Sarpatta Parambarai review – Engaging, realistic sports drama

Title: Sarpatta Parambarai
Rating: 3.25/5
Reviewed By: Sai Nikhil
Cast: Arya, Pasupathy , Kalaiyarasan,Dushara Vijayan, John Vijay, Kaali Venkat, Anupama Kumar, John Kokken, Shabeer Kallarakkal
Director: Pa. Ranjith
Streaming on: Amazon Prime
Language: Tamil

Story: Kabilan (Arya) loves boxing since his childhood but never gets trained due to his mother’s restrictions. A time comes when he gets a chance to show his interest and skill and he is then chosen to represent a boxing community in the major boxing competition of the region. Was he successful or not forms the story.

Performances: This is Arya’s career best performance for sure. He has put in lots of effort for the physical transformation and his performance is very powerful and couldn’t have been more effective. There is a huge cast loaded in the film and each one of them has a strong role and space to perform and impress. Pasupathy is terrific as always, Kalaiyarasan is at ease, Dushara Vijayan is superb as Arya’s wife and the list goes on. Be it John Vijay or Kaali Venkat or Anupama Kumar or John Kokken or Shabeer Kallarakkal, everyone has been cast perfectly and all of them have left a strong impact within given space.

Technicalities: Camerawork is excellent and captured the location and time period perfectly. Santosh Narayanan’s music is outstanding and elevated all the drama and action sequences. Action sequences too pack a solid punch, especially the sequence featuring Dancing Rose. Art direction and production design are incredible. Almost the entire film is shot in freshly erected sets and everything has been setup neatly with utmost detailing. Even the makeup and costumes contribute to make this period drama more authentic. This film is sure to bag a lot of awards for it’s technical brilliance.

Analysis: Sarpatta Parambarai is basically a sports drama set in 1970’s North Madras. But what makes it much more than just a sports drama is the way it captures the lifestyle, culture, people and politics of the region along with the boxing angle. Boxing is just one of the many things happening in the film. Bold political references are made and real names are taken and it is quite a gutsy move. The only thing pulling the film down is it’s predictability. While the first half is highly engaging, some parts of the second half are on the lines of other boxing films like Salman Khan’s Sultan and the recent Toofaan. However, the context and scenarios are different here. What can be easily guessed as a potential climax, arrives much early in the film and the remaining 1 hour in the second half lingers around a bit to reach the same spot again. The scenes never become boring but have a slight drag and could have been trimmed. The film’s runtime is 173 minutes. Though it is engaging throughout, slight trimming could have resulted in an even more impactful product. Pa Ranjith’s direction skills are unquestionably good in this film and with proper resources and artists, he can do wonders.

On a whole: Sarpatta Parambarai is an engaging and realistic sports drama that surely deserves a watch.

Rating: 3.25/5

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