Sarpatta Parambarai Review - A good sports drama held back by a bloated screenplay
Sarpatta Parambari directed by Pa. Ranjith is a boxing movie set in the 1970s and follows Kabilan an ardent fan of boxing who dreams of being one himself. How he achieves his goals and overcomes the various hurdles in his path forms the narrative. Now, if this plot sounds familiar, it's because it is the same formula of almost every boxing movie ever made and in that regard, Sarpatta Parambari breaks no new ground. However, that does not mean the movie is not entertaining to watch.
Pa. Ranjith’s best quality as a director is creating a rich and vibrate world that is filled with unique and intriguing characters and Sarpatta Parambari has this in droves. Unfortunately, it also has the same flaws as his previous movies where the script gets muddled and drags just to set up the last act. Now, a lot of other movies have the same issue but here it is noticeable as the movie was going fine until the last 45 minutes, and had the chase up to the last act been shorter or better executed Sarpatta Parambari could have been the director's best movie.
Despite this Sarpatta Parambari has a rich cast of characters headed by Arya as Kabilan. As an actor, I have felt that Arya has often been underutilized so it is good to see him give one of the best performances of his career though there are times when his performances feel forced. An example of this is near the last act of the movie Kabilan has a breakdown and asks his wife to poison his food as he can’t find a reason to keep on living. Unfortunately, Arya's performance falls short and it is more noticeable because up until that point he was good.
The supporting cast is where Sarpatta Parambari really shines each character has depth, of course, the standouts have to be Pasupathy as Rangan Vaathiyar, Kabilan's coach who steals the show every time he is on screen. John Vijay, Dushara Vijayan, Anupama Kumar, G.M Sundar all give stellar performances. Honestly, Sarpatta Parambari's casting is the best thing about it.
The boxing in the movie, of course, is exciting to watch and is executed and shot well though it offered nothing new. Sarpatta Parambari also has a rushed ending, well it felt rushed and this would not have been an issue had the setup not been so drawn out.
So is Sarpatta Parambari worth watching? The answer is yes despite the flaws the movie is enjoyable and successfully showcases a fascinating side of boxing history. The movie is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.