Tuesday, August 30, 2011
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.
It was made at a budget of more than INR200 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 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.