Nerkonda Paarvai review: Fighting patriarchy head-on

If the film has to be described in two words, it would be, women-power and fire


"Nimirntha nannadai, nerkonda paarvaiyum, nilathil yaarkum anchathaa nerigallum…” the powerful lines of poet Subramanya Bharathi comes to your mind in every single frame of Ajith-starrer Nerkonda Paarvai. A remake of Hindi film Pink starring Amitabh Bachchan and Tapsee Pannu, Nerkonda Paarvai visualises Bharathi’s words of pudumai pennu, that is, modern woman.

If the film has to be described in two words, it would be, women-power and fire. "When a girl says no it's a no". When Ajith, as advocate Bharath Subramaniam, says this in the courtroom, you get the message loud and clear. It is a message that the society finds it difficult to digest: “You cannot touch a woman without her consent.”

A legal drama, Nerkonda Paarvai begins with three young women coming out from a hall, after a music show. As they come out, a man is heard calling “Meera”. Soon, three young men Adhik, Venky and Vishwa (Arjun, Aswin and Adhik)—one of whom is bleeding profusely from his head—rush into a car and the three women in another car. The women clearly look upset. Later, it is revealed that Shraddha Srinath as Meera Krishnan, her friends Famitha Banu (Abhirami Venkatachalam) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) go to a resort on the invite of the three men for dinner and a couple of drinks. Adhik (played by Arjun), one of the affluent men, tries to molest Meera. She attacks him with a bottle and the girls flee from the spot.

The rest of the film unfolds in the police station and the courtroom as the three girls face harassment and character assassination. The lawyer, Subramaniam, who suffers from depression after the death of his wife (Vidya Balan), appears in the court for the girls while popular Tamil TV star Rangaraj Pandey appears for the boys.

Nerkonda Paarvai, directed by Vinoth, stays true to the original script of Pink. There are additions like two songs and also some stunt scenes for the sake of Ajith fans. Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music stands out, as Ajith fights his enemies at the park.

Nerkonda Paarvai is a film to be celebrated by every modern woman who wants to enjoy her rightful place in the society. The dialogues in the courtroom might not appeal to all the men but will move the women in the audience, as they would have faced similar humiliation and harassment in their lives, too.

Shraddha impresses with her performance, especially when she tries to explain that she said “no”. Abhirami is at her best when she shouts and cries in the courtroom.

The script is the star, as Ajith has rightfully shunned his superstar avatar and shouldered the film with ease. There is no mass entry scene and he lets his acting do the talking.

Film: Nerkonda Paarvai

Director: H. Vinoth

Cast: Ajith, Shraddha Srinath, Abirami Venkatachalam and Andrea Tairang

Rating: 4/5