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|Directed by||Santosh Sivan|
|Written by||Shankar Ramakrishnan|
|Narrated by||K. P. A. C. Lalitha|
|Music by||Deepak Dev|
|Editing by||A. Sreekar Prasad|
|Distributed by||August Films|
|Release date(s)||March 31, 2011|
|Running time||160 minutes|
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, who was also one of the producers of the film, as Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar, Prabhu Deva as Vavvali, Robin Pratt as Vasco da Gama, Alexx ONell as Estêvão da Gama, Genelia D’Souza as Princess Aysha of Cannanore, Amol Gupte, 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 on a budget of more than 20 million, making it the second-most expensive Malayalam film ever, after Pazhassi Raja (2009). Urumi was dubbed and released in Telugu as Urumi and English as Vasco da Gama. Urumi is awaiting release in Tamil as Urumi- Padhinaintham Nootrandu Uraivaal and dialogues are written by S. Sasikumaran for the Tamil version.
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 Sultanate. 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 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 Thangachan (Arya). Thangachan explains to him that he is the descendant of Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar, and Thangachan 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), sends a Brahmin negotiator and his own son, Kelu, to the Portuguese ship “São Gabriel” for negotiations on a Mecca Ship, “Miri”. 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 “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 “Miri”. He takes an oath that he will 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. He joins hands with the king to jointly kill Vasco da gama and the remaining part forms the rest of the story
|Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar||Prithviraj|
|Krishnadas (“K.D.”)||Prithviraj||present generation of Kelu|
|Estêvão da Gama||Alexx ONell|
|Vasco Da Gama||Robin Pratt|
|friend of KD||Prabhu Deva|
|Chirakkal Thampuran||Amole Gupte||King of Kolathunad|
|Chirakkal Bala||Nithya Menon||princess of Kolathunad|
|Chenichery Kurup||Jagathy Sreekumar||minister of Kolathunad|
|Chirakkal Bhanu Vikraman||Ankur Khanna||prince of Kolathunad|
|Chirakkal Kothuwal||Arya (actor)||As father of Kelu, as the general of the king of Kolathunad|
|Arackal Ayesha||Genelia D’Souza||princess of Arackal|
|Thangachan||Arya||The tribal leader who narrates the story to KD|
|narrator 1||K. P. A. C. Lalitha||She doesn’t appear in the film, but provide the effect of her appearance by her well-known voice, similar to the same way she did in Mathilukal|
||This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2011)|
The tale of Kelu Nayanar depicted in the film is fictional, and though it is based on historical events, the film has a mystical fantasy flavour. Santosh Sivan told the media that the film was designed to be “a representation of historical facts on a fictional platform rather than an accurate narration of history”. Historical inaccuracies in the film include:
The songs and the background score for the film have been composed by Deepak Dev with lyrics penned by Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri, Rafeeq Ahammed and Engandiyur Chandrasekharan. The music album consists of nine songs. According to Deepak Dev, composing songs for Urumi was a challenge as Santosh Sivan had proscribed all electronic music, as the film is set in the sixteenth century. It was Prithviraj who suggested Deepak Dev to Sivan. The songs encompasses many genres – folk, lullaby, ballad etc. The vocalists range from the most experienced K. J. Yesudas to newcomers Job Kurian and Reshmi Sathish.
The song “Chimmi Chimmi” is done as a tribute to M. G. Radhakrishnan, a composer Deepak Dev admired great deal, but the similarities of the track with the Hindi song Nayan Tere from the Ashutosh Gowarikar movie Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey is remarkable. Another track, “Aaro Nee Aaro” in the film is alleged to be plagiarized from Loreena McKennitt’s “Caravanserai” of the album An Ancient Muse. The track also uses major hooks from Loreena’s famous track The Mummers’ Dance.The theme music is blatantly lifted from the track Gone with the leaves from the 2002 Jet Li starrer Chinese film, Hero with some elements also borrowed from the soundtrack of the Hollywood movie Gladiator. Few fight sequence background music has similarities with Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack also.
Loreena McKennit filed a Plagiarism Suit against composer Deepak Dev and the makers of Urumi in Delhi High Court. On September 21, 2011, Justice Manmohan Singh of Delhi High Court passed an order on a copyright infringement claim preventing the makers from releasing the soundtrack in English, Hindi and Tamil.
|1||“Aaranne Aarane”||Job Kurian, Rita||4:19|
|2||“Aaro Nee Aaro”||K. J. Yesudas, Swetha Mohan||6:20|
|3||“Chimmi Chimmi”||Manjari Babu||2:44|
|5||“Vadakku Vadakku -Friendship Remix”||Guru Kiran, Shaan Rahman||2:52|
|6||“Thelu Thele”||KR Renji||3:51|
|8||“Chalanam Chalanam”||Reshmi Sathish||3:47|
|9||“Theme Music”||Mili (Humming)||3:05|
|This section requires expansion.|
Shooting for the film started on August 17, 2010. The main locations were Kerala and the forests of Malshej Ghat in Maharashtra.
The film did well in the Kerala and Andhra boxoffices. Deepa Garimella of fullhyd.com recommended the movie even to a Telugu audience, calling it a Chandamama bedtime story brought alive like little else. The film was also one of the seven Malayalam films selected to be screened at the Indian Panorama section of International Film Festival of India.
09. ^ http://cinema.currentweek.net/2011/08/urumi-telugu-movie-review-rating-375.html
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