“Oliyin Osai” (Sound is chisel) is based on the love story, “Sarapallam Chamundi, written by Kalaignar Karunanidhi (incumbent Chief Minister) in 1964 and published in his party organ, “Murasoli”. He has had his hey days as a celebrated script writer in classical Tamil when the Dravidian movement was at its peak. Stage-plays to propagate the movement were based on his stories which included “Sarapallam Chamundi”. His most popular films were ‘Parasakthi’, ‘Manohara’, ‘Poompuhar’, ‘Avan Pithana’ and ‘Malai Kallan’.
“Uliyin Osai” is a 10th century period flick. King Rajaraja Chozha wanted to have 108 sculptured pillars in the famous Big Temple at Thanjavur. But he got only 82 of them. Why the grandiose project could not be completed is what the story is about.
Karunanidhi provided the screenplay himself and also oversaw the production of the film. He handpicked writer Ilavenil as the director. Vineeth plays a sculptor. Keerthi Chawla and new face Akshaya are the female lead characters.
Spiritually-inclined King Rajarajan’s cherished dream is to build a temple at Thanjavur (Periya Kovil) as a heritage of the glorious Chozha dynasty which lasted two centuries. Rajarajan’s son, Rajendran, is entrusted with the job but he could not meet the expectations of Rajarajan. Iniyan (Vineeth), a master sculptor and dancer from Kancheepuram, is employed. He finds that the palace dancer (Akshaya) is not good enough to be a ‘model’ to pose for sculpturing. While looking for the right model, he meets a beautiful girl Chamundi (Keerthi Chawla), brought up by a shepherd woman (Manorama). Her enchanting beauty and dancing prowess captivate Iniyan. He falls in love with her without knowing that she is none other than the queen __ the wife of. Rajendra Chozhan. When she reveals her identity, Iniyan is shattered.
Vineeth, a skilled classical dancer, is the right choice for the role of sculptor. He gives one of his best performances. Akshaya is just adequate. With stunning looks and graceful footwork, Keerthi Chawla comes out with flying colours. Sarath Babu appears as King Rajaraja in royal splendor. A seasoned actor he is, he towers over others. Manorama and Kovai Sarala keep the audience enthralled with their comedy. Ganja Karupppu chips in.
Director Ilavenil, though inexperienced, handled the story with dexterity. The narration is racy. The dialogues are crisp and snappy. There is no bloodshed and gore. Nor is there an item number.
While Kalaignar’s script is the soul of the film, Ilayaraja’s music is the lifeline. All six songs make a sweet-scented bouquet. The background score enhances the impact.
Times have changed since “Parasakthi”. “Uliyin Osai” though set in the 10th century historical background, has the aura of modern times. It is a soul-stirring saga of broken hearts brilliantly captured on celluloid.