Ram has always been that director who opted for sensitive subjects. He has always tried to criticize the societal concepts of judgemental behavior in his films. What moved me in his latest film Peranbu is the fact that he managed to dive into a great depth with the subject. And with a normal and flawed character at the center of it, there are multiple layers of reading one can slice from the story.
Amudhavan, an ex NRI and his physically challenged daughter Paapa are our main characters. I won’t indulge too much into the story as they refrained from that in the promos. The emotional and practical difficulties of raising such a child and how that tough process helps Amudhavan in becoming a nonjudgemental person is what Peranbu showing us.
A man with a physically challenged child gradually evolving into a better human being with a broader mindset is your typical feel-good stuff. Ram definitely knows that side and decides to place characters that are desperate, real and flawed. He doesn’t bitch about the women entirely. The hero sort of accepts his flaw in the first instance and in the second instance he is a much more understanding person. And the third one is the life changer. The most important woman here is Paapa. And the decision to explore very sensitive issues like the sexuality of that character who is in that tender age not just gives the movie a startling freshness, but also makes the conflict here a very disturbing one.
The Mammootty of Peranbu is pretty much asking his Malayalam filmmakers why they are not giving him anything that he might enjoy playing on the screen. Amudhavan is the representative of the most common man you can see who just can’t accept some of the basic human needs. And Mammootty with that toned down performance becomes that character with ease and that scene towards the end where Amudhavan gets slapped for trying to do the most unthinkable a father can do was heart-wrenching. Saadhana who was there in Thanga Meengal also is outstanding as Paapa and the consistency with which she portrays the character is fantastic. Anjali as the conflicted and guilty Viji was good. Anjali Ameer also added life to the character of Meera.
Director Ram revealed that it was a question by a parent of a spastic child about why nature is like this made him attend this subject. And the chapter-like rendition of the movie which explores the nature’s intervening in Paapa’s and Amudhavan’s life was so well rendered, especially towards the end. Ram ends most of the chapters with a really catchy summarized dialogue that encapsulates the emotion perfectly. The characters are all vulnerable human beings who aren’t judged by the film. What was most heartening to me was the end of the film where you see an on-screen pairing that has a revolutionary impact both on screen and offscreen and probably an actor of Mammootty’s stature doing that is something that should be lauded. The frames capture the alluring beauty of nature in the first half and in the second half it captures the greyness in the urban texture. Yuvan’s simplistic melodies go in sync with the mood of the movie.
Peranbu is a moving portrayal of a father-daughter relationship that also asks us to count our blessings and be least judgemental. At one point Amudhavan refrains himself from asking why one individual cheated on him and his reason was that if that person, even after having such a normal child, was forced to do such a disheartening thing, the reason must be something severe than his problems. The movie is as beautiful as this approach of the central character.
Peranbu is a moving portrayal of a father-daughter relationship that also asks us to count our blessings and be least judgemental.