March 04, 2012 Y. Sunita Chowdary
Watching Malligadu (Paruthiveeran) is like having a fabulous and an elaborate meal. Never has been such a disturbing subject made into a gripping and an enjoyable watch. The film has the director's signature all over it with it's inherent sincerity, fabulous script and impressive performances.
Sad that the film has been dubbed and released so late; It gives us a glimpse of the intensity of the caste factor that is deeply embedded in rural India. Ameer builds a simple yet a detailed love story amidst this caste tensions and finishes it off with a heavy and brutal climax.
This is Karthi's debut movie and he is absolutely brilliant, Priyamani's work is haunting and is ample testimony to what a good auteur can draw out of an actor, little wonder she was honoured with a National Award. Karthi plays a ruffian who is fed up with petty crimes and his only dream is to go to the Madras Central Jail.
"No matter what our crime is our photos are being published in some corner, we must do a big crime and go to Madras Central Jail and worthy enough to give television interviews," he tells his uncle who rears him after his parents are killed by the heroine's family. Karthi and Priyamani play cousins, while the former is indifferent to her, the latter loves him unconditionally.
When Karthi begins to reciprocate, the girl's father has resolved to finish him off and the couple are at large. It has the most gory and brutal gang rape witnessed in South Indian cinema. It also has a lengthy but a beautiful intro song that encapsulates the mood of the village; the visuals are top notch and what makes a definite impression is the art work, the realistic interiors of the rural household.
Priyamani plays a fiery and spirited girl, there is a song that goes to describe her feelings, "An idle girl has many husbands, only marriage can control the music." Watch out for the scene in which she is assaulted by her father and she stuffs herself with food fighting back her tears and says, "Serve me more, my body needs more strength to take these beatings."
The comedy by Ganja Karuppu is subtle, every supporting actor has been equally spontaneous and authentic. Don't miss Karthi posing for the shutterbugs, twirling his moustache at the jail premises or Priyamani's bold confrontation with her parents. The childhood episode that Priyamani recollects is interesting as well. A must watch this!