Ameer films have always dealt with human relationships and struggles to achieve true love. Paruthiveeran tries to examine the changing equations of love set against caste tensions in a village. In the process, the film neither ends up as a political testament nor about the restorative power of love.
Undoubtedly, it is a brave film and full credit goes to the director for making every scene realistic and characters life-like. However after the end of it all, we wonder why he had to make it so morbid and disturbing!
Veeran (Karthi) is a vagabond and ruffian in a village simmering with caste tensions. His best friend, guide and companion in crimes is his Chittappa Chevazhai (Saravanan) who had brought him up. Muthazhagu (Priya Mani) is Veeranís cousin and childhood sweetheart who is still madly in love with him. She is aggressive, stubborn and follows her mind giving a damn to her parents or people around her.
Veeranís biggest dream is to do something big and go to Madras Central jail instead of indulging in petty crimes! Muthazhagu is determined to be Veeranís girl though he does not reciprocate and often spurns her love. But finally he succumbs to her good heart and true love and tries to reform himself. But his enemies including Muthazhaguís father gang up against the lovers who are on the run and what follows is the final twist and a gory climax.
Ameerís script is too thin on logic and the climax is too heavy, dark and morbid. It is one the most brutal gang rape scene in Tamil cinema! Were the censors sleeping? Four guys rape a wounded helpless girl, people undressing and dressing casually, their comments after the act, blood gushing out and above all the dialogues in the background as the victim pleads - all this is too hard to digest.
How we wish Ameer had given a subtle effect instead of going into an extensive and exaggerated detailing of rape and killing to create drama. At times he should understand that silence, subtlety and sense are more effective than showing realism for the sake of it.
Despite these reservations, technically Paruthiveeran is superior. The locations and people look so real that you are transported to that world while watching the film. The brown colour scheme used throughout, the flashback scenes in different hue are splendid. Ramjiís camera has captured every scene especially the interiors of houses and the festivals superbly.
Itís hard to believe that it is Karthiís debut film as he is just spectacular. His expressions, anger, laughter and anquish are all so realistic that you can feel the fire in him. Truly a star is born. And itís Priya Mani who steals the show with her spontaneity and authenticity. You just canít take your eyes off her and probably there is no one who could make this role so convincing and life like. To be honest, it is not just the leads, but every single actor, even in bit roles bring in so much to the film. Saravanan as the wayward uncle with a heart of gold is terrific and Ganja Karuppuís comedy moves with the story.
There are far too many songs mainly folk that irritates you especially the one that comes just after interval. The first introductory song at 12 minutes is too lengthy. Yuvan Shankar has forayed into rural music; his fatherís strong point in late 70ís when he had teamed up with Bharathiraaja. The pick of the lot is Ariyatha VayasuÖ sung by Raja sir himself which has been picturised well.
About a half-hour shorter, the film (2 hr 50 min) would have been much better. With all its ups and downs, Paruthiveeran is still worth a look.
Verdict: Above average