Title: Sarpatta Parambarai
CBFC Rating : UA
Run-Time: 2 Hrs 53 Min
Release Date: 22-07-2021
Banner: K9 Studios, Neelam Productions
Cast: Arya, Kalaiyarasan, Pasupathy, Dushara Vijayan, John Kokken and Others
Music: Santhosh Narayanan
Cinematography: Murali G
Editing: Selva RK
Producers: Shanmugam Dakshanraj
Written and Directed by Pa.Ranjith
Kabilan (Arya) sets foot into the boxing ring to reclaim the lost glory of his clan (the famous Sarpatta Parambarai of North Madras). He has to take on proven boxers from the rival clan (Idiyappa Parambarai), led by Vembuli (John Kokken). The head coaches of both clans (played by Pasupathy and GM Sundar) have a long history of rivalry and bad blood, thereby making these boxing bouts even more intense and heated. Kabilan also has to overcome infighting and jealousy within his own clan and has to fight for his own identity and personal pride.
Arya gives his heart and soul to the film. His physical transformation to play a well-built boxer is incredible. But in the key emotional scenes, he just about passes muster! Newcomer Dushara Vijayan pulls off her feisty role well, playing Arya’s wife.
Anupama Kumar playing Arya’s hyper-emotional and impulsive mother, Pasupathy as his clan’s coach, Kalaiyarasan as Pasupathy’s neglected son, John Vijay as a father-like figure to Arya, also turn in competent performances. In the rival clan, John Kokken as the menacing Vembuli is a fitting lead antagonist while Shabeer as the fleet-footed Dancing Rose is a revelation. Thangadurai is hilarious as the commentator for the boxing bouts. The old fisherman – boxing coach (Beedi Thatha) is another memorable support character in Sarpatta.
Pa Ranjith’s command over his subject
Arya’s dedication and physical toil
Authentic 1970s North Madras period vibe
Interesting portrayal of the socio-political climate of the 70s
Dip in the portions when Arya drifts towards illegal activities, rowdyism, and alcoholism
Usual template set by many classic sports films
Runtime of close to 3 hours might not work with all
Pa.Ranjith is in solid form, and with a dedicated lead hero like Arya, he manages to make a strong comeback with Sarpatta. The film brings memories of his classic Madras thanks to the North Madras milieu, but the fascinating 1970s period is a major standout factor. Fusing real-life political events and referring to iconic political leaders brings this reel story closer to us.
Ranjith and all his primary actors underwent boxing training for close to 6 months prior to shoots, to understand the nuances and techniques of the sport. The effort shows on screen. Though the story arc is typical and the hero’s graph follows the tried and tested emergence – downfall – resurgence path, the film is largely engaging.
Coming to Santhosh Narayanan, he is a proven expert at background scoring for several epic Tamil films such as Vada Chennai, Karnan, Madras to name a few. Sarpatta is certainly in his strong zone and it’s smooth sailing for SaNa. The ‘Neeye Oli’ theme song is an electrifying experience in the pre-climax training montage portions and also the end credits.
One can’t shake off the feeling that Sarpatta would’ve been a splendid experience in a packed cinema hall thanks to the grand way in which it has been staged and executed by Ranjith and the team!
Bottom line: Emotional Punch Delivers Justice