2 Hr 11 Mins | Action | 05-05-2023
Cast - Allari Naresh, Mirnaa Menon, Indraja and others
Director - Vijay Kanakamedala
Producer - Sahu Garapati & Harish Peddi
Banner - Shine Screens
Music - Sri Charan Pakala
Allari Naresh teamed up with Naandhi director Vijay Kanakamedala for a police story involving a crime mystery. Given the success combination and never-seen-before portrayal of Naresh in the promos, Ugram managed to make decent noise. The film is backed by a noted production house (Shine Screens) which enhanced the film’s scale. Will Naresh and Vijay repeat their Naandhi magic? Will they deliver for the second-time? Let’s find out.
What is it about?
Shiva (Naresh), an honest police officer, gets injured in an accident. Since then his wife Aparna (Mirnaa Menon) and 5-year-old daughter Lucky (Ooha) have gone missing. Shiva, who is yet to recover from his trauma and also charged in murder case, finds out that his wife and daughter’s disappearance is linked to serial missing cases. How Shiva resolves the mystery and punishes the people behind it forms the crux of the story.
Allari Naresh is not new to cop roles. He did Kithakithalu and Blade Babji. Whilst those were comedy films, Naresh turned angry and brash with Ugram. This is a different role for him and he did his part well. Mirnaa Menon is alright. She has limited scope. Kid Ooha shines in her part. Her cute dialogues and expressions serve the purpose. Indraja’s role is not convincing enough. Actor Shatru is seen as SI Victor. His character as trusted deputy to Naresh works. The villain role deserves to be more effective. All other characters have less significance who come and vanish.
Ugram has a wafer-thin plot. It is compensated by the intensity and emotion that support the plot. Director Vijay plays to his strength. Non-linear screenplay worked well in narrating the story. It is music composer Sri Charan Pakala who made the difference with the background score. Placement of songs is not convincing though. Camera work stands out. Editing is fine.
Hijra Fight Sequence
Villain & Motive Behind Crime
The problem of Ugram is its narrow and thin plot that demands more from its writing. The scenes involving husband-wife and father-daughter have dejavu. Considering that cop stories are done-to-death, it is challenging to weave a different and unique story in this backdrop. Also, it is not easy to meet the expectations. This is where writing plays a major role. And here in Ugram it underscores. The non-linear screenplay has an edge and it works well when used aptly.
Veering off to the main plot, the film revolves around the personal problem of the police inspector Shiva and his personal loss. The film begins with a crucial sequence that sets the base for the story. The conflict has been opened up without any delay which is a good idea. Naandhi director Vijay Kanakamedala sticks to the story he has chosen without any deviations. He played to his strength and portrayed Naresh as a ferocious and powerful cop. This is where the duo scored the points. The film is loaded with action. There is gore everywhere. Intense performances in the film do work.
While the hostel scene sets up the base for the film and shows how it affects Shiva’s personal life, it is also key for the second half. The first half and the second half have less connection. The only common thread that connects is the protagonist and his missing wife, daughter. The second-half throws up new characters with unexpected motives. The emotional disconnect is what works against Ugram. The protagonist’s pain is not heart-touching.
The film also feels lengthy and stretched out at portions. This is owing to weak scenes. The story is predictable and the viewers can guess what happens next. The second-half has no major twists. The Hijra angle to the missing point is conceived well. The action scenes are shot well. This is where the film’s production and scale are visible.
The protagonist and antagonist sequence need better writing. It is not realistic when the villain easily falls into the trap of the protagonist. The entire villain portion is weak. Also his motive behind the crime is not convincing enough. The cinematic liberties are evident. Had Ugram had a better villain with an interesting motive and well-written twists, it would have made a huge difference. Since it could not, it settles down as an average watch. Overall, Ugram is the kind of film that may work when watched without any expectations. But it disappoints those who expect more from Naandhi combo.
Bottom-line: More Ugram With Less Emotion