Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Urumi Movie Story and Background

Urumi (Malayalam: ഉറുമി) is a 2011 Malayalam historical-fantasy film directed and co-produced by Santosh Sivan and written by Shankar Ramakrishnan. It stars Prithviraj Sukumaran, who was also a producer of the film, as Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar, Prabhu Deva as Vavvali, Alexx ONell as Estêvão da Gama, Genelia D'Souza as Princess Aysha of Cannanore, Amol Gupte, Robin Pratt, Jagathy Sreekumar, Nithya Menon, whilst featuring Vidya Balan, Arya and Tabu in guest roles. Background score and songs were composed by Deepak Dev, lyrics were by Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri, Rafeeq Ahammed and Engandiyur Chandrasekharan.

The film went on to become one of the highest grossing films of the year in Kerala and earned universal acclaim. It was made at a budget of more than Indian Rupee symbol.svg200 million, making it the second-most expensive Malayalam film ever made, after Pazhassi Raja (2009). Urumi was dubbed and released in Tamil as Padhinaitham Nootrandu Uraivaal , Telugu as Urumi and English as Vasco da Gama. The film received international attention with the screening of its trailer at the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum.

The film is set in the backdrop of the fierce warrior clans of Northern Kerala in the sixteenth century and focuses on the cult of Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar (Prithviraj), a man with an epic mission. His target and mission is Dom Vasco da Gama (Robin Pratt), the Viceroy of Portuguese Empire in India. The film is spread between the second and third visit of Gama to India and chronicles a varied version of how Vasco da Gama could have met a bloody death in AD 1524. In the journey of Kelu Nayanar, he has to encounter the seamless conflicts within the kinsmen and also kings, ministers, peasants and a warring Muslim warrior princess Ayesha (Genelia) of the famed Arackal Sultanat. Kelu has a forte, a legendary golden Urumi, specially made from the left over ornaments of the dead women and children who were burnt alive in the massacre of a Mecca Ship, Miri, commanded to be set on fire and drowned by Vasco da Gama during his second visit to Kerala in AD 1502. Kelu is supported by Vavvali (Prabhudeva), his childhood friend and in a way his elder brother, though he comes from the Muslim neighborhood. The film also has mystical characters like Vidya Balan, who plays Makkom, a displaced Devi Deity in the Oracle form. Kelu tracks his mission through the wild roads of treachery, treason and a hidden passion to reach a master plan to create his own army against the mighty Empire. His action in creating an organized revolt becomes the first of its kind movement against the first Colonial advance in India. The film is a hit in Malayalam box office and completed 100 days in some of the major centres like Thiruvananthapuram,Kochi etc.

Urumi Story:

The film starts with a short introduction to the history of Portuguese exploration in the in the Age of Discovery to India, referring the legendary landing of explorer Vasco da Gama on 20 May 1498 in Calicut, the kingdom ruled by Zamorins of Calicut. The typical Primary School teachers narration (by Malayalam actor K. P. A. C. Lalitha) is initially accompanied with Google Image Search on "Vasco da Gama", followed by stills from his journey and moving images at the end. The meeting of Vasco da Gama (Robin Pratt) with Zamorin with traditional hospitality, and the failed interview to produce any concrete results is also depicted. Then the celebrations of the greatest discovery till in Lisbon is shown (Vasco da Gama's expedition was successful beyond all reasonable expectation, bringing in cargo that was worth sixty times the cost of the expedition). In a party, da Gama is seen talking to his young son, Estêvão, who will later turn crucial character in the film.

The scene changes to a club in present day Goa, where we see two young men, Krishna Das (Prithviraj) and his friend, dancing. These two young men are running a music troupe and are completely unaware of the history or heritage of their land. From the agents of a multinational mining cooperation, Krishna Das knows that his ancestral property in Kerala leased out to a N. G. O. by his late mother is rich in minerals and is free to be sold as the lease period has lapsed. The company offers him a large of money as advance. Krishna Das is told that there some problems exist, that he has to convince the people running the N. G. O. for this transaction. When he reaches the plot, he is kidnapped by some tribal (who will have to vacate their lands, if the mining begins) men to cave deep in the forest, and where he meets their chief Thandachan (Arya). Thandachan explains to him that he is the descendant of Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar, and Thandachan resumes the narration.

The narration continues with Portuguese activities in India, and effects of Colonization on the Malabar Coast. In 1502, Gama commanded the 4th Portuguese Armada to India, a fleet of fifteen ships and eight hundred men, with the object of enforcing Portuguese interests in the east. On reaching India in October 1502, Gama started capturing any Arab vessel he came across in Indian waters. On his way to Cannanore when he had reached the northern parts of the Indian Ocean, Gama waited for a ship to return from Mecca and seized all the merchandise on it. The Portuguese chases the pilgrim ship down, which surrenders rather quickly, probably imagining that its master and they had enough money to ransom it off. But Vasco da Gama shrugs off all the offers.

The Nair (Nairs were fierce warrior clans in Malabar) general of the king of Kolathunad, Chirakkal Kothuwal (Arya), sents a Brahmin negotiator and his own son, Kelu, to the Portuguese ship São Gabriel for negotiations on Mîrî. But, da Gama rejects all peace talks and barbarously cut off the Brahmin's ears and sews ears of his dog on the same spot. He then ordered the hundreds of passengers be locked in the hold and Mîrî, and which contained many wealthy Muslim merchants — to be set on fire. It took several days to finally go down completely, and general of the king of Kolathunad, Chirakkal Kothuwal storms to São Gabriel to rescue his son, Kelu. But, on this charismatic attempt Chirakkal Kothuwal loses his life to the Portuguese, and only Kelu escapes devastated by his fathers loss. Vavvali, a Tamil Muslim boy, takes Kelu with him to his dwelling, and treats him as his own younger brother. Kelu forms an Urumi, specially made with the left over ornaments of the dead women and children of a Mecca Ship, Miri. He takes the oath that he wants to kill da Gama.

Then it shows a foreshadowing of Kelu (Prithviraj) and Vavvali (Prabhu Deva) as adults hunting rabbits in a forest somewhere in Kolathunad. Where they are confronted by some strangers trying to abduct Bala (Nithya Menon), the princess of Kolathunad. Kelu and Vavvali save the princess, but they are subsequently captured by the soldiers of Kolathiri, accompanied by the heir apparent, Bhanu Vikraman (Ankur Khanna) of Chirakkal. They are charged with attempted kidnap of the Princess and keeping foreign weapons such as pistol. Originally the pistol belonged to the real abductors, but the king's judgement was the execution by elephant. On the way, Princess Bala comes and reveals that these men are in fact saviors, not attempted abductors.

1. Urumi Cast and Crew.
2. Urumi Movie Gallery.


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1 comment:

Unknown said...

I’m From Tamil Nadu, I like Malayalam Movies very much, in contrast I heard many Malayalam people like VIJAY, AJITH, SURYA, ALLU ARJUN. Tollywood is completely opposite to molly wood, whereas kolly wood is mixture of both the tolly wood and molly wood. Movies Made by Malayalam Industries are heart warming and life oriented, where you can at least learn something for your Life. I wish People from Malayalam film industry release their movies in Tamil with subtitles so that it will reach wider audience. Because artistic work should reach more people in the world. I used to read all the latest Kerala News in Malayalam from this site, check it , would be useful.

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