“Reality is not art, but a realist art is one that can create an integral aesthetic of reality,” wrote André Bazin, one of the greatest film critics of all time in his book ‘what is cinema.’ The movie ‘Peranbu’ begins with the introduction given by the lead character Amuthavan, that he tells the story so that you understand how beautiful a life you are living.
Near to the forests in the morning mist under a rising sun, the birds chirp and a boatman rows his boat on a river with a middle-aged father and his daughter. The beginning scene itself sets the calm tone of the movie. ‘Nature’ is the central element in the film, the magic and ruthlessness of nature creates beauty and chaos in the characters in the movie.
Tamil cinema has seen new narratives and deviant subjects in the recent years. Thanks to new directors in the industry who go the extra mile in creating quality films. Ram’s critically acclaimed movie ‘Peranbu’ which was well received in major film festivals across the world was released in Indian theatres few weeks ago. The movie continues to be screened in theatres with an impregnated audience. Breaking taboos and with brimming compassion, the film takes you to the life of Amuthavan (Mammootty) and his daughter Paapa, a spastic child played by Sadhana.
‘Peranbu’ which means compassion is not a movie which is made to advocate the viewer to stand with any cause, but a story which is neglected to be told, a story which sheds life around some of the most marginal voices around us. The movie indirectly questions the stereotypes attached to sexuality, gender, and morality. All the major characters in the movie are portrayed with a great depth, which makes the film deeply moving.
The movie is shot with profound artistic sensibility. The soothing music by Yuvan Sankar Raja is a vital element in the film, it blends deeper with the story as the movie progresses. Theni Eswar’s cinematography makes Peranbu a visual poetry. The performance done by the actors are commendable. Sadhana, who played the role of the spastic child does her job realistically and consistently in doing the role of a spastic child.
I cannot think about any other actor in Indian cinema who could have replaced Mammooty in doing this role. His character takes a vast majority of screen space in the movie, but even till the last minute, we can continue to watch him without getting bored. The subtle emotions that he delivers and the way he gets himself inside the skin of the character will just mesmerize you.
It is quite unlikely from Ram to do a movie which doesn’t lose its calm from the beginning to end, compared to his former works. The slice of life film is presented in the most simple way possible. Striking the right chord, this exquisitely gripping tale is nothing short of a classic!