Nerkonda Paarvai movie review: Ajith, Shraddha’s Pink remake the most powerful Tamil film in a long time
Director: H Vinoth
Cast: Ajith Kumar, Shraddha Srinath, Abhirami Venkatachalam, Andrea Tariang, Rangaraj Pandey and Vidya Balan
Nerkonda Paarvai, the Tamil remake of Pink, is the most powerful, socially relevant film featuring a star of Ajith Kumar’s stature to come out of Tamil cinema in a long time. While films like Visaaranai, Aramm and Aruvi may have made a very strong impact with their content, it’s definitely a big deal when a star like Ajith headlines a film like Nerkonda Paarvai, which is a powerful reflection of the archaic mindset of our patriarchal society and how it views independent women.
Three girls – Meera, Famita and Andrea – are on the run after what was supposed to be a fun night at a music festival turns into a nightmare when one of them (Meera) escapes a molestation attempt by Adhik, son of a 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.
As a remake, Nerkonda Paarvai gets almost everything right and couldn’t have been more hard-hitting. Given Ajith’s stardom, the film could’ve taken a more commercial route to pander to his fan base, but thankfully it doesn’t tamper with the soul of the original. 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 Paarvai 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. No matter what the result, the film is brave and equally laudable of Ajith to back a film like Nerkonda Paarvai, which extracts the best out of its other cast members as well. From a terrific Shraddha Srinath to the calm and helpless Delhi Ganesh; Vinoth has really made a difference with the casting.
The film lets Ajith, the star, to take a backseat and not yearn for the spotlight. As much as one can argue that he essays the same role of Amitabh Bachchan from Pink which the veteran nailed; what’s really important is that Ajith is a bigger star and he’s more relevant. 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.
Shraddha is equally praiseworthy as Ajith for being open to accept the role. If accepting such a role is a challenge, pulling off the character would’ve been even more challenging. Shraddha really makes us buy her helplessness with a matured performance that’s mostly believable and never feels too dramatic. Abhirami and Andrea are equally good in their respective parts.
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