Rural-centric films seem to have become the flavour of Tamil cinema of late. A host of films touting the delights of village life have come out of Kollywood recently. The Amir-directed ‘Paruthiveeran’ is the latest movie that chronicles bucolic charm at its best.
‘Paruthiveeran’ also marks the debut of superstar Surya’s brother Karthi. And what an impressive debut it is!
the protagonist, Karthi has turned in a performance seasoned artists would be proud of. Measuring up to the high standards set by Karthi has been heroine Priyamani too. Between them they dominate the flick that soaks in the joys and sorrows of pastoral life.
The film unspools in the picture-postcard setting of Parithiyur village. Paruthiveeran (Karthi) and his uncle Chevazhai (Saravanan) are a law unto themselves. The villagers live in terror of the duo who do not scruple at indulging in violence to get their way.
The only soft touch to the otherwise grim backdrop is provided by Muthazhagu (Priyamani), the feisty village belle who falls in love with Paruthiveeran.
But Paruthiveeran is in no mood to be bowled over by her charms. Even a suicide attempt fails to move him. But, then happens an incident that changes his attitude to the girl. And the hero at long last realizes the depth of Muthazhagu’s feelings.
There is the inevitable villain: the long-standing feud between the families of the hero and heroine.
Muthazhagu’s parents are determined to marry her off to somebody else despite the open threats by Paruthiveeran not to do so. But the girl prefers to run away with her lover rather than marry the man of her parents’ choice.
The trials and tribulations the lovers undergo form the remainder of the film topped with a violent climax.
Performance-wise, the honours belong to Karthi and Priyamani. Karthi puts life and soul into the character of the village lout, internalizing the mannerisms of the toughie in an admirable manner. Here is an actor with tremendous potential. One only hopes the directors make proper use of the raw talent. Karthi is sure to go places.
Pretty Priyamani is a close second in the acting department. In a totally de-glamourised role, Priya excels with her devil-may-care attitude to life and raw courage with which she takes on the world. Her expressive eyes and robust body language convey the emotions in a telling manner. Priya has sprung a real surprise with a spirited show.
Ponvannan and Sujatha as her mother are competitive. Kanja Karuppu’s comedy is effective.
Another highlight of ‘Paruthiveeran’ is the excellent music composed by the son of Ilayaraja, Yuvan Shankar Raja. Ilaya Raja will be proud of his son, for the youngster has composed some memorable tunes redolent of the rural life. The folk tunes he has woven into the lyrics are a treat to the ear.
A word about Ramji’s camera. The lensman has framed fabulous shots of pastoral beauty exemplifying the rural ethos. Great work.
Kudos to director Amir who proves that in the ultimate analysis what matters is deft directorial touch buttressed by compelling performances by the protagonists.