OTT Film: Sarpatta Parambarai
Sarpatta Parambarai Cast: Arya, Dushara Vijayan, Pasupathy, Kalaiyarasan, John Kokken, Santhosh Prathap, John Vijay, Anupama Kumar, Shabeer Kallarakkal, G. M. Sundar
Sarpatta Parambarai Director: Pa. Ranjith
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Sports dramas are always more difficult to write than direct. Almost every time, the protagonist has to overcome insurmountable odds only to end up winning by the time a rousing finale occurs. In that sense, it's probably the most difficult kind of film to write, owing to it's unescapable predictability. And, as we've seen recently with
Toofan, also on Amazon Prime, if the direction slightly falters, it can all go downhill pretty fast. Now, the same OTT platform, comes with another boxing movie, Tamil film Sarpatta Parambarai, starring Arya, and written and directed by Pa. Ranjith, and the latter shows us how despite a predictable blueprint, some bare-knuckle, busy-bee direction is all that it takes to ensure that your audience remains hooked to your film no matter how many times the same template is followed. So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Sarpatta Parambarai is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Narappa review...
What's it about
Sarpatta Parambarai focuses on the prevalent boxing culture of North Chennai (then Madras) in the 70s and 80s, seen through the eyes of two rival clans, Sarpatta and Idiyappa, told against the backdrop of casteism and the geo-political scenario of the era, with an underdog story of rising, falling and redemption at its heart.
Watch the Sarpatta Parambarai trailer below: VIDEO
Pa. Ranjith's direction gets everything write in the first half, where the focus is mostly on boxing and the rise of an underdog, with the politics of the time and class-based sub plots acting as ideal foils to offset the primary aspects of Sarpatta Parambarai. The entire culture of North Madras in the 70s is explored wonderfully, and the boxing scenes have been shot marvelously well right through the movie, the intensity never dropping, the punches and upper cuts feeling all too real – something Toofan sorely lacked for a boxing film. And the dark backstory of the central protagonist is also smartly woven into the plot. As for the performances, they're absolutely delish, right from
Arya carrying the film all the way like a prize fighter, receiving terrific support from everyone else whenever he needs it, with Dushara Vijayan, John Vijay, Anupama Kumar and Pasupathy being the standout secondary players. Murali G.'s cinematography is also something to be marveled at.
As much as the predictability of the rise and fall of the sports hero has been tried to be circumvented by Pa. Ranjith's script and direction, once his redemption takes over in the second half, the narrative arc feels all over the place, with both the length and Selva R. K.'s editing then sticking out like a sore thumb. And despite those two major stumbling blocks, Sarpatta Parambarai, ironically, feels rushed at some key moments in the second half; almost coming across as if Pa. Ranjith ran out of ideas at those instance. If not for these obstacle. this Amazon Prime Video release would've been even better than how it eventually ends up as. Thankfully, the climax and denouement are more or less right on the money.
Predictable in parts, slightly uneven in the second half, but overall enjoyable, rousing and provides an adrenaline rush like any good boxing movie should, anchored by fantastic performances right through – Arya and Director pa. Ranjith's Sarpatta Parambarai is a lengthy watch that's worth your time. I'm gong with 3.5 out of 5 stars.
3.5 out of 5
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