Set in India during the British rule, the movie narrates the tale of Rasa (Atharvaa) and his fellow villagers, who are tricked into taking up jobs in a tea plantation and pushed into slavery.
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Paradesi Movie review
National award winning director Bala, who is known for his dark and unexplored subjects, is back once again with Paradesi. This time the maverick filmmaker has chosen Atharvaa, Vedhika and Dhansika as his actors. The film, which is inspired from an English novel Red Tea by Paul Harris Daniel, narrates the story of Tea plantation workers in the 30's. Let's take a look at the plot...
The movie is set in the pre-Independence era, and opens to a typically rustic village! Ottuparuki (Atharvaa) is the local messenger, who travels across to different villages, delivering the news! Angamma (Vedhika) is a bubbly village belle, with a soft corner for the lively Ottuparuki! However, the villagers are against Angamma getting involved with him, and warn her against it. Sensing the need to prove himself, Otuparuki, is deep in thought to find the means to make it big in life! It is at this juncture that a rich Zameendar makes an announcement that he would pay large sums of money to people who would come to work in his tea estate. Angamma, sensing that not all is right, objects to Ottuparuki taking up this job! But, he is adamant, and enrolls himself for the job! Ottuparuki and all the others who had signed up for the job, set out to reach the estate! Meanwhile, Angamma reveals that she is pregnant, and her family disowns her, and throw her out of the house! What started out as a journey of dreams, turns out to be a torturous one for Ottuparuki, and after almost 48 days, the group reaches the tea estate! There he meets Marudagam (Dhansika) and also realises that they are nothing short of a slaves in the tea estate. Watch the movie on the big screens to know more!
Atharvaa is brilliant as Ottuparuki... Bala is one director who can make his actors emote so effortlessly, be it Atharvaa, Vedhika or Dhansika. The intensity of the characters are well-adopted by all the actors on screen. Ad man JD Jerry makes his onscreen debut as a cruel Zamindar through this flick and the outcome is brilliant. Lots of efforts seems to have gone into making the sets, costumes of more than 200 junior artists and their makeup. G.V. Prakash's music is soul-stirring while Chezhiyan's cinematography is top notch. The first half of the film is used to introduce and develop the lead characters while the story gets intense in the second half. Editor Kishore Te. could have trimmed the second half a bit more. Next time when we visit any tea estates in the country, we are sure that Bala's Paradesi and the sufferings of hundreds of workers will be the first thing that comes to our mind.
Paradesi is intense, brilliant and hard-hitting!