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Udanpaal Review: Karthik Sreenivasan's film is not only a delightful laugh riot but also makes us mull over degenerating family relationships

Two siblings try to make use of their father's demise to clear up their financial burden

Udanpaal Review: Karthik Sreenivasan's film is not only a delightful laugh riot but also makes us mull over degenerating family relationships
  • P Sangeetha

Last Updated: 12.14 PM, Dec 29, 2022

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Story: When a middle-aged man passes away, their grown-up children and their spouses try to turn the situation into their advantage and resolve the problems in their life

Review: A dark comedy set amid a family, that too, within the four walls of the house is something we haven't witnessed quite often. Udanpaal not only experiments with the same, but also comes out remarkably successful in the attempt. Kudos to debutant Karthik Sreenivasan's nuanced storytelling. The film is a perfect example to show that one doesn't need an elaborate set-up for a story - a good plot and interesting characters can pretty much do the trick.

Parama (Linga) is neck deep in debt as his CD shop business continues to take a hit as people move over to seeking content from the comfort of their phones. When his mother's fifth death anniversary arrives, he and his wife Prema (Abarnathi) invite his sister Kanmani (Gayathrie Shankar) and her husband Murali (Vivek Prasanna) home. Kanmani's family, too, is not financially well off and so is the youngest sibling Parthi (KPY Dheena), who runs a biriyani shop.

During the rituals, the siblings broach the subject of selling the house they are residing in, to their father Vinayagam (Charle). Vinayagam disapproves of the plan and later decides to pay a visit to a complex that he frequents on a regular basis. It's here that their destiny changes forever. The building collapses and the TV channels flash the news that the families of the fatal victims would be paid Rs 20 lakh as compensation. What follows is a rollercoaster ride as the siblings and their spouses draw a scheme to get hold of the lump sum.

The interesting part about Udanpaal is that every character in the film is completely flawed and they make no bones about the fact that their lives and themselves are a complete mess. In fact, when Parama looks at his sister Kanmani hoping that she might regret making the ruse to salvage their financial situation, she surprisingly takes the plunge immediately. It's funny how one incident segues into another effortlessly and the characters are always in for an unwelcome but hilarious surprise. It's not easy bringing out the laughs amid grim scenes after a crucial character passes away, but Udanpaal does so, and doesn't make it overwhelming at any given point of time. The actors have the audience eating out of their hands with their effortless acting, be it Charle, Linga, Gayathrie Shankar, Vivek Prasanna or Abarnathi. Gayathrie Shankar and Vivek Prasanna deserve a special mention for spicing up the scenes with their ideas and gestures.

Having said that the film is not all comedy and it also takes up the serious case of degenerating relationships in families where a parental figure ends up being used as a pawn and is eventually looked at only as a source of money.

Shakthi Balaji's music and Madan Christopher's cinematography have done a neat job of setting up the tone of the story in the limited space. The only glitch in this side-splitting droll is that Udanpaal begins to lag in the second half and some portions get so unnecessarily stretched that they tend to become repetitive after a point of time. Also, the film ends in a pretty abrupt manner, that too when you are least expecting it. Had the film been edited better and the screenplay made tighter, this would have made for a perfect weekend binge watch. It's rest assures that if this film had been released in theatres, it would have had the entire movie hall bursting into laughter.

Verdict: A frolicking comedy that makes for a perfect weekend watch