Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya movie review: Endearing tale of common man’s revenge

Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya is built on the of masculinity and rage. It questions the need for virility and the extent men can go to flaunt.
Updated on Jul 30, 2020 02:10 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chennai | ByHaricharan Pudipeddi

Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya
Director: Venkatesh Maha
Cast: Satya Dev, Naresh, Suhas and Roopa Koduvayur

Towards the end of Venkatesh Maha’s Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya, there’s a brief but important scene between a daughter and her mother. The daughter asks her mother if she thinks men are stupid. Nodding in agreement, the mother says that their stupidity and rage knows no bounds. The entire film, a remake of much cherished Malayalam drama Maheshinte Prathikaaram, is built on the notion of masculinity and rage. The film questions the very need for virility and the extent men can go to flaunt and celebrate it.

For an industry (Telugu cinema) that thrives on glorifying masculinity in the garb of heroism, here’s a film that comes as a whiff of fresh air.

The story, set against the backdrop of beautiful Araku valley, is centred on an average photographer – Uma Maheswara Rao, played by the terrific Satya Dev, whose world revolves around tending to his old father, childhood crush and his photo studio. When Mahesh is roughed up for no mistake of his in the town’s marketplace when he tries to stop a conflict, he swears to not wear his slippers again, till he avenges the beating.

For a story that’s about a common man’s revenge, the film is thankfully not serious and mostly works as a light-hearted take on rage and masculinity. Even though a remake, Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya has its own charm and works beautifully because it adapts the story to the rural Telugu setting quite convincingly. It is also well aided by the overall good performances of the supporting cast, especially the likes of veteran actor Naresh (who is unbelievably good) and others like Suhas and newbie Roopa Koduvayur.

The film is a remake of Malayalam film Maheshinte Prathikaaram.
The film is a remake of Malayalam film Maheshinte Prathikaaram.

Satya Dev, who is consistently good lately, is a solid match to Fahadh Faasil and even though you’re reminded of the latter’s mannerisms in a few scenes, Satya still makes his character unique in his own way. One can argue as much as he wants about the film being a remake, but you can’t complain about Satya Dev’s effortlessly good performance.

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Having made a solid impression with his award-winning first film C/O Kancharapalem, it was slightly disappointing when it was announced that Venkatesh Maha’s second film will be a remake. But the young filmmaker impresses with Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya, and goes on to prove that he has a better understanding of the rural setting that most of his contemporaries. There’s something beautiful about the way Maha uses the setting in his films to elevate the viewing experience. If it was Kancharapalem in his first film, it is Araku in Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya.

Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya airs on Netflix.

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