With a screenplay that offers nothing new, Udanpirappe ends up as strictly a one-time watch for those who love never-ending family drama and tearjerkers
A still from the film
Story: Fate sets apart a brother and a sister, who grew up together and admired each other from childhood, after an untoward incident. After 15 years, their respective children are set to tie the knot. Will they bury the hatchet for the sake of their children?
Review: Udanpirappe is the latest attempt to join the list of Tamil films which portrayed brother-sister relationship. Set against the backdrop of a village in Pudukkottai, the film begins with a group of goons going after Vairavan (Sasikumar), a ruffian whose life revolves around his family. He gets to utter a few dialogues on farming (a mandatory of sorts for heroes in Tamil cinema of late in movies set in small towns), accompanied by impressive background score by Imman though it reminds us of a few of his previous works.
Enter Mathangi (Jyotika), Vairavan's sister, who is looked upon by several women in the village for her gracious behaviour and sacrificing nature for loved ones. However, Mathangi, who seldom expresses her feelings, is reeling under the pain of losing a beautiful relationship with her brother after an unfortunate incident shattered both of them 15 years ago. Though the brother-sister duo who grew up together since childhood still care for each other, Mathangi's husband (Samuthirakani), a peace-loving teacher popularly known as vaathiyar among the villagers, persuade her to stay away from her brother.
But Mathangi hopes that she and her brother would unite sooner or later. Her daughter Gomathi (Nivedhithaa Sathish) and Vairavan's son Vivek (Siddharth) are fond of each other. Though the villagers are keen on the youngsters leading a life together, based on the tradition of brother's son marrying sister's daughter, Mathangi advices them not to arrive at hasty conclusions before knowing the interests of children.
This is one among the many advices the film comes up with. Though most of them are well-intentioned, it tests the patience after a point. Will Mathangi and Vairavan be able to lead a happy life, rekindling the relationship as the doting sister and brother like in the past?
Sasikumar stands tall with his performance in the film which has multiple shades. His character comes across as an aggressive person, but there are moments where the role requires certain calmness. He is also a brother who is ready to sacrifice for his dear ones, especially for his sister. Sasi excels in emotional scenes as well as in sequences where he sets out to take revenge against the wrong-doers.
Jyotika, who has essayed the role of a village woman for the first time in her career, comes up with a subtle performance which works in parts. Many female audience would connect with her role, but the character which is inexpressive in nature, doesn't evoke the required emotions in a few scenes.
A few minutes into Samuthirakani's introduction, we wonder if this is the nth character of him portraying a peace-loving, do-gooder who goes on a preachy mode. But thankfully, there is more to his character. As someone who obeys all the rules of the land, and places law above relationships, Kani aces his role convincingly. Soori does what he does in most of the films, and his character doesn't contribute much to the story. There are certain dialogues against casteism, sexism and other regressive practices prevailing in the society, but those lines appear to be forced, and hence, do not fulfill the purpose.
Aadukalam Naren and Kalaiyarasan, too, have some reasonable screen time in the film, but they hardly leave any impact, thanks to their underwritten characters. Velraj's cinematography and Imman's music are adequate, but with a predictable screenplay which offers nothing new, and actors doing what they have done in their previous outings, Udanpirappe ends up as strictly a one-time watch for those who love loads of family drama and tearjerkers.
Verdict: Despite a decent beginning, the film couldn't cash in on the required emotions needed for a potboiler.
Udanpirappe is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.