Peranbu movie review: Mammootty, Sadhana starrer is a devastatingly beautiful drama about father-daughter bonding
Peranbu, starring Mammootty, Sadhana and Anjali in prominent roles and directed by Ram, is an intense emotional drama about the relationship between a father and a daughter. Rating: 4.5/5Updated: Feb 01, 2019 10:17 IST
Cast: Mammootty, Sadhana, Anjali and Anjali Ameer
Tamil cinema has had its share of father-daughter based films with Ajith’s Viswasam being the latest offering. However, it’s going to be extremely difficult to find a film as affecting as well disturbing in this space as Mammootty starrer Peranbu, and all credit goes to its director Ram for taking a road less travelled and giving us a film for years to remember and celebrate. In what can be described as a departure from his style of filmmaking, Peranbu is Ram’s quietest and most meditative and most rewarding film in years and it is going to be really tough to replace it.
Peranbu is narrated in chapters and each one helps us understand the father-daughter relationship better. If you walk in, hoping to be bowled over by a beautiful story of bonding between a father and his daughter, Peranbu isn’t the film you’re looking for. The film takes a deep dive into the psyche of a helpless father who has just taken custody of his teenage daughter who has cerebral palsy, and how both of them come to terms with life and accept each other. This is both a coming-of-age drama and a hard-hitting tale of survival in a world where everyone’s quick to judge.
The film takes its time to warm up to the audience. The narrative is quite slow and, at times, really does test one’s patience, but once sucked into the world of Amudhavan (Mammootty) and his daughter Paapa (Sadhana), the time invested is worthwhile. Among various others things it chooses to address through its narrative, the film focuses a lot on the father’s helplessness in understanding and dealing with his daughter’s sexuality. It also reminds us the importance of a mother in raising a child, especially if it is a girl. The film also talks a lot about upbringing and how it could be a life-changing experience for any parent. In case of Amudhavan, he rediscovers himself while trying to raise his daughter all alone.
The entire first half is set in the middle of nowhere, and amid nature. Not many Indian films or filmmakers have handled the topic of sexuality as sensitively as Ram, and he treats it with respect. The film unabashedly talks about a young girl’s sexuality and makes us realise there’s nothing wrong in discussing it as it is quite natural. It’s both shocking and extremely disturbing.
Mammootty, in his most nuanced and matured performances in recent times, plays Amudhavan and we see him play a character that most stars of his stature would refrain from accepting. Sadhana, who plays the daughter with cerebral palsy, is a revelation on screen and it’s extremely difficult to imagine anyone else in her shoes. She breathes life into a character that not many actresses can portray on screen as convincingly as her. Anjali makes an impact in a brief role and she proves once again why she’s one of the most underrated actors of our times.
Peranbu features a transwoman (Anjali Ameer) in a pivotal role. It’s heartening to see that the film doesn’t make a mockery of her character.
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