Megastar Mammootty‘s latest Malayalam movie Uncle: My Dad’s Friend is the debut directorial venture of Girish Damodar.
The title credits of the movie Uncle begins with the visuals of a violent strike happening in Ooty. Karthika Muraleedharan, who portrays the character Sruthy, is a college student, who tries to head home via bus or train despite the strike. That’s when her father’s friend Krishnakumar aka KK offers her a lift to her hometown Kozhikode. Whatever happens after they start their road trip form the storyline of Uncle.
However, there isn’t much happening in Uncle. Most of the time we see Mammootty and Karthika travelling in a Mercedes-Benz en route Kozhikode via wildlife reserve areas. On the other hand, we see Sruthy’s father Vijayan (Joy Mathew), who is tensed about the safety of his daughter with his own friend.
Performances in Uncle
The womanizer role of Krishnakumar was of course safe in the hands of Mammootty. But I hope none of the viewers will expect the megastar to portray a character that lusts on a teenager like her though the plot forcefully hints about his “women connections” along with his misleading gestures. Therefore, it would have been better if the makers had roped in another actor who already has a negative shade for this particular character. Say for example, Lal or Anoop Menon. Nevertheless, the megastar has tried to bring a shady image to this stylish character.
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Joy Mathew, who has also penned the screenplay of Uncle, has performed effortlessly as an anxious father. He tries to remain cool in front of his wife, despite having doubts about the character of his friend KK, who is apparently a “romeo” among his friends’ gang.
Meanwhile, Muthumani got the perfect opportunity to prove her talent with the character Lakshmy, mother of Sruthy. The realistic performance of the former theatre artiste, especially in the climax sequence is terrific. Meanwhile, Karthika, who did not impress me much with her debut performance in Comrade in America has done a decent job in Uncle.
What stands out?
All of the characters have done their parts well. The movie deals with a relevant social issue in our society and tries to take a dig at the moral policing attitude of the public soon after seeing a man and woman together.
The climax scene where Muthumani stole the show remains the best part of Uncle. She represents the brave women among us, who is capable enough to speak for her daughter without fearing the intruding camera lenses. Even Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan gets mentioned here. Unlike many recent movies that “promoted” misogyny, Uncle is interestingly different, thanks to the characters Lakshmy and Sruthy. That too when the lead actor himself was criticised over his controversial dialogue in Kasaba a few months ago.
The cinematography by Alagappan highlights the remote areas through which the lead actors travel. Also, the last shot showing the beauty of Thamarassery Churam in Wayanad was a delightful one. Bijibal’s gripping background score, Mammootty’s Entha Johnsa Kallille song and Shameer Mohammed’s editing keep us engaged while watching Uncle. Sameer could have done some more trimming to keep the running time in check.
As mentioned before, casting Mammootty was not the right thing for this movie. Another actor with a negative image would have made it more convincing.
Also, Mammootty and Karthika are seen most of the time inside the car, and after a point of time, you might get bored with this monotonous image.
I wonder what was the whole purpose of including Shreya Ghoshal’s song in the movie. Wasn’t it totally unnecessary, that too with those kind of sensuous gestures by Karthika? It would have been a bit more convincing if the visuals were captured including Mammootty in a natural way. It could have been completely avoided as well.
The movie definitely needed some trimming especially in the second half. Some of the conversation sequences and even the song unnecessarily stretched the running time without much relevance.
Uncle is not an exceptional flick that gets the “do-not-miss-this-movie” tag. Nevertheless, it has a positive message to shout against the moral policing attitude of the public. However, something that the makers tried to keep as a suspense loses its balance just because Mammootty portrays the lead character in it. Compared to all the recent movies of Mammootty that just focused in showing his stylish looks, Uncle is a watchable flick despite having its shares of ups and downs.
RATINGS CHART 5 stars: Exceptional, masterpiece 4.5 stars: Well crafted piece of art 4 stars: Very good, exciting, interesting/new concept 3.5 stars: Good, but some minor flaws 3 stars: Average, one-time watch 2.5 stars: Mixed feelings 2 stars: Disappointing. Watch at your own risk 1.5 stars: Frustrating. 1 star: A complete disaster. Better avoid this