Senior Kollywood filmmaker Mani Ratnam has forayed into the digital world and bankrolled a 9-episode web series, titled, Navarasa for leading OTT platform Netflix. Helmed by 9 different directors for each episode, the anthology film is out on the streaming channel on August 6th. Let’s see how it fares.
Story: The anthology film revolves around nine emotions in human life like Love, laughter, anger, courage, fear, disgust, wonder, peace and sorrow. Stars like Suriya, Vijay Sethupathi, Prakash Raj, Siddharth, Arvind Swamy, Anjali, Yogi Babu, Revathi among others did the key roles in this nine-episode web-film.
Performances: Star hero Suriya, who made a digital debut with this anthology is impressive in his episode Guitar Lambi Mele Nindru. Though his chemistry with Prayaga Martin is adorable, the dry and unengaging scenes between the lead pair fail to create an impact.
Arvind Swamy, Prasanna and actress Poorna are convincing in their respective roles in the “Project Agni” episode. Vijay Sethupathi, Prakash Raj and Revathi did their best in the emotional coated episode Edhiri.
Siddharth and Parvathy Thiruvothu shocks with a solid performance in Inmai, a tension and fearful episode. Actress Riythvika shines with her performance in one of the episodes titled, Roudhram.
Delhi Ganesh, Rohini and Aditi Balan are fine in the roles in jealousy centric Payasam episode. Happening comedian Yogi Babu, senior actor Nedumudi Venu and actress Ramya Nambeeshan are okay in this laughter episode.
Bobby Simha is highly impressive with his role in the “Peace” episode. Gautam Vasudev Menon did an okayish job as an actor in the episode. Noted hero Atharvaa Murali and actor Kishore’s characters are not properly established in the “Thunindha Pin” episode.
Technicalities: Background score by Vishal Bhardwaj for Siddharth- Parvathy Thiruvothu’s episode is outstanding and is a huge asset. On the other hand, AR Rahman’s touching BGM for Roudhram episode is good and elevates the mood nicely. Karthik impresses with his feel-good romantic background score for Suriya- Prayaga Martin’s episode. The music work for other episodes is ok but has nothing great to put it here.
Multiple cinematographers worked for each episode of the anthology and all of them tried their best to give a better output. But to mention one, the framing in Guitar Kambhi Mele Nindru stands out.
The production design for each episode of the series is good.
Analysis: Director Gautam Vasudev Menon disappoints with his taking for Suriya’s episode Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru. Though the lead pair perfectly fitted in the roles, Gautam Menon moulded it as a mediocre love saga.
Arvind Swami did a better job with his directional debut, Roudhram. He handled this emotional tale in a convincing manner. Director Karthik Subbaraj’s work for Peace episode is good and has a nice message in it.
Karthick Naren has dealt Project Agni episode in an outstanding manner and after watching the episode many will look forward to a full feature film on this concept. Apart from giving a good performance, Siddharth did a fantastic job in handling the “Inmai” episode.
In an overview, out of nine episodes in Navasara, three episodes Inmai, Project Agni and Roudhram are worthy and have a repeat value but the other episodes have nothing innovative setup to excite the viewers.
Verdict: Only for three episodes!!!