Monday, March 12, 2007

Paruthi Veeran


When there is talk about young directors who are going to lead Tamil cinema into the next generation, Ameer is never mentioned in the same breath as, say, Selvaraghavan or Gautham Menon. But with his third venture, the director proves that he is here to stay and deserves to be on that list on par with - or maybe, even above - those two. Displaying consistence in his direction inspite of the versatility in his movies' genres, he presents a rural tale of love and violence in Paruthi Veeran, delivering a character-based story that is earthy, emotional and entertaining.

Paruthi Veeran(Karthi) lives a carefree life in the village of Paruthiyoor. Ready to raise his hand and aruvaal at the slightest provocation, the jail is his second home. His parter-in-crime is his uncle Sevvaazhai(Saravanan) and together, the two of them spend their time drinking, dining and sleeping. Enmity exists between Paruthi Veeran and his aunt's family but the aunt's daughter Muthazhagu(Priyamani) has decided that Paruthi Veeran is the man for her. So inspite of Paruthi Veeran brushing her off, she pursues him doggedly.

Paruthi Veeran is a familiar story(lovers from two families who are bitter enemies) in a familiar setting(a village where family and caste, not necessarily in that order, come before everything else). But Ameer imbibes the film with so much of a rural atmosphere that the film still seems fresh. Paruthiyoor here doesn't serve as just a background but is an integral part of the film as Ameer takes us deep into rural TamilNadu. It is a village where the chief form of entertainment is a folk dance by eununchs and a woman who has drunk poison gets her stomach pumped out by the villagers rather than the local doctor(if there was even one!). With the authentic characters, their everyday conversations, their realistic accents and the events surrounding them, graamathu maNam wafts right off the screen!

Ameer deserves credit for fashioning a lead who feel familiar to Tamil cinema but still fit right into a village like Paruthiyoor. Karthi has the usual traits of all Tamil cinema heroes but is also given some surprising shades of gray. Priyamani, for her part, is a strong woman who knows exactly what she wants and is willing to go to any lengths to get it. Her love for Karthi has a strong foundation and when she goes against her parents or begs Karthi to accept her, we know exactly where she's coming from(she conveys that in her response to the teacher who asks her "Enna edhutherinju pesurae?", the best piece of dialog in the film). The supporting characters seem as real as they can get and even the ones with little screen time(like the kurathi in the flashback) are memorable.

The climax works in parts. It manages to surprise us more than once in the path it takes but then overstays its welcome and takes the edge off the surprises. Karthi's past doesn't come back to bite him in the way we expect and not all characters meet ends we expect them to. But at the same time, the climax is too long and detailed to have a strong impact. Ameer manages to create a real sense of dread leading up to the climax. But once we get there, the tendency to spell everything out gives the impression that he is trying to wring every emotion he can from the viewer and that kind of overt, emotional manipulation doesn't work.

Karthi is fantastic and definitely shows none of the first film jitters. One thing that I've noticed in newcomers in front of the camera is that they seem inhibited. But Karthi has just let himself go and as a result, is arresting. Scenes like the one where he and Saravanan enjoy a dance by the eununchs are enjoyable solely because of his energy and his ability to be completely unrestrained. Priyamani is more of a mixed bag. She is fantastic in some scenes but appears a bit too stiff and artificial in others. She actually seems more comfortable with the heavier scenes and is explosive whenever she defends her love to anyone. Saravanan is quite natural and creates a likeable character. Ganja Karuppu makes us laugh as he is constantly harasses, both intentionally and unintentionally, by Karthi and Saravanan. All the other actors, from the youngest to the oldest, fit their parts admirably and contribute to the realistic atmosphere on screen.

Yuvan Shankar Raja has definitely has his father's genes when it comes to rustic music. Ariyaadha Vayasu... is wonderfully picturized as it portrays the initial stages of the friendship between Karthi and Priyamani in their younger days. Aiyaiyo.... also starts off wonderfully but the lead pair starting to mouth lines in the middle robs if off some of its initial natural charm. Sarigama is the weakest number of the lot. The entire sequence has an artificial feel and sticks out awkwardly. Ramji's camera captures the action in just the right way. Brown is the predominant color (which makes all those flashes of bright color, like in the village fair, stand out even more) and barrenness has rarely been captured this beautifully.

33 Comments:

At 11:31 PM, Blogger Sri said...

Thank you for the review BB!

The last three movies (PKMC, Mozhi, Paruthi veeran) have been of good quality (Please note that I am not considering Veerasamy as a movie)...with Sivaji, Dasavatharam, Bheema and Varanam Ayiram to come, 2007 seems to be a good year for Tamil cinema.

 
At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that karthi will be a tough competitor for Surya.

Paruthi Veeran is an excellant movie and it is so natural that we feel that we were living in the village and watching the happenings.

 
At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Oh wow! A film that that Balaji really enjoyed (enough to give it higher marks than Mozhi?). Would you consider it 'classic' material, the way 'Raam' was?

I personally loved Raam a lot and felt that even though it did well commercially, but not as well, as it deserved to do.

Maybe, as you said, this film will change Ameer's fortunes and he will start being viewed as a major contender amongst the youngsters currently in the industry. If anyone deserves it, he surely does.

 
At 1:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

while it would be ufair to comment without seeing the film from what little I have seen from the promos, top 10s and such like there seems to be a Barathiraaja "effect" - as if it were made between "kizhakke pogum rayil " and "puthiya vaarpugal".
Ameer also shares a sense of macabre with BR . gruesome , unflinching violence.
Ameer, slvaraghavan and Gautham - ivanga next gen directors enral enna vitudu naan intha aatathukku varalai.
Stylish filming and packaging do not a good film make.This is especially true for Gautham and Selvaraghavan.
Give me "sollamale" Sasi and " Pandavar Bhoomi" Seran anyday!
OTherwise I would settle for " enrenrum anbudan" and "S"!

Vengayam

 
At 2:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ anon

" OTherwise I would settle for " enrenrum anbudan" and "S"! "

appidina enna artham?

Thanks,

Another anon

 
At 2:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Vengayam

" OTherwise I would settle for " enrenrum anbudan" and "S"! "

appidina enna artham?

Thanks,

Parangikaai

 
At 2:34 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Am waiting here in blore to see all these movies. Might make a trip to Hosur to just watch these movies :) Will not read ur thots completely until then...
S = Shankar
Enrenrum Anbudan = KS Ravikumar?!
Am I right?

 
At 6:42 AM, Blogger Filbert said...

Balaji, I think it's high time that we place Ameer in the same bracket as that of Bala and Cheran. IMO he is miles ahead of someone like Gautham Menon whose last 2 efforts have been average, at best.

 
At 7:23 AM, Blogger Me too said...

I would credit Ameer, Bala, Balaji Shakthivel and the like more for originality and guts to stick to natural presentation against Gautam Menon, Vishnuvardhan and the like though they entertain too.

 
At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Director Classificatio.. Ur Thoughts?

Cat 1 (Legends)
Balu Mahendra,Balachander, BharathiRaja,Bhagyaraj

Cat 2 (Proven Good)
Shankar,Mani Ratnam,GautamMenon,Vasanth

Cat 3 (Efficient)
KSRavikumar,Saran,Hari,Ameer,Cheran,AR MurugaDoss,Jeeva

Cat 4 (Upcoming)
Prabhu Solomon,Vasantha Balan, Prabhu Deva,Selva Raghavan,Radha Mohan,Priya

Janakiraman Sitaraman

 
At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really liked the SaRiGaMA song but I haven't seen the movie yet so may be the picturization was bad.

I just think its great that for every mass film we have (Pokkiri a great recent example), there are getting more class films (Mozhi).

There's nothing wrong with a good masala entertainer but its nice to have films with substance once in a while.

 
At 10:01 AM, Anonymous ram said...

haave to check out this movie...ameer made a huuuge leap from mounam pesiyadhey to raam...looks like he's made another one from raam to paruthiveeran...
bb, sandya n others, i have, for long, wanted to ask this q. in a forum...what do u guys think of graphic violence on screen? do u think that irrespective of claims from directors that "the story demands it" there's a sense of exploitation going on?
i dont know...i feel that sometimes they go a long way in heightening the pain the victims go thro...
coz scenes like the rape scene or the shah rukh death scene in hey ram were so visually disturbing that i hate to think that those were for "commercial" purposes (adhuku thaan kamal ode "special" scenes irukkudhey!)...but on the other hand, directors like s.a. chandrasekaran and even manivannan have presented some really graphic content that showcase villainous acts, that i think were for obviously the shock n sensation value...

i am stating this coz i've been hearing abt the graphic content of the climactic portions of pveeran...

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Ram, to tell you the truth, I have been quite numb to violence the last few years. Come to think of it, after watching Pithamagan, Ghajini, Aaru and the like, I have started accepting that excessive violence is constantly packaged to us in the name of masalas on any given day.

Since I have become numb to it, I am honestly not disturbed by the fact that the victims are shown as bearing excessive pain or torture. Unless it is a character I really liked in the film or could very well associate with emotionally, I have never felt that the koduram would ever get to me. (I'm sure you'd agree with the case of "Kalpana kutti." BTW, are you still allowed to say 'kutti,' now that you are getting hitched? ;-) :-)

That's probably one of the reasons I enjoyed Pokkiri so much. I didn't let the violence bother me much (especially considering Pokkiri was on the average a lot less violent than Aaru by any measure)..

The argument that violence is used for 'shock and sensation'.. I may accept that for Gautham Menon and Selvaraghavan's films because of the same genre of film making that they stick to. But Ameer.. I wouldn't agree that he would stoop low for commercial purposes alone. Mounam Pesiyathe had zero blood or violence when you measure it with the current standards. Raam had blood and gore but nothing excessive (except for Saranya's death!), considering what we saw in Kaakha Kaakha and the lot.

Everything is relative, I suppose. Depending on the director, I do think some compromises are made, but whether every decision to showcase violence or sensationalize it cannot be held against its director alone sometimes. But I really don't buy violence being shown with the excuse of the "story demanding it".. sappai kattu in my opinion! :-)

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

There are a lot of directors who 'imply' violence without showing it too much. That way, I find that Mani's films do that a lot to escape scrutiny. Some may call it a 'cop out,' but Mani has a strong family audience that he needs to cater to and never fails to adhere to the pressures of that. His 'implied' violence is very well appreciated by this audience.

The scene in Bombay, where the a group of thugs asks the twins whether they are Hindu or Muslim and the thugs frantically go to set them on fire, still stays with me even today. If there is a director on this planet that can increase the audience's BP and anxiety to great levels, it is Mani. You know somewhere underneath that nothing will happen to those kids, but the way that scene has been shot, you are uneasy in your seat and your eyes are ready to pop.. some feeling that no amount of gore or violence can achieve. The master at his best!

 
At 3:40 PM, Anonymous ram said...

sandya, i agree with u on implied violence...sometimes its a lot more disturbing...in bombay, the scene where the tension and suspense was unbearable was the one where nasser, kitty and co. die in the communal riots...nasser (playing a hindu) losing his life while attempting to retrieve the qoran was a moment that not only set the BP to astronomical levels but also created goosebumps...

 
At 3:42 PM, Anonymous ram said...

and, yeah, i better keep the konjals of heroines (a reference to your "Kalpana Kutty") at bare minimum...bata kadai ode products en direction-la parandhu vara naan virumbala!

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Looks like first 3.5 star movie of the year.. :-)

Ever since I saw Raam, I had an admiration for Ameer, he has not let me down :)

 
At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Ram, kalyanathukku munaadi BATA kadai vandhaa.. kalyanathukku appuram Imelda Marcos varuvaangalaa? (She had more pairs of shoes than any store in the planet, right? ;-) :-)

Totally cracked up laughing after reading your BATA comment.. Hilarious!

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

surprised to see such a positive review -- elsewhere i'd read it was really well-picturzied but slow-moving.

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Akshay Shah said...

Awesome review as always Balaji!!!!!

AkShay Shah

 
At 9:33 PM, Anonymous sriram said...

It is beyond my understanding why Selvaraghavan is rated as a good director. He is a guy who can make cheap, vulgar, B grade movies.

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

sri, yes this looks like a good year. but after a year like 2006, there was nowhere to go but up :)

anon, i'll give him a few more movies b4 calling karthi a competitor to any1... but u're right about the natural feeling the movie creates...

sandya, yes i did like it a bit more than 'mozhi'. but wouldn't go as far as to call it a classic...

vengayam, yeah i guess u could call it the BR effect. but i think thats more cos of the effect BR has had on tamil cinema and the village genre rather than any attempt by ameer to copy BR. any movie with a good, realistic village touch reminds us of BR...

bart, if u r able to catch both 'mozhi' and PV, the trip will be worth it :)

filbert, yeah he is definitely inching towards that bracket :)

me too, yes they defly deserve credit :)

anon, good classification though i do differ on some of the members in some classes. i would defly put cheran in 'proven good'. and vasanth has had too many ups and downs to be in that category i think...

anon, wouldn't say the picturization was completely bad. just that it didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the film...

ram, for me, whether the violence is gratuitous or not depends on the genre of the film. i feel masala films should tone down the violence and be family friendly. but i felt the violence in movies like 'virumaandi' contributed to the overall 'feel' of the film.

but i agree with u and sandya on the effectiveness of 'off the screen' violence. what is on screen can never match the 'what-if' scenarios in our imagination and so things that are implied rather than shown have a much greater impact...

srivatsan, nope. 3 * dhaan :)

anon, defly didnt find it slow. climax feels a bit dragging but thats it...

akshay, thanx :)

sriram, i do think he is overrated somewhat. but i don't agree with the 2nd part of ur opinion either :)

 
At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji,
when I compared paruthi veeran scenes to having BR effect , I meant it as a compliment. My intention was not to say that he copied BR intentionally. I felt the dialogues the tone and tenor were akin to early Barathiraja.

Re. the violence - graphic as well as implied almost all the "directors " have indulged in it. My cousin almost did a thesis on the first six films of Barathiraja and came to the conclusion that Barathiraja glorified violence. while that may be going a bit too far the deaths were all gruesome, sappani dropping a rock, G Srinicasan hacking himself with a razor, jankaraj lighting G Srinivasan's pyre when he is still alive?. They were all macabre.May be they were consciously introduced to shock. KB also had the habit of tweaking his climaxes to get a gory effect. Maro charitra, sollathan ninaikiren and aval oru thodargathai to name a few.
In recent years Bala has continued the trend and from the looks of it Ameer is also following suit.
may be the common man in us is fascinated by the violence on the screen and it is a kind of safety rerlease valve popping.These movies all were feted .
come to think of it, the best Tamil movie made so far (IMHO of course) Uthir Pookal also had a violent ending. Vijayan character sums it up splendidly by saying that of all the sins he has committed turning the entire village to violence is his worst! The whole climax is so chilling that no amount of tomato ketchup and maimed bodies could replicate.

For another anon and parangikkai! Bart has given the answer. I thought it was obvious ,sorry to have confused you.

vengayam

 
At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji,
when I compared paruthi veeran scenes to having BR effect , I meant it as a compliment. My intention was not to say that he copied BR intentionally. I felt the dialogues the tone and tenor were akin to early Barathiraja.

Re. the violence - graphic as well as implied almost all the "directors " have indulged in it. My cousin almost did a thesis on the first six films of Barathiraja and came to the conclusion that Barathiraja glorified violence. while that may be going a bit too far the deaths were all gruesome, sappani dropping a rock, G Srinicasan hacking himself with a razor, jankaraj lighting G Srinivasan's pyre when he is still alive?. They were all macabre.May be they were consciously introduced to shock. KB also had the habit of tweaking his climaxes to get a gory effect. Maro charitra, sollathan ninaikiren and aval oru thodargathai to name a few.
In recent years Bala has continued the trend and from the looks of it Ameer is also following suit.
may be the common man in us is fascinated by the violence on the screen and it is a kind of safety rerlease valve popping.These movies all were feted .
come to think of it, the best Tamil movie made so far (IMHO of course) Uthir Pookal also had a violent ending. Vijayan character sums it up splendidly by saying that of all the sins he has committed turning the entire village to violence is his worst! The whole climax is so chilling that no amount of tomato ketchup and maimed bodies could replicate.

For another anon and parangikkai! Bart has given the answer. I thought it was obvious ,sorry to have confused you.

vengayam

 
At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Princess of Arabia said...

With Surya's intro in the trailer, came Paruthi Veeran acted by his bro. Following their footstep are Jeeva and his bro Ramesh, in Madurai Veeran. Hopefully no more Veeran especially from Karadi Veerans , Simbu and his bro Kural

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous ram said...

sandya, LOL...imelda marcos-aa...venaam, avangaluku veenaa ideas kudukaatheenge...here's an exchange between "avange" and me:

Ram: Jo's so adorable...nannaa weight-um korachuttaa over the years starting with "Dhooll"...

Avange: weight laam koraikala...
"Dhooll"-la gundaa thaan irundhaa...

Ram: "Dhooll"-la enge gundaa irundhaa avo?

Avange: Oho...ava enge gundaa irundhaa-nu vera sollanumaa unaku...!!

Ram: aiyyoooo, ille ille ille, apdi sollala...

Avange: seri seri, tension aagaathe...!!

 
At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Prin said...

Nice review, BB per usual!

wat are your prospects on the April 14 releases?

Sivaji - Rajinikanth, Shriya, Nayantara

Maayakannadi - Cheran, Navya Nair ~(Please note, I listened to the audio and i found it close to awkardly terrible)

Unnale Unnale - dir by Jeeva of 12B and Ullam Ketkumae fame. Looks interesting. Music by HJ has done soaring business!

Evano Oruvan - One of two possible Maddy movies set for release! Looks the more intersting. The original won plenty of accolades and several reports claim its better than the original.

Arya - Madhavan's other film with Bhavana. Looks like average campus love story also starring Prakash Raj... Hopes Adequate

Koodal Nagar - Bharath's double role movie. Looks rural........better be fun!

My verdict on the outcome:

1. Sivaji - Obvious reasons
2. Evano Oruvan - A psychopathal thriller starring Maddy :-)
3. Unnale Unnale - Romance, Slick, Fun
4. Koodal Nagar - 2 gorgeous ladies, Bharath, Yuvan
5. Arya - Maddy and Prakash Raj after KM
6. Maayakaanadi - Looks like Cheran's been diagnosed with SJ Suryahahitis. Tryin to e cool and urban doesn't seem to click espescially when its slow moving like Cheran's films.

Any views Balaji, Sandya, Ram and bloggers?

 
At 4:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Aiyaiyo.... also starts off wonderfully but the lead pair starting to mouth lines in the middle robs if off some of its initial natural charm. Sarigama is the weakest number of the lot."

Nice review Balaji, but I don't think there is any lip syncing in this song. Watch carefully again and you will agree the natural charm lasts till the last frame of that song.

-Nattamai

 
At 6:34 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Yes, I too felt Aiyaiyo was picturised well indeed (without lip sync)...
The movie overall was good. The heat and stuffiness of the soil really got on to me (watched in Hosur as told earlier :))
Familiar story, unusual or grittier backdrop seems to set Bala, Ameer, Selvaraghavan apart from the rest.
Overall hats off..

 
At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant performance by karthi.A treat to watch.

Unforgettable movie in Tamil cinema.

-Sangeetha.

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger Tamil filmmaker ANANTHKMURTHY said...

hey balaji ...
you seem to be doing good reviews i guess...have you done your film appreciation???
i come from the film fraternity...
have a check on directorameer' blogsite

www,directorameer.blogsite.com

and mine is

www.tamilfilmmakerananthkmurthy.blogsite.com

 
At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a tamilian but i love watching tamil movies. I watch every new movie that has subtitles. I have seen this movie, paruthi Veeran. It was OK in the beginning but i dont know why the producer and director wants to show such disgusting things on screen.Everyone knows that this kind of things happen in India, even now. But why the hell are they making this movies??
Its only psyco's who make these kind of films. are you encouring other to do such things? I could not eat food after watching this movie. Ameer you are a psyco...stop making films...there are lot of things in this world that needs to get attention...make something useful for the society...

 
At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a tamilian but i love watching tamil movies. I watch every new movie that has subtitles. I have seen this movie, paruthi Veeran. It was OK in the beginning but i dont know why the producer and director wants to show such disgusting things on screen.Everyone knows that this kind of things happen in India, even now. But why the hell are they making this movies??
Its only psyco's who make these kind of films. are you encouring other to do such things? I could not eat food after watching this movie. Ameer you are a psyco...stop making films...there are lot of things in this world that needs to get attention...make something useful for the society...

 

Post a Comment

<< Home