Bala win Paradesi

Bala win Paradesi

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It was an era where people lived in small villages and their entertainment was limited to the simple relief and recreation after a hard-day’s toil. There was no communication, except in the form of a messenger alerting the rural folk to his announcements through drum-beats. The people were by and large content with what little they had, so long as their basic needs were met. It was when they were uncertain about this minimum that people became PARADESI or SLAVES.


The people in Salur village in the Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu were happy until the famine stared them in the face. With the false hope of getting a rosy life by an outsider, who is an agent working for tea plantation run by Britisher, the people starting their trivial journey by foot only to become slaves. The rest of the story in tea plantation everyone will have to watch with heavy heart.


The movie Paradesi exemplifies why Bala is special to us and why we may be justified in feeling proud as Tamilians. The in-depth study of that period (1939) in all aspects i.e. casting, dialect, setting, costume and location by the whole team of Paradesi is praiseworthy. The dialogue “solaiya varum” (will get a lump sum) will resonate among many villagers even today.


Atharva Murali as Raasa, Vedhika as Angamma, Dhansika as Maragadam and others lived as characters through the eyes of Bala. Special mention must be made of the excellent selection of an old lady as Atharva’s mother – an extremely natural portrayal.


After he moved on from his traditional path in Avan Ivan, director Bala is back with a bang. Paradesi will be Bala’s best as the climax is riveting, quite unlike his previous movies. In Sethu, Nanda, Pithamagan and Naan Kadavul director Bala had to justify the character by bringing out a solution. But Paradesi stands out simply because as it sticks on to the inevitable.


The climax in an epic movie Karnan ended with Ullathil Nalla Ullam song which conveyed the characteristics of Karnan. But in Paradesi the lyrics in the climax song tells you what the fate of the character would be in the future.


From the title to the end, G.V. Prakash’s melodramatic background music, even in lighter scenes, indirectly captures what the characters in the movie would experience.


Kudos to Bala for bringing out a bitter truth of how people are manipulated in the name of their culture and religion.


Advance wishes for Bala and his team as another National Award is on the cards.

Lakshmi Narayanan

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