The movie opens with ‘Esther’ (Nandita Das) arrested after the skeletal remains of her husband are found. She admits to killing her husband ‘Arulappasamy’ (Vishnu). The police demands to know how she killed Arul 25 years ago without leaving a trace. Esther begins to tell her tale.
Cut to flashback. The ‘young Esther’ (Sunaina), is an orphan brought up by the local church. Esther, who works at the church, incidentally meets Arulappasamy, who is a habitual drinker.
His parents ‘Lurthusamy’ (Ramu of poo fame) and ‘Mary’ (Saranya), who are very fond of their son, admit him in a rehabilitation center. But he escapes from there and starts drinking again.
He is disliked by the people in the village as he goes around begging everyone for money to drink. He becomes the curse of the area.
Turning point in his life comes in the form of Esther. He is impressed by her affection and is attracted towards her. Her proximity changes him. He rejoins the center and undergoes treatment. He comes back as a new man and starts life afresh.
Now he wants to marry Esther, but his economic conditions put a hold on it. He wants to do his father’s job but the fisher folk don’t allow him to go to the see as his past is unknown.
It is revealed that he was not born to Lurthu and Mary. He was found from the middle of the sea, where his father was shot dead while travelling on a boat.
But Lurthu and Mary are determined to support him at any cost. Arul gets support from other quarters too. He works hard and becomes economically well off. He marries Esther and leads a happy life.
But fate has other plans.
Vishnu, Sunaina, Nandita Das, Saranya
Seenu Ramasamy, who proved his mettle with Thenmerkku Paruvakattru, has followed it up with another meaningful venture. He tells an emotional tale in the backdrop of fisher folk’s livelihood. He has also dealt with the politics of fishing.
The movie’s story has nothing new to offer. The script too travels in a predictable path. But the portrayal of fisher folk’s lives is outstanding. He also speaks boldly about the apathy of Indian government towards the killings of Tamil Nadu fisher men by Sri Lankan Army.
Though the story is old, Seenu’s treatment makes it watchable. The movie scores with lot of emotional moments. Many scenes touch the hearts of the viewers. The sorrows of the family, the recovery of the young man, the love and the family life of youngsters have been well narrated. The one sided love by a girl is touching and so is the scene when the father gifts a big fish to the doctor working in the rehabilitation center.
The movie highlights the plight of fishermen and the risks they face while they go to sea. The movie does this without preaching anything. Even the dialogues on the politics of death are presented along with the storyline. The romance between Arul and Esther is well depicted.
The movie could have been far better if the director had increased the pace in the second half. The predictability of the script too mars the overall impact.
Vishnu lives the character. He is quite impressive as an addict and later a lover and a fighter. He hasn’t gone overboard and has delivered a realistic performance.
Sunaina with her simple looks is a delight to watch. She carries her role with ease.
Saranya and Ram add much value to the fare with their powerful acting.
Nandhita Das in a small role leaves an unforgettable mark.
Black Pandi and Thambi Ramaiya make us laugh in the otherwise serious film.
Jayamohan and Seenu Ramasamy have penned the dialogues. The conversations are close to reality. They are sharp in some places and emotionally loaded in some other.
Rahnandan’s music adds value to the movie. His back ground score is quite impressive. Balasubramaniem’s camera work is marvelous.
Watch the movie for:
- Good music
- Sending out a courageous message
- Touching moments
Skip the movie for:
- Predictable story
Neerparavai is one of the rare films that have a message interwoven in a well narrated story.