The word ‘unda’ in Malayalam a variety of things but using it to refer to ammunition was to me a novelty.
Well, as usual these days this Malayalam movie revolves a single plot, a singular idea, and like the precision of a short story dwells right into the center of the story i.e. the availability of ammunition for the police men of the Kerala police force sent on election duty to the far away Bastar .
From thoughts about what is really naxalism, are the tribals who are said to form part of it so dangerous as they are made out to be?, does anyone really care about the police men to making us wonder in these COVID 19 times, that really don’t we really take the government,i.e. whatever of it that is there for granted and paint the whole machinery with the same paint ignoring in the process the honesty and dedication of many individuals who make this sort of invisible yet huge entity.
Unda has as its protagonist, a police officer who is but a faint memory of his perhaps more colorful youth, a misnomer in the police force with no experience of ever holding a gun and one whose sole weaponry included the good old lathi and the bamboo defense handle!
The story narrates as to how this lackadaisical officer put in charge of his small battalion in a dangerous life threatening situation, on the verge of losing his self respect rediscovers his true strength as he rises up to the challenge thus not just saving his face but also earning some respect for the Kerala Police Force in an alien territory where the lavish Kerala style bath is a true luxury.
How varied is the Indian landscape! It is beautiful when cultures try to reach out and understand and that is what this movie does, a bringing together of lives from across this vast nation we call India.
With none of his airs of a super star, Mamootty essays his role with ease as he grows from a discredited police officer to a man of the moment, but so does every single artist on the screen whether it is the army officers or the villager, Kunal Chand and his grandson or the rest of the crew.
Its a thoughtfully made movie of the beauty of the human heart beneath the police uniforms which we can come to ridicule and humiliate on public platforms all too often!