Peranbu review: It has the power to change the way you look at life
Peranbu is one of the boldest, gutsiest and most hard-hitting films in Tamil cinema history
By: Kaushik L.M
Critic's Rating: 3.5/5
Wednesday 30 January 2019
Mammootty, Sadhana, Anjali
Let us warn you that Peranbu is an acquired taste. Director Ram has always been one to swim against the tide. He doesn’t believe in making commercial potboilers and stays true to the content that he has in hand. His prior films like Kattradhu Tamizh, Thanga Meengal and Taramani stand testament to his abilities.
With Peranbu, he delivers one of the boldest, gutsiest and most hard-hitting films in Tamil cinema history. The impact shall linger long after “The End” card starts rolling! Ram asks us to treasure life, spread love and affection, and keeps emphasizing that a body without any disabilities is the ultimate gift that one can possess.
It must also be said that Peranbu isn’t a film meant for all as it is very disturbing and you might feel restless due to the raw and intense manner in handling sensitive issues considered taboo by our society. Ram is on a revolutionary streak here and one wonders if the audience can keep pace with his ideas and engage with his ‘breakaway’ presentation.
The story is about a single parent Amudhavan (Mammootty) and the struggles that he faces in raising his spastic girl child, Paapa (Sadhana). That she is an adolescent girl makes it even more difficult for him. Ram addresses puberty related issues and the sexual urge that grips teens in that phase. Amudhavan is also duped by a woman whom he trusts and is forced to shift from a secluded hillside property to Chennai city. Ram also has a transgender character (played by Anjali Ameer) in the mix and portrays it in a dignified manner. That the film ends on a positive note is solely due to this character.
Technically, Peranbu is top notch. Yuvan Shankar Raja delivers his best yet again for Ram. His re-recording notes are blissful on the ears and his melody numbers are all soothing. Cinematographer Theni Easwar ups his game to its best level when the story happens in the hills. The film’s atmospheric quality is of the highest order and the scenic geography and the sound design will literally embrace us. That Peranbu celebrates nature is an understatement; the trademark chapter-wise screenplay of Ram is also driven by the various facets and qualities of nature.
Sadhana (Paapa) deserves all the accolades for playing such a physically demanding character so early in her life. When she screams and suffers on screen, it will definitely disturb you! Mammootty plays the character with his trademark class and grace. In the second half, the extent to which he goes for his daughter results in one unforgettable sequence with a sex counselor.
One wonders how he even accepted this scene in the first place. Hats off to one of the finest actors and Megastar of Malayalam, who admirably sheds his energetic heroism and displays all his acting might here with a subtle performance. And of course, he looks absolutely handsome; the film’s characters also make a reference to his majestic appearance every now and then. Anjali plays a delicate character beautifully. She looks very pretty, dressed traditionally. There are some other support characters (played by the likes of Livingston, Vadivukkarasi), along with Samuthirakani in a cameo role.
Peranbu has been made relentlessly by Ram. He has not made any commercial compromises and hence it has a docu-feel about it and takes its own time to unfold. Kudos to producer PL Thenappan and hero Mammootty for standing firm alongside Ram. If such films meet with a certain degree of commercial success too, then the industry would have taken a collective leap of faith. We have to see how the public reacts to Peranbu. Interesting days ahead!
Peranbu review: Hard hitting and disturbing
Reactions from Social Media:
Sajin Shrijith @SajinShrijith
Caught an early screening of #Peranbu. To call the film phenomenal would be an understatement. #Mammootty delivers a performance that makes you forget everything he did in the past 5 years, with #Sadhana and #AnjaliAmeer complementing him beautifully.
#Peranbu: What a magical performance from the master @mammukka. He totally rules the roost in many single-take shots, and deserves a separate applause for accepting to do the film. Severe brilliance. Hats off to the young girl Sadhana too, for an equally worthy act.
Forum Keralam (FK) @Forumkeralam1
#Peranbu is solid in the technical department as well where Theni Eswar have extracted the beauty of Kodai while giving a poetic touch to the film.Same goes with Yuvan who has delivered one of his best in terms of Bgm along with couple of breezy tracks.
#Peranbu: Hugely hard-hitting and heartbreaking. Ram delivers probably the boldest Indian film yet narrating the sorrowful and wildly challenging tale of a man and his child's upbringing. Some parts are exceedingly raw, but it is a film that will be talked about.
Raisa Nasreen @RaisaNasreen
#Peranbu! What a film! It deals with topic of a father-daughter relationship with so much sensitivity.
Haricharan Pudipeddi @pudiharicharan
#Peranbu is a gut-wrenchingly beautiful tale of a father and his daughter coming to terms with life and its most unexpected surprises. Not surprised that such a film has come from @Director_Ram but a star like @mammukka backing it is very heartening.
Surendhar MK @SurendharMK
#Peranbu: 5/5 Stars. Devastatingly Beautiful! A bona-fide masterpiece from @Director_Ram, @mammukka, Sadhana, @thisisysr and @yoursanjali. If someone can convey the most complicated emotions through a highly accessible film, which is ahead of its time in 2019, this is it. MOVED!
Ramesh Bala @rameshlaus
#Peranbu: A hard-hitting movie.. Will take a long time for anyone to come out.. Will post detailed review later..