Pa Ranjith On Creating Worlds Between Fiction And Non-Fiction
Pa Ranjith, who is well known for smashing movie stereotypes, in an industry where monotony has become the norm, does it again.
His latest movie, Sarpatta Parambarai, released and available on Amazon Prime Video since July is no exception. The film tells the story of a socially backward community, with a love of boxing. It takes a look at the sport like no other movie has.
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When Indian express asked him how much of the movie takes from the truth, he had this answer; “I’m not a historian or researcher, neither am I an academic nor are my movies documentaries. I experiment and create between the worlds of fiction and non-fiction. I have certain responsibilities as an artist, and my focus lies there. I ensure that I’m not distorting the facts when I use my creative freedom.”
The movie was a challenge to shoot. Running over the budget, having to shoot crowds in the middle of a pandemic, often having to deal with infections and replacements.
When asked in the same interview if he thinks the film is his best yet, we learn although all his works are his favourites, he is never fully happy with what he makes.
Pa Ranjith built a period drama set in the 1960s and ‘70s showing a bloody battle between two clans from north Madras, where boxing was an extremely popular sport among the working class and marginalised communities.
The protagonist is a Dalit working, a porter in a factory. He steers clear of boxing, reluctantly so, due to his mother’s wishes. She was certain his father’s boxing career had indirectly led to his death.
But Kabilan, the protagonist, could not help practising and watching all the matches secretly, as he could not help his admiration for Sarpatta coach Rangan, also a local political leader. Circumstances and Rangan lead to Kabilan getting the opportunity to get into the ring to avenge a string of defeats at the hands of a rival boxing team.
A movie that brings to the face the realities of the class system that prevails in the nation still, along with the class system.