The latest recruit to the ranks of trail-blazing directors is Gnana Rajasekharan. He attracted attention, first, with his cinematic expose of Tamil poet Subramania Bharati. The foray into a new genre of cinema was acclaimed by one and all.
Rajasekaran’s latest movie on the life and times of the founding father of Dravidian movement, E. V. Ramaswami Naicker, known popularly as Periyar, is a commendable movie, mirroring an era steeped in social maladies. Periyar creates enduring cinematic moments.
STORY LINE: It’s a role of a lifetime for Satya Raj who comes out with a near perfect execution. He brings the poise, gait and body language of the aged Periyar alive on screen.
The film gains momentum only when a physically bruised and mentally hurt Ramasamy leaves home, The director could have made these segments shorter and concentrated on portraying the older Periyar.
Gnanasekharan has been able to frame many a tender moment in his film. He cleverly weaves the intimacy between Rajaji and Periyar despite political antagonism and Mahatma Gandhi’s affection for Periyar has been portrayed with loving care.
The portrayal underlines the hallmark and characteristic of Periyar and creates a refreshing empathy for the downtrodden,.
Jyothirmayi as Nagammai brings in romantic relief and Khushboo as Maniammai is a perfect choice will be remembered for long.
CASTING IS THE STRIKING ASPECT
Special mention about the casting be it S S Stanley’s Annadurai or Arthikumar’s Rajaji.
The deft camera work of Thagar Bachan’s and B. Lenin’s brilliant editing and composer Vidyasagar’s music transport the audience to the times of Periyar. Vairamuthu’s inspirational lyrics heighten the period atmosphere of the movie.
Rajasekharan succeeds in making a film on a towering and iconoclastic personality like Periyar.
Verdict: An absorbing and well-made historical film! Periyar is history on celluloid!