Sarpatta Parambarai movie review: Arya, Pa Ranjith film isn’t a giant leap for the genre, but baby steps for Tamil boxing films

Kabilan’s mother now holds the sport responsible for her husband’s death. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App. Written by Manoj Kumar R
| Bengaluru |

Updated: July 22, 2021 12:30:10 pm

A still from Sarpatta Parambarai. Even the action that takes place inside the ring is entertaining and feels authentic, unlike anything we have seen in Tamil movies. Also Read |My films are an extension of my ideology: Sarpatta Parambarai director Pa. Somewhere between the 1970s and now, people lost interest in a high-energy sport with a lot of real action and took to India’s national obsession. Rangan is a veteran who enjoys the distinction of having defeated the British in the boxing ring.×1.png

He is revered like a god by Kabilan (Arya), whose mother has wielded humiliation like a weapon to dissuade him from learning boxing. It is because the bar for combat sport films set by Ranjith’s predecessors was quite low. She fears that if Kabilan becomes a boxer, his skills will also be misused by criminals. A massive crowd has gathered to watch superstar boxers of north Madras in action. The life in crime cost Munirathnam his life. Ranjith
As soon as we enter the arena, celebration starts to recede into the background as fault lines begin to appear. The climax doesn’t achieve the emotional high of the interval sequence, which is something of a shock. Besides Ranjith’s engrossing screenplay, the mainstay of the film is boxing matches. Sarpatta Parambarai begins right in the middle of a boxing tournament. Ranjith’s storytelling is also reflective of the turbulent political period in the country’s history and the earth-shattering changes that it ushered in. The director does a remarkable job in setting up energetic fight situations, which usually involves the pride of one man or a clan. Sarpatta Parambarai is arguably the best boxing film in the history of Tamil cinema. The divisions in personal relationships now appear more wide and deep. “Did you see Namma Veettu Pillai (MGR’s hit movie) has joined the opposition,” Rangan is told by a friendly cycle rickshaw driver. In the second half, the focus shifts to the stormy politics of Tamil Nadu. She has her reasons — Kabilan’s father Munirathnam was a celebrated boxer but was forced to take to crime to make a living. In a way, Ranjith has broken new ground in the genre by simply trying to be mindful of the sport he’s dealing with. The high-voltage energy and enthusiasm of the Madras crowd for a sport that is not cricket is a revelation. Maybe, boxing might have been a very profitable profession for many. When he gets out of jail, he sees MG Ramachandran has broken away from the mothership and has started his own political party. If the fascination of north Madras had been protected and nurtured, perhaps India’s sports business would have looked much different than it is today. The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards. Like all of the director’s films, this one is also heavy on symbolism as it contemplates the fault lines in our society, which are not just based on religion, caste, and language. The film’s historical reminiscence packs a punch stronger than Kabilan’s right hook. The entire first half of the film plays out under the shadow of the Emergency imposed by the then Indira Gandhi government. When Rangan goes home, he sees a picture of MGR hanging on a wall. His son Vetriselvan (Kalaiyarasan) has become a follower of the political leader. However, towards the final act, Ranjith runs out of tricks. Ranjith’s screenplay is replete with keen observations and subtle but powerful narrative jolts. Sarpatta Parambarai, a local boxing team, is headed by coach Rangan (Pasupathy). Sarpatta Parambarai isn’t a giant leap for the genre, but it takes first baby steps in the right direction. He has tried to show boxing as authentically as possible. Sarpatta Parambarai is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Rangan is arrested and sent to jail on account of his association with the DMK party. 📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. (Photo: Amazon Prime Video)
Director Pa Ranjith’s Sarpatta Parambarai takes us deep inside 1970s north Madras (now Chennai) and its throbbing, vibrant culture of boxing. The training montage and the emotional depth of the act feel highly derivative of everything that the director has done in the previous two acts. It is about the challenges of growing up in a tough neighbourhood where people don’t hate you because of what you do, but because of who you are. Sarpatta Parambarai is more than just a story about Kabilan and his passion for the contact sport. Boxing, however, is in Kabilan’s genes and in his destiny. This film makes you think right in its opening sequence, which is always a good sign.