Director Mari Selvaraj's critically acclaimed film Pariyerum Perumal has picked up more accolades, this time in France. The 2018 film, produced by Kaala director Pa Ranjith, has won the Independent Film Critic Award, Jury Award and Audience Award at the Toulouse Indian Film Fest.
Pariyerum Perumal, starring Kathir and Anandhi in the lead, was about how Pariyan, a young man from the Dalit community, faces relentless discrimination from the people around him, including at the law college where he studies. When he falls in love with a classmate from the upper caste, he is humiliated and assaulted for it. The young man's dog, Karuppi, becomes a metaphor for how caste operates in society.
While the film received rave reviews, it was also criticised by a section of the Dalit community for depicting their plight without providing an adequate fight back. It was seen as being more Gandhian than Ambedkarite in approach.
The film was initially released only in a few screens in Tamil Nadu because of the subject and also because it clashed with director Mani Ratnam's Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, a multi-starrer. It was reported that there was opposition to release the film especially in south Tamil Nadu. However, good reviews and word of mouth helped it gain more theatres and it eventually released in other states of the country too.
Pariyerum Perumal was the first feature film that Pa Ranjith produced under his banner Neelam Productions. Mari Selvaraj, a writer, made his debut as director with the film. Santhosh Narayanan was the music composer. The film also had Yogi Babu playing Pariyan's friend.
Pariyan fetches another feather to his award capâ€” Pariyerum Perumal (@pariyankaruppi) April 15, 2019
This time from France@pariyankaruppi Bags 3 awards at the prestigious Toulouse Indian Film Festival, France
Independent Film Critic Award
Audience Award@beemji @mari_selvaraj @officialneelam @Music_Santhosh @pro_guna pic.twitter.com/EsyeNRU4Ej