The November Story(Tamil, Disney Hotstar, 7 Episodes)
Written and Directed by Indhra Subramanian
Rating: * ½
I came away so disheartened, disgusted and borderline suicidal from this oafish, clumsy and convoluted murder suspense thriller , the only question I wanted answered was: whodunit?
Who sanctioned this dark dingy rudderless abomination?And why on earth did a star-actress like Tamannaah Bhatia(she is big in Telugu, isn’t she?) agree to be part of something that makes as much sense as a séance during a pre-monsoon clearance sale?
I spent considerable time trying to find the answers to the above questions. I came up with zero answers. Zero seems to be the series’ preferred number. The production value, dialogues, background score and performances are all zero, though a large part of the supposed suspense hinges on another number 16, 16 November . Its significance when revealed, will stun you with its stupidity.
A large part of the proceedings is devoted to a brakish bacchanalia in a police station where the cops , played by actors apparently culled from amateur theatre,banter and thresh the ongoing murder investigation as though they have been assigned the additional job of writing a television series on how cops behave when they are under stress.
In fact that’s where the series belongs. On a local regional channel or maybe the dark web, who knows? As for the plot, are you still interested in knowing what this is all about? Ms Bhatia plays a computer engineer who specializes in hacking, whose father Ganesan(G M Kumar) suffers from Alzheimers. Considering what passes off as suspense and drama around Ganesan, mental oblivion seems to be the best way out.
The father-daughter relationship is so lacking in any nuance , any semblance of sensitivity, that all I could hear was the old man screaming all over the place while Tamanaah perpetually looks like she is trying to make sense of what is happening around her. Can’t blame her. I did the same. And failed.
There is a murder of a mentally unstable woman(Namitha Krishnamurthy whose interpretation of being unhinged will drive you nuts) and a black-and-white flashback at the beginning of every episode about a weird autopsy doctor(Pasupathy M) who wanted to be a surgeon but was let down by his shaky hands(just like this series let down by shaky writing).
All these are meant to add up at the end. Not for me. Will someone please explain what was going on? In America a webseries means The Underground Railroad. In India we are still chugging along on a steam engine which runs out of steam before the credit titles finish rolling. I have made note of November 16 on my calendar as a day of mourning each year.