Boxing culture and the forgotten heroes of real-life ‘Sarpatta Parambarai’

Pa Ranjith’s Sarpatta Parambarai, a period film set in the 1970s, centres around the clash between two boxing clans. But there is more to it | Image - Immayabharathi K

Everybody loves the underdog. From real-life Muhammad Ali to reel-life Rocky Balboa, the triumph of the underdog, as they say, is an ancient story that never fails to delight.

Pa Ranjith’s Sarpatta Parambarai sets out to do the same. It does that and a bit more—by rising to the occasion at a time when Tamil cinema seems to have fallen on bad times in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The period film set in the 1970s essentially centres around the clash between two boxing clans—Sarpatta Parambarai and Idiyappa Naicker Parambarai. But there is more to the warring clans—a boxing star born out of the most unexpected of places.

As an undercurrent, it also touches upon the caste conflicts and discrimination besides the politics of the time among the DMK, AIADMK and the Congress during the Emergency.

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