Finally when I caught up with UKKP, it proved to be a worthwhile experience. Ideally, behind-the-scene stories of a film should remain behind the screen only. Also judging a film should not be influenced by a concession for the limitations of the film makers. But UKKP is one of those films where knowing the back story can make a lot of difference. With this film, I learned an important lesson. No film stands in isolation of the physical realities of its making. Be it a big budget studio project or an indie project, the logistical realities will heavily influence the story and theme. In UKKP, this issue takes a much more radical realisation; thats all.
UKKP is about the journey of Karthik Krishnan, a dreamy eyed engineer and film buff, who wants to make a film. But as the film logline promises, life defies all logic. The movie doesn’t defy logic but it does stray into surreal spaces.
First of all, let me tell you that I am heavily inspired by this movie. More by the filmmaking than by the film in itself. To make such a movie with Rs 40 k does show the existence of certain doors to you. Definitely the skills and ingenuity of the crew matter but in terms of feasibility and resources ,this is a war worth fighting. The film is well crafted. I particularly liked the overflowing visuals and sounds in many places. Second, I think that the most ingenious thing about the movie is its ending. Maybe in another film, I would find such an ending pretentious or pseudo-intellectual. But here, knowing the backstory of the making of the film, I realise that this ending is one of the better solutions for a bigger problem-which is ending up with a handful of footage with many story threads which are not connected with each other and no further opportunity to take forward the threads due to logistical reasons. Third, I liked the performance of all the actors. All of them are natural, spontaneous and brings in a certain credibility to the whole thing.
Now coming to my issues with this film. Probably I saw a re-edited version but I feel that still there is a lot of fat in there. This film could have been 15-20 minutes shorter. And I am an old fashioned guy who believes that story telling trumps every thing else. There are many lingering enigmatic shots, tangential subplots exploring a bigger theme, symbolic characters, pregnant pauses- but if many of these just jerks me out of the narrative rather than they reinforce my engagement with the movie- I would call those creative choices counter-productive. But again, I realise that this is a very subjective thing to say.
Overall, I think that you should catch up with UKKP if you have a chance. In terms of indie film making, at least for me, it was a call to arms.