‘Paari’ traces the happenings in the life of a youth who goes to extreme lengths to pursue his love and cherish it. There is the religious factor and the caste divide to add to the drama. But it’s to the credit of the director that he doesn’t make heavy weather of it. The hurdle is more owing to the hurt ego of the youth’s father, a man who wielded immense clout in the small town the story is set in. The story is simple with a straight narrative. The little touches debutant director Rajini (apprenticed with John Mahendran) gives to his narration lends an element of charm and freshness. It’s a cast of freshers and the director has managed to extract a fairly decent performance from them.
Rahul plays Paari rough and hot headed, neglected by his father and finding love in Ebsi (Teena)- a Christian and a new-entrant in his school. The debutant is apt for the role and performs with confidence. Bina fits in perfectly as Ebsi - soft and mild mannered. The two share a pleasant screen chemistry, and the scenes of their growing fondness have a smooth flow throughout the movie. Paari joins the same college just to be around Ebsi. His drinking sessions with his friends and disinterest for studies irks Ebsi. But the two patch up after every fight. There are some engaging moments like the scene where Paari dresses as Santa Claus and sneaks into the van with her and the Christian group to church. The dialogues are crisp and the director has covered the location well to create a natural ambience.
But there are quite a few scenes that seem forced or have been extended unnecessarily. Like the one where Paari and friends bash up Ebsi’s perverted neighbour who made sexually suggestive gestures to her. Also, the shocking encounter Paari has with his friend’s missing brother seems a distraction. The ending is ambiguous. If the grieving Paari’s final move was to inflict pain on himself to forget his loss, he could have resorted to various other ways, than the one he eventually opts for. But probably, the director intended to create a shock value here. The film boasts of no big names in its cast or crew, most of them being first timers. But it’s a sincere effort from the debutant director to give a slightly different take on what would have otherwise been a routine love story. The film delivers much more than what one expects from a debutant maker and his team.