Upendra Mathe Ba: Strictly for Uppi fans
In an effort to retain the flavour of the Telugu hit, director Lokanath has almost stayed maybe too close to the original for this Kannada remake, which fails to impress
Upendra Mathe Ba is yet another faithful remake by Kannada director Arun Lokanath. In order to retain the flavour of the original Telugu hit, Soggade Chinna Nayana, Lokanath has almost copy-pasted for the Kannada version (some of the characters are even named the same).
Director: Arun Lokanath
Cast: Upendra, Prema, Sruthi Hariharan, Harshika Poonacha
Upendra plays a double role, father and son, in this story that revolves around Upendra Raju and dwells on the after-life. Raju, whom everybody loves in the village, unfortunately meets with an early death. But at the request of Prema (Prema), Upendra’s wife, Yama sends him back to earth to help out his son Ramu (also played by Upendra), who is a doctor, and his wife Seetha (Sruthi Hariharan), as they are heading towards a divorce. In the whole course of settling his son’s life, he is shocked to learn of the circumstances of his own death, and the people behind it. The end result is a family drama turning into a revenge drama.
While this formula has worked in Telugu, it might fall short for the Kannada audience, and the director’s efforts to bring out a family entertainer that blends with a ghost story, lacks logic. For Upendra, this is probably an old commitment and a film done out of his long-standing friendship with the director.
Doing a double role seems like a cakewalk for the actor. Prema, who is seen teaming up with Upendra after a while, is perfect for the role, and Sruthi Hariharan makes her presence felt too. Chandini and Harshika Poonacha add glamour to the film. Sadhu Kokila brings in the humour. But the film gets minimal support from the rest of the cast, including Vasishta Simha, who plays the antagonist, senior actor Avinash, and Shobhraj.
V Sridhar’s music and cinematography by Swami J work well with the theme of the film, but will this supernatural drama go down well with the audiences? Or will they watch it just for Uppi’s sake? This is something we will leave to his fans to decide.