Ok, so we had a brand new review of a Telugu film this week followed by a Kannada Film Review, and now we have a brand new review of a Tamil film. And I finished watching Sarpatta Parambarai on Amazon Prime which incidently is the second Boxing Film out this month after Toofaan. As I had said in my review of Toofaan, that sports as a genre is extremely limited and there is only so much one can bring to the genre. And that said, Toofaan was a disappointment within that vicinity too. Now cut to Sarpatta Parambarai, does it follow the Toofaan route or is it a complete knockout, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Set in the 1970s, Sarpatta Parambara follows the story of a supremacy and one upmanship between two rival gangs in the boxing space where one underdog invites more trouble than he expects. The story is everything that Toofaan wasn’t. This is another example of how the movies made down South have so much better writing than the cash rich industry from Mumbai. To introduce elements of a gangster drama in a sports flick was genius and this is what makes the movie special. The screenplay is extremely well penned. It opens with a 24 minutes prologue introducing most of the characters and the clans and the rivalry that follows. Post that, the film starts gathering around the protagonist wherein his rise and fall are depicted. Here, the element of politics is so well integrated in the drama. The rivalry almost reminded me of Eagles and Bichhoos in the SRK flick Josh. The downfall here is a lot different from what you would usually find in a sports flick. And from there on the rise of the eventual champ just leaves you with such a high by the end of it. The subplots involving the family of the protagonist and his love angle with his wife and his equations with them with boxing as a backdrop are so intricately shown that they do not overpower the main story. To give you a perspective, the screenplay of almost 3 hours passes off like a breeze in a story that potentially goes beyond boxing. Just a brilliant display of writing!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are so well written that the underlying emotions are well brought out within you as well. The music is simply exceptional and blends perfectly with the drama. The BGM is pulsating and also innovative in many parts(notice the sound of the levers of the clock in one of the boxing sequences). And a word for the action sequences – this is how you shoot them and execute them. Many felt the action sequences of Toofaan were bland, I felt yes although good but they could have been better to bring out that emotion. Here, every beat of the emotions flow in each of the boxing sequences. Director PA Ranjith has done an exceptional job here. This sports drama successfully manages to steer clear of the cliches for most parts due to the exceptional direction! The Direction truely deserves distinction marks!
The performances are exceptional! Dushara as Maariyamma, Anupama Kumara as Bhagyam and Sanchana Natarajan as Lakshmi are truely outstanding in their respective roles. In a male dominated movie, these wonderful actors leave a mark for themselves. John Vijay as Kevin could have so easily been that irritating character, but he treads a fine line and is truely brilliant to watch. Shabeer as Dancing Rose is another example of a character that cpuod have been borderline irritating but his character is so well etched that he comes out on top. Santhosh Prathap as Raman is phenomenal. Kalaiyarasan as Vetri has tremendous screenpresence and is such a natural onscreen. John Kokken as Vembuli is fantastic and a worthy opponent to our protagonist. This is perhaps the best written role for Arya till date. As Kabilan his transformation journey is inspirational as was the case with Farhan Akhtar. And in the acting department, he had so many shades to his character and his nails it down one by one with finesse. This combined cast create magic onscreen.
Sarpatta Parambarai is everything which Toofaan wasn’t. It is a total knockout! Perhaps the best sports drama of 2021! Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Highly Recommended.