Sarpatta Parampara Review: A well-crafted sports drama

Sarpatta Parampara

What’s it about?

North Madras, the 1970s. Samara (Arya) idolizes boxing guru Ranga (Pasupathy) since childhood. As boxing and gang fights led to his father’s death, Samara’s mother Bhagyam makes him not go anywhere near to the local boxing matches. 

Sarpatta clan, which has a long history of producing great boxers, is on the verge of losing prominence. No boxer from Sarpatta is a match to the brilliance of Idiyappa’s star boxer Vettappuli (John Kokken).  

Ranga bets high on Ramudu to take on Vettappuli, but Ramudu could not even win a match with rookie Samara. Seeing the potential in Samara, Ranga then decides to train him for the fight with Vettappuli. But before joining the match with Vettappuli, Samara has to beat down another star boxer Dancing Rose, and he also needs to fight with his domestic problems.

Analysis

Director Pa Ranjith’s previous film, Kaala starring Rajinikanth was a box-office dud. With ‘Sarpatta Parampara’ (the Telugu dubbed version of ‘Sarpatta Parambarai, streaming on Amazon Prime Video), he is back on track. 

‘Sarpatta Parampara’ hits all the right punches for a boxing drama – the setting, the performances, the drama. It is essentially a sports drama. And sports dramas can’t escape the clichés of the genre. Despite following the same pattern, the film also rises above them. Director Pa Ranjith has cleverly blended socio-political incidents of the 1970s, which makes it an engaging watch.

The culture of clans for boxing sport is something that I have never heard of. More than the story, it is the milieu, and the culture draws us into it. Ranjith crafts the film with the right punches, even though inconsistently.

If we excuse the later portions, which are regular tropes of Tamil movies, ‘Sarpatta Parampara’ engages us. It packs a punch in the end. 

Arya delivers a superb performance as Samara, an underdog boxer. He is terrific in all the scenes. Pasupathy as his guru also gives another convincing performance. He lets his eyes speak. The actors who played as the boxers Vettappuli and Dancing Rose are equally good. Among the women characters, both Dushara Vijayan and Anupama Kumar as Arya’s wife and mother respectively steal the show.

The film has superb production design and camerawork. The background music is apt.

As writer and director, Pa Ranjith bounces back with this film. Despite lengthy runtime and some less convincing portions in the second half, Ranjith delivers it well. 

Bottom line: ‘Sarpatta Parampara’ is an appealing boxing drama, laced with fine performances.

By: Jalapathy Gudelli

Movie: Sarpatta Parampara (Telugu Dub)
Cast: Arya, Pasupathy, Dushara Vijayan, Anupama Kumar, Jonh Vijay
Written and directed by: Pa Ranjith
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
Release Date: June 22, 2021

 

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