Nerkonda Paarvai

Nerkonda Paarvai

For once, away from Pa. Ranjith, we have a star film that talks about something bigger than the star. Even with Ranjith, there was a political angle to the voice (the star). But there’s no such external attachment here, with the purpose of the star being nothing but to maximize the reach of its content. This is a film that is going to inspire discussion, and H. Vinoth has honoured that intent from Pink, the original that has inspired this remake. Ajith Kumar is not really new to message-giving films, but this is a far cry from stuff like Vedalam where a message about women-empowerment is thrown across the end card like an after-thought. Here, he gets to stand and fight against a mindset. Again, I believe this story is about the idea it wants to communicate, and not about who is delivering it. But the fact that we have Ajith’s familiar baritone and solid presence here, surely lends major validation to the discourse. I’m glad he has brought this story to a new demographic.

The elements brought in for the adaptation do seem like flab more than modifications. The “mass” action sequence is shoehorned in for sure, but Vinoth’s design makes sense in terms of screenplay. There is enough setup done for an action scene, and it does reveal character, if not adding anything to the story. But I wish he had used the element (bipolar disorder) in the court and not just stopped short at hinting. The romance bit is the sole embarrassing stretch, making it the only grudge I have with the film.

Shraddha Srinath fills in really well, and she nails both breakdowns and moments of composure. Abhirami Venkatachalam is a revelation here with her angsty role anchored by pivotal outbursts that define the course of the case. These actresses are so good that they also rise above an awkward score that constantly tries to underline every emotion conveyed on screen. The entire cast does a good job in inviting the extreme emotions required to make the whole case convincing. I like the particular beat involving a female constable, whose watchful silence builds up to a wholesome handshake moment in the end. While this remake may not feel as sharp as the original in terms of production, it still manages to be neat enough for it to be taken seriously. Good job, Vinoth.


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