Navarasa review: Wonderful portrayal of raw emotions

Rating: 4/5

Netflix’s Navarasa is a Tamil anthologyseries that revolves around the nine human emotions and consists of nine short films directed by prominent directors backed by a star-studded cast. Navarasa is also notably a charity notioned event that is set to send all profits towards film workers whose livelihood was affected by the pandemic.

Story

Edhiri (Compassion)

Dheena (Vijay Sethupathi) seeks vengeance for his brother’s death by murdering Savitri’s (Revathi) spouse in this Bejoy Nambiar film.

Summer of 92 (Laughter)

Velusami, a prominent comedian, reminisces about the amusing situations from his adolescent years that led to him dropping out.

Agni Project (Wonder)

Vishnu (Arvind Swami), a brilliant thinker, shares his ideas with Krishna (Prasanna), leading to some incredible discoveries.

Payasam (Disgust)

The film Payasam, a traditional Indian dessert, directed by Vasanth S Sai, is about a small-town man’s envy, which leads to unforeseen events.

Peace (Peace) 

When a little boy asks for their assistance in a rescue attempt, a troop of soldiers finds themselves in a difficult situation. The film stars Gautham Menon and Bobby Simha and is directed by Karthik Subbaraj.

Roudram (Anger)

With Roudram, Arvind Swami, a well-known actor, makes his directorial debut. The story follows a young man who commits an attack and the events that lead to his doing the crime.

Inmai (Horror)

In this Ratheendran R Prasad directed film, Parvathy Thiruvothu and Siddharth play key roles. Inmai illustrates how a young woman’s life takes a tragic turn once a stranger enters her home.

Thunintha Pin (Valour) 

The film is directed by Sarjun KM and centres on a pregnant woman’s search for her absent spouse. The primary characters in this segment are Anjali, Atharvaa Murali, and Kishore.

Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru (Romance)

The popular actor-director duo Suriya and Gautham Menon return in Navarasa’s ‘Shringaara’ segment. Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru tells the narrative of Kamal and Nethra, two teenage musicians who fall in love. Kamal is played by Suriya, and Nethra is played by Malayalam actress Prayaga Martin.

Performances

Navarasa includes the subtle performances of the three main characters in Ethiri, Vijay Sethupathi, Revathi, and Prakash Raj, which serve as a significant positive and make their performance a winner all the way through.

Within Navarasa, Yogi Babu makes the audience laugh with his one-liners on how fate plays cruel tricks on him, putting him at odds with his teachers and resulting in lousy grades. In both the youthful and old outfits, Ramya Nambesan impresses as the school teacher in a de-glam role.

Navarasa also includes Payasam, the character of Delhi Ganesh has lived as an inept and jealous old man. No other performer could have played the part more convincingly. Though she is a hallucination of her husband Rohini, who helps him in the right direction, she is the wife that everyone wishes for. Aditi Balan hasn’t spoken anything, but her disgusted expression says it all.

In Project Agni, Aravind Swamy and Prasanna made sure to dazzle us with their performances.

In the part of Nilavan, Bobby Simha is as sharp as a sword. The actor was fantastic in the long single shots. Karthik Subburaj arranged the single shots beautifully, and Shreyas Krishna shot them flawlessly within this episode of Navarasa.

In Thunintha Pin of Navarasa, Kishore has done an outstanding job as the leader of a group of people who dream of owning their own land. Anjali, who plays a devoted woman who awaits the return of her absent husband, has poured her heart and soul into the role. Atharva has done his best as a fearful cop to a person who runs to make amends for his error.

Inimai’s Parvathy Thiruvothu provides her with yet another opportunity to showcase her acting abilities. Observing her reactions while she begs with the Jinn and defends her innocence is pure joy. As the evil guest who exacts his vengeance, the ever-reliable Siddharth, who also produced the episode, is at his best. It’s debatable whether any other actor of his age could convincingly portray a college student. 

Roudram’s characters ware so real and vibrant. The colours, ambiance, and scene staging are all spot-on for the setting.

Surya from Varanam Aayiram is brought back to life by Suriya as Kamal in Guitar Kambi Mel Nindru. Prayaga Martin, on the other hand, has lived as Nethra, with her own style and romantic gaze included in Navarasa.

Positives

Ethiri has a fast-paced script based on a powerful Mani Ratnam story, yet the message it imparts is destined to stay with the audience for a long time. With this short, Bejoy Nambiar hits the target by showing very little and forcing the audience to piece together the tale through great storytelling.

For an episode with only two characters having a scientific conversation, the plot moves along very smoothly. The screenplay for Project Agni follows a slow burn style, progressing slowly yet concluding with a bang.

Inmai is a fascinating film with a twist, with great performances complemented by Rumi poems and Vishal Bharadwaj’s soul-stirring soundtrack.

The cinematography in Payasam is simply stunning. The frames are more realistic and clean, and the locations and settings go hand in hand. Director Vasanth should be commended for his ability to condense the beauty and culture of Kumbakonam.

Roudhram builds slowly, revealing Arul’s motivation for the assassination attempt and ending with Anbukkarasi’s regret. Aravind Swamy demonstrates that he is a superb filmmaker as well as a talented actor. He’s woven the emotions and plot together in a seamless manner.

Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru is Gautham Menon’s picture, so there’s no shortage of affection. The references he makes to his past films quickly transport us to those films and lead us on an emotional roller coaster. The concept of highlighting Adyar’s attractiveness is admirable. The close-up shots of instruments are enthralling. 

Negatives

With not many negatives, Navarasa, in general, could have avoided some plot holes and increased the pace and accession of the plotline. 

Worth It?

Navarasa, with its major positives, is a definitive highly recommended watch for viewers who want to engage their emotions into this emotionally enthralling anthology.


Also Read: Dial 100 review: Action-packed thriller with solid performances

Follow On Social Media