Inspired from a book titled Red Tea, it tells the story of enslaved plantation workers who experience atrocities in pre-Independence India.
After extraordinary films like Sethu, Pithamagan I was disappointed by Naan kadavul and Avan Evan and thought Bala has lost it and would not be seeing another creation from him. When Paradesi was announced I was happy but not convinced by the initial trailers but the images were riveting and pulled me to see this film. And was it worth it, yes it was. This is a comeback film for Director Bala.
Bala has transformed the actors in the film into real life characters. This film has not one or two but as many as hundred plus actors who have shined on screen. A lot of detailing has gone into the recreation of pre-independent era, starting from costumes to the similar look of over 200 junior artists, Hats off to Director Bala. He not only made characters out of actors but even pulled out a masterpiece from G.V.Prakash .His background score and songs were truly amazing. Special credit should also be given to the cinematographer Chezhiyan who has managed to capture all the essential elements for the film.After being responsible for career-defining roles for actors like Vikram, Suriya, Vishal and Arya . Bala has also transformed Atharvaa from a boy next door to a mainstream actor who can perform. Both the female leads played by Vedhika and Dhanshika have performed well in the film.
The first half of the film has lifelike characters that draw you into their lives with their realistic performances making it fast and crisp while the second half of the film exposes the pain, anguish and suffering over and over and makes it tough to sit through . Although there was some (cheap) relief in the second half given to the audience by the dance master Shivshankar ,.But an edit of the film to a 90 to 100 minutes would make it watchable without pain.
I give it 8/10