PARADESI – What is Reality?

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Life is cruel, unfair, unjust. For some it bludgeons repeatedly till they give up, for some it keeps giving everything they want and more. Call it Karma, call it the residues of previous birth, we have seen it again time and again.
This brings me to the question, what is this so called “Real Life Cinema”?
Is it one where protagonist suffers for 90% of the film, suddenly in the climax he beats up few bad guys, ans the film ends with hero overcoming his demons and emerge victorious?
No. In most real lives, bad begets worse, worse begets worst.
Bala is one kind of a Director when whole world knows, he will make us cry, he is one guy who will make us strangled in grief, but yet he has that irresistible charm which makes us want to endure that sadistic pleasure.
When I saw the trailer, the sepia tone, the autistic hero I dreaded for the worst.
Yet when I came out of the movie hall yesterday I felt a sense of contentment. YES BALA IS BACK!
From the first frame when he introduces us the village in a single long shot, to the way he showed how weddings happened those days, to the way he made the Villagers Travel to Tea Estate so impactful, to the plights of slaves in tea estate and finally the sarcastic way he depicted how Christianity was “spread” those days.
We feel like we are not seeing a film. We were living the pre Independence era.
Adapting a book can be such a pain. To bring the magic of words into a narrow celluloid, but boy does he get it right.
The plights of tea estate workers is a disgusting reality something which might be happening even now, something we could have done without knowing.
The casting is another excellence, Atharva as “Ottu-Peruki” is so good it’s time we name him “Paradesi” Atharva (like Jeyam Ravi), both female protagonists are apt, and every tea estate worker and villager are more of a real life character than actor.
Finally I get to see G.V.Prakash create a mature album and BGM which at times (dare I say) reminded me of Maestro Ilayaraja sir!
And finally about director, I always felt the movies which Indian Cinema celebrates as “World Movies” are all movies which are with Dark tones bordering on “Never ending tragedy” (Aaranya Kaandam was a welcome exception) but if we have directors like Bala I’m not complaining.
VERDICT: THAT KIND OF A FILM WHICH MAKES US SEE A GLASS OF TEA WITH SO MUCH GUILT & MAKES ME RELIEVED I’M A COFFEE ADDICT.
P.S:
1. After seeing the film I really admire the Christian community. Although this movie ridicules their community more than VISHWAROOPAM did Muslim community(both based on real incidents), there was not a single protest from the community leaders.
2. And by releasing this film post KADAL Bala has really trolled MANI RATHNAM by showing what Christianity really was in India.

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