“SARPATTA” knocks down “TOOFAN” in first round itself : A Comparative Review on two Boxing Sports Films

The recent Bollywood film “Toofan” made by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra starring Farhan Akhtar and Tamil language film, ” Sarpatta Parambarai” directed by PA Ranjith starring Arya has a common theme of Boxing as the backbone to tell a story of each kind. But the time period depicting in both films are different. While “Toofan” is set in contemporary India, “Sarpatta” reels through the emergency periods India faced.

What “Toofan” stands for is a pro system while what the Tamil film “Sarpatta” stands for is identity and self-respect even at the cost of the so-called dissent. Politics has to be the turner to compare both films. The varying difference in representing the sport that is boxing by the Hindi film-maker and the Tamil filmmaker demands a comparative analysis since the times we live is not so comfortable as presented by the mainstream media and social media propagandists.

Set in the emergency period, ironically resembling the present Indian scenario of a highly centralized political atmosphere, “Sarpatta” raises many questions. While the “Toofan” hero is motivated by a simple lady love, the “Sarpatta” hero is motivated by self-respect and pride. While the Farhan Akhtar film falls flat in usual melodrama and known narratives, PA Ranjith and Arya bring vibrancy and message those matters to the core through the narrative.

Both films take the medium of boxing sport and human relationships. But both differ in extremes. In ‘Toofan’ male-female relationships are of the age-old conformist approach. PA Ranjith through ‘Sarpatta’ brings in a male-female equation, that of equality in expressions and attitudes, which is basically a subaltern way of looking at life. “Toofan” is predictable while “Sarpatta” follows a not so used to narrative and shows uncomfortable reality. And the beauty of PA Ranjith’s filmmaking craft is that it is subtly conveying a thing or more about contemporary socio-political scenarios prevailing in the nation even as it is set in emergency periods.

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