Baaram (2018), this film had won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil in 2019 and had its theatrical release only today-that too a limited release in a few theatres. In the night show at Devi Kala today, there were six other people in the audience apart from our group of six.
Baaram (பாரம்) is sure to move even the hearts of the coldest, yet it has been filmed in a subtle and simple fashion by Director Priya Krishnaswamy – a big kudos to her. The story is about the village practice of Thalaikoothal, still in vogue in rare pockets of rural Tamil Nadu. It is about senicide or the involuntary killing of the elderly and the sick.
The story of the film is about Karuppasamy, a 65-year-old man, able and fit working as a security guard in a private apartment in a town. His son and daughter-in-law don’t have any affection towards him, and, Karuppu is staying with his 3 nephews (his sister’s sons), they love him and take good care of him. One day, in an accident, Karuppu’s hip bone is broken and he is unable to move – instead of attending to him immediately he gets shuttled between places. After that, his son against all advice refuses to get him operated. Suddenly, one-day Karuppu is dead and one of his nephews suspects something.
I was really moved in the first 30 minutes of the film when we can literally feel the pain and suffering of Karuppu, excellent acting by R. Raju as Karuppu. SuPa Muthukumar who comes as Senthil, the cold-hearted son of Karuppu has brought to life the character, throughout the film I was hating him, such was his performance.
Films like these are rare in Tamil cinema, cherish it when they come.