If you’re a fan of the loosu ponnu character in Tamil cinema, you’re in for a treat with AR Rajasekar’s Uyire Uyire. For the price of one movie, you get two of them. The first loosu ponnu – let’s say LP-1 – appears in the hero-introduction scene at a basketball court, wearing a T-shirt painted with an outsized pair of lips. LP-1 hails from a long line of women who I think are meant to be sexually liberated but, seen through the prism of the film and the people around, come off as slightly slutty. Recall Poornima Jayaram in Thangamagan, who said anyone was free to kiss her as long as they didn’t touch her. This one says she’ll lock lips with anyone who can dunk the ball three times, within three minutes. I’m not judging her. But it just seems that there are better ways to get your jollies than to offer your lips to a bunch of guys who seem to be rehearsing steps for the inevitable TASMAC song, one of whom brags that he’s such a good player that he’ll give a lassi to Messi. Dude, it isn’t even the same sport!
LP-2, of course, is the heroine, Priya (Hansika Motwani). “Bubbly,” I think, is the term they use for these characters, though if you ran into one on the street, you’d probably inch backwards, slowly, very slowly, taking care not to look at them directly in the eye. From an auto at a traffic light, Priya sees an ad for gold bangles. She calls her mother excitedly – though you may point out, rightly so, that the adverb is redundant, because LPs do everything excitedly – and says she’s going to get married, right there, right then. Because she loves bangles. Because she loves the man who will buy her those bangles. The mother laughs indulgently at the other end, and calls her a “valayal paithiyam” – though you may point out, rightly so, that the word paithiyam is redundant, because LPs do everything with the mental faculties of someone who’s sprung free from a straitjacket.
I suppose I have to get down to the story. Priya meets Rahul (Siddhu, who speaks Tamil about as well as Hansika does) at an airport. While waiting for the flight, she takes a bite from a sandwich. He takes the chair across hers and takes a bite from his sandwich. She realises he’s going to copy her every move, so, with the gleam of Sherlock Holmes who’s just figured out a way to outfox Professor Moriarty, she takes out her lipstick and colours her lips. As a retort, he takes out a packet of ketchup and squirts the condiment all over his lips. Astute Tamil-film watchers will quickly realise that true love is right around the corner – I mean, if these two aren’t made for each other, then who is? But that development will have to wait, at least until after the scene where, inside the flight, her top hikes up as she’s trying to fit her bag into the overhead compartment and she catches him eyeing her exposed waist. Somehow, this does not dissuade her from wanting to sightsee Goa with him, excitedly.
After much sightseeing, we get to the crux of the plot, which has to do with Priya’s brother. He used to harass Rahul’s sister in college. Now they’re both married to other people. But he wants nothing to do with her family. And we get to the scene where the enraged brother follows Rahul and Priya on the highway, hoping to catch them. You’d think at least this would bring out in Priya a different shade of emotion, but no. She’s… excited. She’s never been in a chase and she wants a background score, so she switches on the radio. It’s Lungi dance. Rahul objects. A channel change results in Aaluma doluma, which makes Priya even more excited. I’d like to say more about this remake of the Telugu hit Ishq, but then I’d have to talk about the scene where Rahul pees into the brother’s petrol tank. It may be a visual metaphor for the movie.
- Uyire Uyire = I want those three hours of my life back
- loosu ponnu = manic pixie girl… the manic to pixie ratio being roughly 99:1
- Thangamagan = see here
- valayal paithiyam = someone crazy about bangles
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