The Tamil-language period sports drama ‘Sarpatta Parambarai’, directed by Pa Ranjith, critic review is here. Starring Arya, Dushara Vijayan, Pasupathy, Anupama Kumar and Sanchana Natarajan. Sarpatta Parambarai is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Sarpatta Parambarai Movie Review
The boxers from the dockyards of Madras (that time during the 80’s, today’s Chennai) Varaverpu!!. What an emotional, passionate and action packed knockout. Pa Ranjith has done it this time with a mighty blow. Bacche (kid), asli (real) ‘Toofan’ (pun intended read storm) yaha hai –tera remote kaha hai (the real storm (read passion), action emotion is here, bring your remote near).
It’s circa mid 70s, a young Kabilan (Arya) who loves boxing since his childhood working in a dockyard. It’s time for the most awaited title clash of the traditional boxing clan in his village – the clash between Idiyappa Parambarai and Sarpatta Parambarai in North Chennai. Vembuli (John Kokken) has been the champion for the last three years. The supremacy of Sarpatta clan headed by Rangan Vaathiyar (Pasupathy) the respected boxing coach and idol of Kabilan is getting thrashed every year by the ruthless Vembuli – the star boxer of Idiyappa Parambarai.
Kabilan sees his idol Rangan getting humiliated again by Idiyappa Parambarai’s coach Duraikannu Vaathiyar (G.M. Sundar). Kabilan wants to fight and get back his masters pride and retain the honour of his clan but his mother Bakkiyam (Anupama Kumar) is against boxing. She just hates the sport because Kabilan’s father and a champion boxer of the clan took the wrong way and got killed. Bakkiyam doesn’t want to see his son becoming just like his dad – a thug who uses boxing to smuggle, threaten and steal.
To get back the pride of his clan and honour of his master/guru, Kabilan has to clear various hurdles. Raman (Santosh Pratap) – the fresh boxer chosen by Rangan to fight Vembuli. Rangan’s uncle once controlled the Sarpatta clan. Rangan has chosen Raman over his own son Vetriselvan (Kalaiyarasan). Vetriselvan feels ignored and is nursing a grudge, waiting for the right time to strike back. Kabilan has unconditional support since childhood from Kevin aka Daddy (John Vijay). And not to forget there is the famous brother of Vembuli – the crowd favorite Dancing Rose (Shabeer Kallarakkal) a phenomenon on its own whose feet and moves can put any best world belly dancer to shame.
Arguably, Pa Ranjith’s best till date and one of the most remarkable sports flick from India. Sarpatta Parambarai is about breaking the shackles, rising up from your limitations and fighting for your pride, honour, identity and people you love and want you to win. Sarpatta Parambarai is more of a humane drama eloquently weaved with a sports genre basics. Formulaic, yes, but with such a deep sense of emotions – the screenplay, an eye for detail – production design and phenomenal performances that will definitely turn this superb period sports drama into a cult in future.
The impeccability in getting us transported to the Madras of that era, the movie posters at the background, for example, and the overwhelming quality of the characters of this familiar underdog coming triumph fighting all odds genre striking instant cord is uneatable.
You feel the punch, you feel the bruise, you feel the pain and you identify the suffering. Pa Ranjith brings forward the class struggle and the emergency during that era which has its echoes with repeated chorus even today.
Arya as Kabilan excels and gives his heart and soul. He is just terrific.
Dushara Vijayan as Mariamma, Kabilan’s wife is outstanding– watch that wedding night scene. Pasupathy as Rangan Vaathiyar, Kabilan’s boxing coach is sheer brilliance.
Anupama Kumar as Bakkiyam is remarkable. Too good. John Kokken as Vembuli is perfectly casted. Shabeer Kallarakkal as Dancing Rose is incredible. John Vijay as Kevin aka Daddy is fabulous.
Great support comes from Sanchana Natarajan as Lakshmi, Kalaiyarasan as Vetriselvan, Santhosh Prathap as Raman, Vettai Muthukumar as Thanigai, Kaali Venkat as Koni Chandran and Tiger Thangadhurai as Tiger Garden Thangam.
Sarpatta Parambarai is not just a sports flick, its magic, this tussle of the clan has the muscle of a terrific sports flick, the heart of a humane drama and the soul of conflicts a person has to face and fight outside both outside and inside the ring. Watch this at once.
Unsolicited advice: it’s an OTT release but still as I felt like enjoying an enlightening entertainer on big screen – don’t miss the beginning and the end credits will sweep you by its sheer magic.
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