Filmmaker Seenu Ramasamy proved his mettle with 'Thenmerkku Paruvakattru' a few years ago that eventually made its presence felt at the National awards. Now the man who loves to traverse the topic of human relationship is back with 'Neerparavai'. Quite appropriate to the title, the movie is set in the sea shore of a coastal village where fishing is the mainstay. It chronicles the life of people who worships sea. Often we hear about fishermen getting killed in mid sea and the director has taken to throw light on the brutal acts against such innocent fishermen through 'Neerparavai'.
But nowhere he tries to go preachy or talk in a political overtone. A soft romance forms the vase of the script, which is executed well by Seenu Ramasamy.
Vishnu proved his skills doing a tricky role in 'Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu'. Perhaps he gets another character to compliment his talent here. As a fisherman, who is a habitual drinker, he plays with utmost perfection. Sunaina has come a long way from her routine heroine image to play a meaty character with more scope to emote.
Seenu Ramasamy has managed to rope in the likes of stalwarts like Nandita Das and Saranya Ponvannan, who seem to relish their outings in a powerful emotional drama set in mid-sea.
What stands out in this film is the way Seenu Ramasamy has managed to handle human relationships.
The movie begins with a skeletal remain unearthed by police and Esther (Nadita Das) is arrested. She confesses that it is her husband Arulappasamy (Vishnu) and it was she who killed and buried him in her house.
There begins a flashback. and the movie travels back to 25 years. Young Esther (Sunaina) is an orphan brought up by the local church and comes to village to do missionary works.
She comes across Arulappa Samy (Vishnu), son of loving parents (Saranya and Ramu). The parents shower all their love on their son, but he becomes a habitual drinker. A symbol of hate in the village, Arul spends the whole day with liquor. One fine day, Esther comes across Arul and change happens in his life.
Sequence of events reform him and his love for Esther blossoms. The village takes time to belive that Arul is a reformed man. When they do start to believe and all is set for his wedding with Esther, a twist happens in the story that turns Arul to sail on the sea and take up fishing for his livelihood.
Vishnu is at his best pouring right emotions. In the first half as a drunkard who is ridiculed by one and all, he is just there giving his best. His romantic escapades with Esther, his anger and agony deserve appreciation.
It is all new Sunaina. Sans makeup, as an ordinary girl in love with a fisherman, she is right there getting under the skin of the character to deliver one of her best.
Of course Nandita Das and Saranya do what they are known for in taking up challenging roles. Almost all artistes including Ramu, Samuthirakani, Black Pandi, Thambi Ramiah and Vadivukkarasi chip in with their best. Azhagam Perumal as priest in the local church walks away with honours.
Half the battle is won thanks to Balasubramaniam's cinematography. It captures the sea shores and the fisherman's travails well. Rahunanthan's songs including 'Para Para...' and the BGM fit the mood well. Vairamuthu's lyrics go hand-in-hand with the theme. Udhayanidhi Stalin should be lauded for gathering guts to produce a meaningful cinema.
Though there are some political overtones and mushy drama, one can applaud Seenu Ramasamy for his conviction. He gives a film that questions the plight of fishermen.
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