Ullaasanga Utsaahanga...until the interval
Release date: 25 July 2008
123Telugu.com Rating: 3/5
Director : A. Karunakaran
Music Director : G.V Prakash
Producers : B.P Somu, G.S Ranganadh
Starring : Yasho Sagar, Sneha Ullal, Chandramohan, Sudha, Sunil, Brahmanandam, Satya Krishnan...
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Karunakaran, the director who burst onto the scene with Tholiprema, has been on a consistent slide since then. He has tried his hand at various genres but none of his movies have managed to strike a chord with the audience like Tholiprema did. His most frequent complaint, that of letting the script go haywire in the second half surfaces again in his latest release Ullasangaa Utsaahanga. The movie has an excellent first half, but the overtly emotional second half drags down the appeal of the movie considerably.

What is it about:The film opens with two childhood friends who are separated when one goes away on a transfer. Cut to the present and we have the girl who is pining away and no word about the guy. Our hero meets the girl and falls in love with her, but will the girl ever be able to clear her mind of old memories...And what about the real guy? Where is he? Will the heroine find him and leave our hero or does True Love win? (that is such a cliché and I love cliches, so no harm done!) Add to this a loving family, a gang of friends, a scheming step mother and a couple of comedy sub tracks. The hotch potch you get is Ullasangaa Utsaahangaa.

What is special: What is new with the storyline, you ask...well nothing. But the expectations of a new and pathbreaking story with every movie are unrealistic. Karunakaran has tried to give us a feel good movie. One plus point of the movie is that it is clean family viewing, no double entendres, no vulgarity and very little violence. The first half is excellent and the comedy is so consistent and good that you can hardly sit still. The whole 'Lady Ghajini' episode and the Fifty First Date style comedy is side splitting. The performances are competent. The hero, Yasho Sagar is a nice and decent looking chap, but I don't know what kind of stories he would fit into. He is neither the chocolate boy nor the macho man. Sneha Ullal is surprisingly beautiful and the gawky girl of Lucky has blossomed into a beautiful young woman. The supporting cast does their job very well. Brahmanandam, even though he appears for just two scenes is great as usual. Chandramohan, Sudha, Satya Krishnan, Kavitha, Sunil, Suman Shetty – all pitch in with good performances. The songs are good, the music is scored by GV Prakash, AR Rahman's nephew, who is the rage now with his score for Kathanayakudu. The picturisation of the songs is good, Mati Matiki song in the second half stands out.

What is bad: Karunakaran's penchant for twists drags the second half down. I was reminded consistently of Yuvakudu, a movie that had a feel good theme for 75% of its running time, but went so horribly wrong in the last half hour that it ruined the feel. This one is not as bad, but still the feel suddenly goes missing. A better leading man might have helped. Karunakaran has definitely given us the boy next door, but great actor, Yasho Sagar definitely is not. The two fights are completely unnecessary. One word, Karunakaran needs to get rid of his second half syndrome in a hurry or he might never make it back.

Me Thinks: If you want to take your family to a movie, and they have already seen Ready, this is the movie they would love watching. An excellent first half will give you your money's worth and the comedy bits in the second half will ensure it is not unbearable. I was going to give it 2.75 but it gets the quarter brownie point for the fact that it is clean family viewing. Go without expectations and chances are you won't be disappointed.

Tailpiece: Karunakaran's penchant with white continues. In all his films, the heroine wears white in the introduction scene and this is no different. Karunakaran manages the north girl to south girl transformation of Sneha Ullal with a simple stroke – a black bindi on her forehead magically alters her appearance and she looks stunning, part Sneha, part Aishwarya Rai.

- Chantabbai  
123Telugu.com Rating : 3/5

Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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