'Nerkonda Parvai' Movie Review: Thala Ajith's stardom takes a backseat for this important film.
Last Modified On: 08 August 2019 | Reviewed By: Saurabh S Nair
'Nerkonda Parvai' is a faithful remake of the 2016 Hindi film 'Pink'. Despite some flaws, the film is hard-hitting which conveys a strong message.
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It is always seen that when a mainstream commercial film is based upon a social issue, the commercial elements or the stardom of the mainstream hero dominates the story which harms the film but it is not the case in Nerkonda Parvai.
Ajith is the major star and it was quite skeptical after the announcement and trailer of the film that this film might be just a star vehicle and will be an unfaithful remake of Pink.
But then it was noticeable that the director is H. Vinoth the same filmmaker who made Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru, the film which portrayed the cop character realistically in a mainstream film with a commercial star-like Karthi. And here too H. Vinoth doesn't disappoint you one bit.
The story is about three girls – Meera, Fatima, and Andrea – are on the run after what was supposed to be a fun night at a music festival turn into a nightmare when one of them (Meera) escapes a molestation attempt by Adhik, son of an influential politician. In self-defense, Meera attacks Adhik with a bottle and it almost costs him an eye. From here on, the nightmare begins for the girls who are constantly threatened by Adhik’s friends until the matter is taken to the court.
This kind of courtroom drama which talks about the consent of women is been never shown in a Tamil Cinema before. Indian Cinema was and is notorious for telling that when women say no, it means yes. The films like Pink and Nerkondai Paravai is important in today's era where we bash or troll people who criticize a film which shows stalking, toxic masculinity, and eve-teasing.
Ajith Kumar has given a career-best performance whenever he comes to the screen you will be ready to see a lion roar even when he is silent. The film is obviously a star-driven film but Ajith's stardom definitely takes a backseat, because it is not his story, he is just the part of the story.
Ajith plays Bharath Subramaniam, a famed lawyer who is now fighting his inner demons and mourning the loss of his wife. He’s dealing with depression and is suffering from bipolar. When he gets an opportunity to represent the girls as their lawyer, he sees it as a way to unleash himself from his past. Ajith couldn’t have played his part better and he’s majestic in the courtroom scenes.
Despite including an action sequence for Ajith (which doesn’t end up as a grouse) and a slightly odd back-story featuring Vidya Balan, Nerkonda Parvai mostly stays faithful and credit must go to director H Vinoth for pulling off the remake convincingly and sensibly, especially when it comes to the courtroom scenes in the second half.
It’ll be really interesting to see the kind of reception the film receives, given that it openly questions the different yardsticks society uses to judge men and women. Coming from a star like Ajith, it will be heartening to know if the message will resonate strongly and if the film will be celebrated as wildly as the star’s other releases.
But a small problem compared to the original and the remake is, the character played by Amitabh Bachchan is vulnerable and even in one point the girls to don't trust him that he might lose the case. Here, despite the same situation audience will be like chill, you don't need to worry, our Thala will take care of it. However, the limitations can be ignored due to Vinoth's gripping screenplay.
Shraddha Srinath scores high with her realistic portrayal of the helpless yet brave Meera Krishnan. Be it the molestation scene or the scene where she breaks down after the judgment is passed, she aces her role.
However, newcomer Abirami Venkatachalam's performance is the weakest among the three girls'. Her lack of experience is visible on the screen in the scenes where she breaks down. Andrea Tariang, who was also part of the original, is a perfect choice for the film.
What makes Nerkonda Parvai and Pink a relevant story is its core. The film not just addresses women safety and consent. It also throws light on patriarchy, verbal abuse, star worship, trolling, entitled behavior and pre-conceived notions about modern and independent women.
Nerkonda Parvai is not as perfect as Pink. It has its own downfalls in the one or two dialogues that boost Ajith's image. However, the major flaw is how Vinoth deals with bipolar disorder. It looks as though Ajith is possessed by a ghost when his fierce side takes over.
Vidya Balan, in her cameo role, is delightful to watch on screen and her episode has the potential to be converted into a full-fledged separate web series or a short film. The music by Yuvan Shankar Raja and cinematography by Nirav Shah all aid in making the film perfect.
Vinoth's hard-hitting dialogues are the strength of Nerkonda Parvai. It is nice to see how he alters the words or the sequences to suit Tamil sensibilities. Overall, Nerkonda Paarvai is a revelation for those who haven't watched Pink.
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