Movie Review: 'Ujwaadu' - A Brave Effort


Movie Review: 'Ujwaadu' - A Brave Effort

By Bharathi Shevgoor

Language: Konkani
Direction: Kasargod Chinna
Cast: Sadashiv Brahmanar, Shivadhwaj, Neethu, Umashri, Master Srinivas Prabhu

Mangalore, Oct 16: Deciding to watch a regional language film, a language in which no film has been made in the last 35 years, can be fraught with mild anxiety, scepticism even. Would the production values match up in a field that is surfeited with slickly made productions? Would the sets be tacky, the sound inaudible, the make-up bad, are the questions that can arise.

Ujwaadu comes as a pleasant surprise.

The movie takes the viewer on a gentle stroll through the lifestyle of semi- urban GSB folk, the Konkani speaking Gowda Saraswat Brahmins of the Konkan coastal region. One gets to meet a host of extremely likeable characters. There is the retired school teacher, who is considered to be a respected elder of sorts, and has donated his land on which a home for the aged is run by him.  The male lead, very ably played by Shivadhwaj, is a college lecturer who comes to the town and ends up as a tenant of the teacher.  The romantic lead with him is Neethu, who has competently essayed the role of an orphan girl who also is the caretaker of the inmates of the home.

There are several other well -fleshed out characters who could be representing any semi- urban place. But the one who steals your heart is Master Srinivas Prabhu. As the naughty, insouciant, impish Gajja he is the Ujwaadu,or light of the movie.

There is no pretence of a story line. The intention of the director is to touch upon the religious, social and cultural values, practices, mores and norms of this conservative and god-fearing community, while at the same time providing wholesome entertainment through the depiction of everyday events in middle-class families. The humour is community specific in the sense that it brings on gentle laughter through an instant connect with the type of language used. There is also a mild reproach of some of the community’s not so desirable practices such as nit- picking in horoscopes while match-making.

The style is reminiscent of Malgudi days, and Gajja is a throwback on RK Narayan’s Swami in’ Swami and Friends’. The plight of senior citizens in need of companionship and gainful pastimes is very neatly presented, without overt sentimentality, thankfully. The gentle, stream- of – consciousness style of narration feels like a relaxing massage to jaded appetites, fed on thrillers, violence and cacophony couched as music.

The scenes have been shot entirely on locale in Karkala. Cinematography by Utpal V Nair and art direction by Shashidhar Adapa are very pleasing. Music by V Manohar is also an added attribute. But what lends authenticity to the movie are the dialogues, very earthy and sharp, by national award winner Gopal Krishna Pai. The small smile on Shivadhwaj’s face as he listens to the conversation of the locals in a hotel brings a smile to one’s face too and it is these deft touches by the director Kasargod Chinna that lift the movie to an entertaining level and prevent it from descending into melodrama.

It goes without saying that Kasargod Chinna has made a brave attempt and is to be appreciated for succeeding in keeping the viewer’s attention riveted for the entire two hours’ duration. The English subtitles are a good idea and may encourage non Konkani speaking film buffs to view it. They could have been done better, though. The Technical aspects of the movie are very satisfactory.

Ujwaadu entertains. It endears itself to you as you watch it. It is mellow, gentle and indulgent.

Go see.

 

 

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Comment on this article

  • Ramnath kamath, Kasargod- mulund

    Sun, Sep 18 2016

    Good to c a konkani movie that too in a very superb and daring attempt with all the shades of a gsb konkani

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • donald, Toronto/Bangalore

    Tue, Oct 18 2011

    Congrats and hats off to the producer of uswaadu,All konkanis irrespective of caste creed or religion should commend this great producer for this achievement and wish him all the success may God Bless Him

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • sunildathpai, Mangalore/ chilimbi

    Tue, Oct 18 2011

    Dear Chinna, I really enjoyed the movie whole 2 hours you kept audience
    alert to know what is next. beautifull movie. All the best in future too.
    sunil dathpai

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Louis, Kuwait

    Mon, Oct 17 2011

    God bless the makers of film Ujwaadu. May this film run well n make good impact on Konkani fans. Best of luck.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • vishwa nayak, mangalore\usa

    Mon, Oct 17 2011

    All the best Mr.Chinna. We are all awaiting it to see. Hope you will release it in Bangalore, kochi and Mumbai were population is more.

    Last time i saw 25 years back Jana Mana, it was sad movie. Hope this will have lot of lughter.

    Recently Tulu movie had great sucesses, but konkani moview has larger challange interms of slang and owrd differnce between different cast, place and religieous people

    All the best

    DisAgree [4] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • John Tauro, Mangalore / Kuwait

    Mon, Oct 17 2011

    A movie depicting the plight of the aged and the elderly and what can be done to improve and better their condition should be a matter of concern for all communities. I suggest this movie should be watched by all Konkani speaking people across the country, not just for the sake of its theme but also with the motive to bring about unity and narrow the gap among communities speaking the same language in different forms.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sandesh Shetty, Bangalore/Kudla

    Sun, Oct 16 2011

    Good Luck Ujwadu. I hope this movie will be also a great success like oriyadori asal tulu movie.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse


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