Peranbu Review: A soul-stirring drama that will shake you
First things first. Let me break it to you. Watching Peranbu will shake you, disturb you and leave you with a lump in the throat. Once you’ve come in terms with it, you will begin to realize that the film is a meditative and humbling experience about companionship, grief, rejection and accepting the harsh reality of life.
Directed by Ram, the story of the film begins when Amudhavan (Mammootty) decides to live with his specially-abled spastic child Paapa (Sadhana) in a secluded area in a hill station after society shuns her. Hard to accept that her mother has abandoned her, Paapa doesn’t accept her father’s role in her life easily. After numerous attempts, Paapa and Amudhavan’s bond develops, however, when they are forced to fled from the hills, new problems await them. As Paapa grows older each day, Amudhavan finds it tough to accept that she has individual needs.
The idea of portraying the relationship between a parent and his child is one thing, and it’s a lot different when the child is specially-abled. Parents are required to adhere to their needs while keeping in mind that they have their own needs. Peranbu is a story that deals with this theme. The idea may sound hard to execute, but director Ram’s skilfully conveys this while backing it up with an engaging screenplay. The fact that Amudhavan becomes so committed to taking care of Paapa, and yet tries to fulfill her desires speaks a lot about the sensitivity of the story. The fact that the two yearn for love and companionship in their respective lives, is a powerful way to put across their likes. This theme would’ve been preachy, but director Ram conveys the message subtly.
The pace of the film is deliberately slow, as the film carries a stamp that says that it needs to be felt to be understood. Its a subject so heavy, that will leave you rattled. Take for instance the scene where Amudhavan tells Paapa that he will change her sanitary pad during her period, but when she refuses, he is puzzled. After a visit to the doctor, she tells him that his daughter is growing up, and wants to do these things on her own. The scene is hard to watch, but it’s a scene that’s telling you about the transformation of the character – while the father feels that it’s ok if his child depends on him, the daughter wants to be independent. There is also a heavy load of sadness in the film, which is sure to leave you with a heavy heart.
The film’s dialogues truly stand out, and so does the humor in the film. The scenes featuring Viji, when Mammootty when they invite a guest over, are simply hilarious, and brighten up a heavy film!
The film deserves to be praised for portraying the needs of a growing teenager – her desire to look her best, her love for actors and the realization that he can fall in love. Scenes, where she evolves into this young girl, aren’t swift, but are well-placed and gradually build up in the film. Although it’s morally questionable as to why Amudhavan didn’t approach a psychiatrist, to work a way around his daughter’s new-found antics, it still seems genuine. Another downside to the film, is that it never answers what he began searching for. Do Paapa’s wishes vanish once she attains stability in her personal life? or does the family help fulfill them? The climax seemed way too coincidental that way.
As we watch the film, we feel a great level of sympathy and care Mammootty’s character Amudhavan. The veteran actor, conveys his emotions so effortlessly, his sincerity in the role is unquestionable. His nuanced performance as the doting father is exceptional. Sadhana’s performance as the spastic child affects you, annoys you and mainly moves you. She is convincing in her role. Anjali Ameer’s character makes you root for her, while Anjali’s character makes you feel partially happy – that’s what this film does. It makes you root for the people in it, and you ultimately want Amudhavan and Paapa to be happy.
The film’s exceptional cinematography by Theni Easwar, perfect and balanced musical score by Yuvan Shankar Raja take you into the world of the amazing father and his daughter.
At the end of the film, Mammootty came up on stage and told the press gathered ”This is a different film. Once you watch it you will realize how blessed all of us are in comparison to the story in the film.” It’s true, we are blessed in remarkable ways, and we may have our bad days, but nothing compares it to those who fight battles and overcome problems in life.