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November Story Is Just Plainly Awful

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November Story Is Just Plainly Awful

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.

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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.

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