Navarasa Review : An unusual tale of compassion

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An unusual tale of compassion

•LANGUAGE: TAMIL

SEASON: 1

NUMBER OF EPISODES: 9

 GENRE: DRAMA ANTHOLOGY

Streaming on NETFLIX. 

• REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI.R.VALIYAVEETIL.

 •DEATIL REVIEW:

1: Edhiri (Karuna – Compassion): 

ONE WORD: An unusual tale of compassion. 

The first episode Edhiri directed by Bejoy Nambiar is all about compassion, one of the elements in Navarasa. The most striking thing I found in Edhiri is the performance of the lead actors, everyone was at their best. Revathi, Vijay Sethupathi, and Prakash Raj, everyone was exceptionally brilliant. The emotions such as revenge, compassion, and guilt were portrayed truthfully and how the central characters undertake these emotions is the primary highlight of Edhiri. The interesting fact I liked about this one is that after watching the director and writer will throw some interesting questions to make a final judgment which leaves us to think from different angles and many perspectives. Like is said earlier the performance is the highlight, the director Bejoy Nambiar had amazingly used the talents of Revathy and Vijay Sethupathi. Revathy’s transformation of scene and variation to different emotions was captured accurately as per the plot. Her various facial expressions on the emotions such as guilt, compassion, and regret were like original happening in a real-life, like classic priceless acting. Vijay Sethupathi on the other hand deal with revenge, anger, and guilt, as usual, he delivered with his natural acting skills. Prakash Raj’s screen space was less but the areas in which he appears is a treat to watch, his eyes and those expressions define his skill. The powerful dialogues were also predominantly keen till the end, the conversations of Revathy and Vijay Sethupathi at the climax were mind-blowing filled with the right situational emotions. So overall the plot by Mani Ratnam was cleverly executed by Bijoy Nambiar blended with powerful acting by Revathy and Vijay Sethupathi. 

•RATING: 4/5. 

2: Summer of ’92 (Haasya – Laughter): 

•ONE WORD: A full-filled entertainer. 

The second episode titled Summer of 92 is directed by Priyadarshan. It’s a whole in-out comedy-drama with many entertaining moments. As we all know Priyadarshan is good at making comedy films and here he did a wonderful job. The simple story was directed faultlessly by offering many enjoyable moments. The comedies are the highlight, the situational comedies were contesting according to the screenplay. The various incidents were delicate to watch till the end and all those incidents which connect to the climax were convincingly matching. There are many characters and each character was written out amazingly, as the story is comprised of many events the angles of every character were linked perfectly as per the plot. Like said earlier the comedies are funny and entertaining, Yogi Babu presented the central character accordingly to his distinctive style and the boy who did his childhood character was outstanding. Ramya Nambeeshan as the teacher did a good job and Nedumudi Venu as the principal was also amazing. The supporting character of Manikuttan as the teacher was pleasing to watch. So overall Summer of  92 is entertaining till the end, humor shines all over. 

•Rating: 4/5 

3: Project Agni (Adbhutha – Wonder): 

•ONE WORD:  A FASCINATING FANTASY

The third episode Project Agni is directed by Karthik Naren with the casting of Aravind Swami, Prasanna, Sai Siddharth and Poorna. It’s all about many scientific facts, theories, concepts, and unusual imaginaries. The premise of Project Agni and the way of direction by Karthik Naren was simply brilliant. The way he unfolded the fantasy elements through his unique narration was completely giving an exciting feeling and the theories and ideas he had written out had given a predominant feel of an engaging science fiction thriller. The written characterization for the central character was stylish and the mannerism of a scientist was balanced perfectly. The areas of thrilling backdrop were giving me the core intention to know what will happen next, and how the plot ended was mindblowing. What I liked in the direction is how Karthik Naren had portrayed the subject, within a time of 30 minutes he had shown many interesting fantasy concepts linked with many scientific facts and I am pretty sure those will be something new to cherish. The performance of Aravind Swamy was another highlight, his style, the way he talks, and the methods he uses to express were supreme. Prasanna also did an honest performance, the combination with Arvind Swami was pleasing to watch. His expressions were really good especially when it comes to anxiety. Poorna had shared beautiful chemistry with Arvind Swamy as the wife. Sai Siddharth’s role was important and he did a fine job. The background score of Ron Ethan Yohann was stunning which helped the film to create an impact of true excitement. The cinematography was flawless with beautiful frames and the lighting for the indoor scenes was excellent also the editing was sharp and clear. 

•RATING: 4/5.  

4: Payasam (Bibhatsa – Disgust): 

•ONE WORD: All about Delhi Ganesh’s terrific acting. 

The fourth episode Payasam (Bibhatsa – Disgust) is directed by Vasanth with the casting of Delhi Ganesh, Aditi Balan, and Rohini in the leads. What I liked about Payasam is the performance of Delhi Ganesh, it’s all about his in and out show. The plot starts in 1965 at Udayarpalayam, a house with the premise of a marriage ceremony happening at Subbu’s house. His various emotions are principally placed at the plot to emphasize Bhibatsa one of the hardest and toughest Navarasa to portray. In a premise of a busy marriage ceremony how the central character goes through his distributing inner thoughts defines the story. The character played by Delhi Ganesh is surrounded by various inner thoughts, he thinks deeply and he speaks largely so how he justifies himself or what are the feelings inside him tells his characteristics. To give a clear-cut idea of how the story defines Bhibatsa is the central character played by Delhi Ganesh is sad about his daughter played by Aditi Balan. She is widowed, her husband dies three months after her wedding but her uncle is in full joy by the present happening wedding. So how the central character goes through is the movie, seeing his nephew’s financial growth, his wealth and his fame makes the character of Delhi Ganesh jealous and sick. So how he comforts himself at the end by seeing all this is interesting at the climax, but the problem is the ending is predictable. The making is simple just like the plot itself but is rich with fine acting. Aditi Balan shines with her looks and natural acting also Rohini as the wife of Delhi Ganesh did a fine job. 

•RATING: 3/5. 

5: Peace (Shaantha – Peace): 

•ONE WORD: A MEDIOCRE BATTLE

The fifth episode Peace is directed by Karthik Subbaraj with the casting of Bobby Simha, Gautham Menon, and Sanath. The episode is filled with the battlefield, war happening between Tamil Rebels and Srilankan Military. The story starts with three characters Rebel Master (Gautham Menon), Nilavan (Bobby Simha) and Cheran (Sanath). They are in a bunker, in the center of firing by the Srilankan Army. Soon between the crossfire a boy arrives and is caught by the Tamil Rebels who is on his way to find and retire his brother called Velliyan. By hearing his side of the story Nilavan decides to help him, he goes to the enemy’s camp courageously. He finds Velliyan but gets shocked by seeing him. Can he return successfully with Velliyan in the rest of the plot? The Peace in Navarasa is the primary subject and the execution of Karthik Subbaraj was interesting to watch but the magic and the freshness he uses to make on his treatment was sadly missing. The resemblance to his last work Jaggame Thandiram was felt, adapting the fights between Tamil Rebels and Srilankan Military. The surprise element to show the Peace was good to watch, the ending was satisfying with some touching emotions. The performance from Bobby Simha was nice and Gautham Vasudev Menon also did a credible supporting role and also Vasanth had actively performed. It’s good and the surprising climax is worth watching, still, Karthik Subbaraj unique storytelling and making was missing. 

•RATING: 2.5/5. 

6: Roudhram (Raudra – Anger): 

•ONE WORD: TRUE PORTRAYAL OF ANGER. 

The sixth episode titled Roudhram was completely unexpected and I enjoyed it from the beginning till the end. Roudhram is directed by Arvind Swami who also handles the story and screenplay along with Selva. The dialogues are written by Selva and Madhan Karky. The cinematography is by Santosh Sivan and the music is composed by A.R Rahman. The emotion here is all about Anger and this episode did complete justice to portray the emotion of Anger. The best thing about Roudhram is its direction and making by Arvind Swami. The whole making was outstanding as per the story and screenplay. The way Arvind Swami executes the film is fascinating, no off-balance and perfect way of direction was seen all over. The story tells the life of Arul and Anbu who lives with their mother. Their father ran away from them with making lots of debts. They live in a congested place in Chennai with less money. One day Anbu gets arrested for a physical assault leaving a person to death. Why he did it and for what is the rest of the story. The emotion of anger can be seen in every main character and it’s the highlight. As the story denotes the anger in Navarasa this episode completely justifies the world of anger. When a person is deprived with dreadful anger what he does shows the film. How the movie begins and how it ends is surprising. All in all Arvind Swami shines as a director and writer, the movie is also rich by the superlative visuals given by Santosh Sivan. The background score tuned by A.R Rahman helps to build and maintain the impact. The performance from Sree Raam was brilliant, she showed the real face and emotions of true anger. Riythvika also did a good job with frustrating anger and the woman who did the mother character performed well. The cameo of Ramesh Thilak was also fine. So overall Roudhram was fascinating to watch and go for it to see some true anger. 

•RATING: 4/5.  

7: Inmai (Bhayaanaka – Fear): 

ONE WORD: WATCHABLE WORLD OF HAUNTING SINS

The seventh episode Inmai showcases fear, one of the important elements in Navarasa. Inmai is written and directed by Rathindran R. Prasad. The world of fear is the key element of this episode with the mix of some mysteries and supernatural stuff. What will happen to someone if he/she is on the last extended point of fear can be seen in Inmai. The direction was delicate according to the story and screenplay. The plot is interesting because it’s filled with many fantasy concepts. So taking out the fantasy ideas and blending them with the prime element of fear was something new to watch. From the beginning itself, the movie creates curiosity and the flashback scenes which describe the past leading to the present were thrilling and engaging. How the story connects to the present and how it ends completely satisfies. The surprising twist and turns in the climax were written out amazingly and the execution was clever. The performance from Siddharth and Parvathy was extraordinary, Parvathy had given out the emotion of fear flawlessly. Siddharth shines at the end and the characterization was unique. Watch it if you like to see some fear-filled stuff also the mysteries and suspense will surprise everyone. 

•RATING: 3.5/5. 

8: Thunintha Pin (Veera – Valour): 

•ONE WORD: An Average Hunt. 

The eighth episode is directed by Sarjun KM which showcases courage. The casting is filled with Atharvaa, Kishore, and Anjali. Unfortunately, this episode has given me a big disappointment. The story starts inside a forest, some Indian military officers are in search to defeat Naxals. They both meet in a sudden attack, many military officials get died also the Naxal fighters. The central character Vetri played by Atharvaa is a newcomer to the Army, during the attack he survives and he is the person who shoots the Naxal Leader played by Kishore leaving him with heavy injury. After the attack, Vetri was given the duty to handover him to the officials and he takes by giving first aid treatment. During their journey, they talk and discuss both of their life viewpoints. But during the journey, he was forced to take him to the hospital and some sudden unexpected thing happens which makes Vetri hunt. The story was resembling the Malayalam movie Shikkar, and I couldn’t find anything new. The Naxals think they own the forest and military officers on the other hand to end their system. All this is something which is seen and witnessed before. The making was good but the story and screenplay lack the punch. The character of Anjali was also average. For me, this eighth episode was disappointing in all manner. 

•RATING: 2/5. 

9: Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru (Shringaara – Romance): 

•One Word: Rich in soulful music, poor in romance.

The final episode of Navarasa is titled Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru was directed and written by Gautham Vasudev Menon. This is all about Romance, showcasing Shringaara as one of the powerful elements in Navarasa. Before watching it the expectations were high because Suriya again teaming with GVM for a completely romantic genre was exciting sadly doesn’t live up to the expectations, I couldn’t connect with this one. Personally while watching I felt it was too dramatic followed on a cliche path. The dialogues were overdramatic and the chemistry happening between Suriya and Prayaga was terrible, a bond of attraction and love was not seen in my viewing experience. Also felt the overdramatic dialogue was turning into lagging, mind, and hand were forcing me to skip off. The music made this episode watchable, Karthik has done such a marvelous job. The tunes were amazing and his voice was so sweet to hear. The plot of Gautham Vasudev Menon makes slight resembling to Vaaranam Aayiram and the romantic track was making the remembering of beautiful scenes of Vaaranam Aayiram. Suriya did a wonderful job, the characteristics of a singer were made out well and his powerful voice was incredible especially when it comes to the romantic portion. Prayaga also did a notable performance but the chemistry was missing between Suriya and Prayaga. Still, this final segment is watchable for two reasons, one by its music and the other by the performance from Suriya. 

• RATING: 2.5/5

•CONCLUSION: 

So to conclude Navarasa offers some interesting stories portraying the various emotions of Navarasa. Some are extremely brilliant, some are good, some are average and some disappoints. Take your enough time and watch it with patience, overall Navarasa is a worth watch web series with some brilliant performances and unique stories. 

• VERDICT: WORTH WATCH 

• RATING: 3/5.