plenty of playfulness and charm. I was very impressed with her acting in this role, and her ability to take the same character in the same storyline and yet still make her novel and appealing.
Siva’s family are delightful and particularly good as they con Pooja’s family into believing they are rich Americans on the hunt for bridegrooms for their fictional daughters. Ashish Vidyarthi and Jayaprakash seem well cast as the feuding uncles and the other supporting cast members all do a good job. The hapless tourist who is kidnapped along the way is played by Mayilsamy, and this part of the comedy track works well, as do the scenes with the family guru. In the main comedy plot, Vivek does a fantastic job as ‘Emotional’ Ekambaram. His bafflement at his created characters coming to life and his consternation as he spots Siva and Pooja together is hilarious . Despite not understanding a word he said I thought he was excellent in his role, and managed to convey so much with his expressions and body language.
The romance between the two leads works well and there is great chemistry between them. The song sequences are lovely, although it would have been nice to see Dhanush dance more. The songs set in Bern are beautifully pictured with some clever use of colour and excellent use of the scenery. There is some great work by Balasubramaniyen in the cinematography here. I much prefer this soundtrack by Vijay Antony to the Telugu version, although for some reason not all of the songs on the CD release actually appear in the film.
The second half is quite long, and there are a number of very dialogue heavy scenes with Pooja’s family. I found these tended to drag as I couldn’t follow the dialogue, and the film did seem to diverge a little from the Telugu version. But overall the movie is very watchable, with just as much, although perhaps a little more subtle humour than Ready. Certainly the audience was laughing throughout!
Again the lead pairing are what make Uthama Puthiran a cut above a standard romance, and although the supporting cast are all fine, the screen really comes alive when Dhanush and Genelia appear together. Mithran Jawahar has to be commended on his direction as he has made the film just as enjoyable and entertaining as Ready. I hope that the DVD will release with subtitles, although I will buy it regardless for the songs and the great performance by Dhanush and Genelia. 4 ½ stars.