Sarpatta Parambarai | photo: Instagram
The latest directorial venture Sarpatta Parambarai of Pa Ranjith, starring Arya, excels in its treatment of two parallel storylines. Ranjith had cautiously interwined a plot of sports action movie with the Tamil folklife of 1970s. The trend of creating movies on the pride of Tamilians over their clan or culture is being received well. Though the first half of the movie was built on the emergence of Kabila as a fine boxer who takes up the responsibility of reviving his boxing clan, the second half offers a different perspective to the audience.
Sarpatta Parambarai manifests the Tamil sensibility that can embrace the outside culture without ruining their own tradition. This is how, boxing, a sport introduced by the coloniser later turned out to be a matter of honour for several groups in many regions of Tamil Nadu.
Tamil movie industry is always keen to address the social and political turmoil of the state. Similar issue has been taken up by Ranjith in Sarpatta too. Even though a clan of boxers is desperate to protect their own repute, the caste-based biases separate them. It brings insecurities in the so called upper class when a person they looked down upon ascends to success and fame.
Recently many movies including Pariyerum Perumal and Karnan were acclaimed for voicing against casteism. Among them, Pariyerum Perumal set a benchmark as it depicted the savagely cruel face of casteism, by still remaining hopeful.
Arya had taken an outstanding effort to enact the character of Kabila. The other major roles are played by Pasupathi and John Vijay who could surprise the audience with their performances. When Pasupati as Rangan Vadhiyar outstood with his serious and stubborn character, John Vijay’s role of Daddy was cool and humourous.
The female roles took up by Dushara Vijayan and Anupama Kumar were also promising. Also the character of 'Dancing Rose' performed by Shabeer Kallarakkal stood out in the film.
Apart from vengeance and social stigmas, the story unravels heart touching bonds among some characters beyond blood relations. The film was also successful in recreating the past through both setting and by incorporating the socio-political milieu of a period in which national emergency existed.
Ranjith has shelved his Hindi language biopic on Birsa Munda to start the work of Sarpatta Parambarai. After intensive training of the actors of Sarpatta, the film was planned to begin in February 2020. But due to lockdown restrictions, this had been extended and began on September 2020. The movie had been scheduled to release in theatre, but later decided to stream through Amazon Prime.