It is some time since Tamil cinema had an earthy movie that is realistically redolent of the pastoral predicaments and emotions. Ever since Bharathiraja left behind his hey days, such movies were replaced by either kitschy or campy kind of village recreation on screen.
But Ameer has brought alive rustic simplicity and complexity on our screens. You come out of Paruthi Veeran smelling of baked earth with an echo of pastoral patois.
Giving life to this charmingly boisterous village are the spirited team of Karthi, Priya Mani and company. Karthi, as his brother Suriya said not long ago, has proved his acting credentials right at the start of his career while he (Suriya) took a few films to really warm up earnestly.
Karthi's genes are filled with acting and it glows beautifully where he has handled the rather uncouth character of Veeran with finesse. He shows a lot of maturity in understanding the needs (of the script and the character). Priya Mani, in a pared down de-glam look, is another revelation. She is spunky and spirited and makes you wonder why big-time breaks are still eluding her.
Ameer's success is not only on the script, story or casting side. He has managed to wrest compelling performances from all the technical crew members.
The story is a simple one of a village lout coming of age and getting refined through the alchemy of love. The trick and the success of the story lies in the small details that are rich and believable.
Veeran (Karthi) and his uncle Chevvazhai are almost a law unto themselves and have no boundaries in the world. They don't baulk at anything and crime is not new to them. But Muthazhagu (Priya Mani) covets for Veeran as they had known each other since they were toddlers.
Firstly, Veeran does not have the refinement to understand and appreciate the feelings of Muthazhagu. On the other hand, as it happens in such cases, Muthazhagu's father (Ponvannan) is opposed to the love on grounds of caste and an earlier problem.
Despite her father's forcefulness, Muthazhagu tries to commit suicide as she does not want to marry anyone else. Still, Veeran does not reciprocate her sentiments. It takes one particular incident to make Veeran to understand the depth of Muthazhagu's mind.
From then on he is a changed man and begins to reciprocate her ideas and ideals. But still, her father is a stumbling block.
It is a typical village subject that is complex in its simplicity, as it were. Ameer, being from the same part where the film has been shot, has not allowed anything to cloud his vision. Karthi doesn't look like a debutant. He shows the confidence and casualness of a seasoned artiste. It is not the easiest of roles for him, especially when one considers that he has got such a heavy role to perform in his debut. But he sees it through with panache and poise. Ditto in the case of Priya Mani. Her delineation of Muthazhagu character is utterly cool and convincing. Her histrionics, body language, dialogue delivery and the can't-care-any-less attitude when it comes to opposition for her love are all portrayed brilliantly by Priya. Ponvannan and Saravanan are all very good and give commendable performances.
Kanja Karuppu, the Ameer find, is brilliant yet again. He evokes laughter even when he appears during serious scenes. His dialogue delivery is just about perfect.
Casting is a big strength of this film. Not a single character has been wasted, however miniscule the role maybe. Be it Saravanan or Ponanthinni (a close associate of Ponvannan), the inspector or even the hero's mother who appears just in a few frames, they leave an impression, and an indelible one at that. The young age Veeran and Muthazhagu are very casual and authentic.