Web Series: Navarasa
Navarasa Cast: Suriya, Vijay Sethupathi, Siddharth, Revathi, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Prayaga Martin, Arvind Swami, Prasanna, Poorna, Delhi Ganesh, Rohini, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Yogi Babu, Remya Nambeesan, Aditi Balan, Bobby Simha, Riythvika, Sree Raam, Atharvaa, Anjali, Kishore
Navarasa Directors: Arvind Swami, Bejoy Nambiar, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Karthik Subbaraj, Karthick Naren, Priyadarshan, Rathindran R Prasad, Sarjun and Vasanth S. Sai
Where to Watch: Netflix
Anthology web series have centred on a common theme or emotion have become al the rage these days on by Indian OTT content creators. However, besides Ajeeb Dastans and Paava Kadhaigal (incidentally both on Netflix), most have included hit or miss stories, with everything from Zindagi In Short and Unpaused to Lust Stories, Ghost Stories and Ray (the last three, again on Netflix; the OTT platforms does seem to love its anthologies) being extremely inconsistent in their ability to string together a bunch of riveting, unconnected stories. So, where does Netflix latest anthology series, Navarasa stand? Well, while the good news is that it's better than the last five titles mentionoed above, it doesn't come close to the first two, and that's because other than four of its episodes/shorts, the other five barely pass muster.
So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Navarasa is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Navarasa review...
What's it about
Netflix's anthology web series Navarasa comprise nine shorts/episodes, each dealing with nine strong human emotions, and how those feelings lead everyday people to take extraordinary, sometimes, life-altering decisions. The nine shorts are Edhiri, Summer of '92, Project Agni, Payasam, Peace, Roudhram, Inmai, Thunintha Pin and Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru (in that order).
Watch the Navarasa trailer below: VIDEO
What's hot/What's not
Right off the bat, let me make it clear that all the technical aspects of Navarasa are off the charts, so let's not even go there. Instead, here's a lowdown of each episode.
EdhiriIf not for
Vijay Sethupaththupathi, Revathi and Prakash Raj's dexterity, this would've fallen completely flat. So preachy, that you just had to have actors of their claibre do the preaching.
Summer of '92A tepid script is salvaged by Priyadarshan's flair of handling comedy, especially evoking laughter in confounding scenarios, and it pays to have a comical genius like
Yogi Babubu as the lead. Remya Nambeesan is utterly wasted though.
Project AgniThe best of the lot. In fact, it's it's a flawless mind-bender worthy of to be taken in the same breath as The Matrix and Interstellar, with it being the kind of sci-fi that leave you transfixed with your jaw agape, introspecting long after about its far-reaching possibilities. Arvind Swami,
Prasanna, Sai Siddharth are all first rate, and if permissible, Netflix should do everything in its power to send this for the Short Film category at the Oscars. And that twist at the end...my, oh, my...
PayasamOnce again, it's the skilled actors, Aditi Balan and Delhi Ganesh, who save a floundering narrative that begins well but ends on a blah note.
PeaceAnother good entry that's sweet (mostly due to that cute puppy) and profound (on account of the civil-war backdrop) at the same time, with
Bobby Simha in top form and Gautam Vasudev Menon lending decent support.
RoudhramThis would've been a good entry had it's finale not been so problematic, eroding most of the competent work that precedes it. Regardless of the pitfalls later,
Riythvika and Sree Raam are first rate.
InmaiA done-and-dusted-revenge concept made all the more soporific by extremely weak direction, which even
Siddharth and Parvathy Thiruvothu can't salvage like Vijay Sethupathi, Revathi and Prakash Raj had earlier managed with their short.
Thunintha PinAnother weakly directed episode that's thankfully somewhat salvaged by the introspective verbal volleys exchanged by
Atharvaa and Kishore, playing character on either side of the law, with both actors up to the task.
Guitar Kambi Mele NindruThe second best entry of the lot that demands extreme patience, but rewards those who exhibit it, with a deep, layered and matured love story, enacted impeccably by
Suriya and Prayaga Martin, and embellished with soul-stirring music. BL Verdict
Karthick Naren's Project Agni, starring Arvind Swami, is an unmissable mind-bender, on par with The Matrix and Interstellar as far as its far-reaching, sci-fi possibilities, Gautam Vasudev Menon's Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru, starring Suriya and Prayaga Martin, is a heartfelt love letter to fleeting romances, Priyadarshan and Yogi Babu bring all their madcap comedic flair to Summer of '92, while Karthik Subbaraj's Peace, with Bobby Simha, is sweet and simple. The remaining five episodes of Netflix's Navarasa can easily be skipped though. I'm going with 3 out of 5 stars.
3 out of 5
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