Tamil cinema is undergoing a sea change. But this is not happening overnight. It is taking place slowly, yet steadily. A crop of young filmmakers are breaking stereotypes, rewriting grammars and setting new benchmarks.
Joining the list is Mari Selvaraj, who makes a stunning directorial debut with ‘Pariyerum Perumal’, a film which talks about caste oppression but without getting preachy anywhere.
The protagonist Pariyerum Perumal (Kathir) hails from a village in the southern Tirunelveli district. He belongs to a ‘lower caste’ and enrolls himself in a law college, as he wishes to become an advocate.
Coming from a place where people from the so-called lower caste are dominated by those from the ‘upper caste’, Perumal is ridiculed at the college for his lack of English skills.
At the same time, this helps him strike a friendship with Jothi Mahalakshmi (Anandhi), who is from the higher caste. On coming to know of her friendship with Perumal, her family gets shocked.
Eventually, Jothi Mahalakshmi’s family poses a lot of problems to Perumal. Is he able to fight the mighty men and achieve his dreams and ambitions? ‘Pariyerum Perumal’ has the answer.
Excellent performance by both the lead actors- Kathir and Anandhi. The supporting cast too is too good and the list includies Yogi Babu, Lijeesh and Marimuthu.
While Santhosh Narayanan’s music gives us the rustic and realisitc feel, Sridhar’s visuals takes us straight to the interior parts of Tirunelveli where caste system still rules the roost.
Mari Selvaraj’s writing and narration make all the difference, elevating ‘Pariyerum Perumal’ as one of the best movies in the recent times. Kudos to the director for a striking impression in his debut venture itself.
Rating: 4 out of 5