Indhra Subramanian’s November Story becomes this engaging thrill ride, mainly due to the way it holds the whole plot. By the time you reach the third episode of this series, you will be wondering how these drastically different tracks in the series have any common link. And much like anyone, I was also a bit skeptical about how they will manage to bridge all that. But what surprised me was the way those tracks finally added up. If you ask me whether it was a perfect ride, I would say it was as flawed as a Ratchasan.
Anuradha is the daughter of a crime thriller writer Ganeshan. Ganeshan these days is struggling with Alzheimer’s, and Anuradha is the one taking care of him. Anu was trying to sell their old house to manage the financial needs, and in the midst of that, a body is found from that house. Anuradha did some coverups to help her struggling father as he was there around the time the murder happened. But she is also clueless about who the murdered person was and what resulted in the murder. The series is basically about two parallel investigations, one done by Anu and the other by the police.
As I said, in the first two or three episodes, even though the narrative looks very intriguing, we will have this doubt about the writing on how they will be able to hit a conclusion that will sound logical in the context of a thriller. The events in the series are happening over a span of 25 years, and even when you try to predict the wild possibilities, there is a detour in the script from that prediction which makes us watch this series in one go. And what I found even more fascinating is how some of the characters had a 180-degree shift as the series approached its climax. A thriller becomes an interesting one when our theories about its next move start to collapse.
Compared to her always brooding Baahubali character, Anuradha from November Story shows us a much-nuanced performance from Tamannaah. Anu has frustrations in life, and at the same time, she has detective-like instincts in her, and the actress portrays this smartness of the character neatly on the screen. GM Kumar as the writer Ganeshan was really terrific. The confidence he carries in his performance, especially in that sequence where Anu narrates her half-written story to Ganeshan, is quite charming. It was a performance that helped the series convincingly build this dramatic ambiance. Aruldass as the police officer Sudalai delivers one impressive performance and keeps the character in a believable zone even in those slightly eccentric sequences. Pasupathy as Yesu was brilliant in the deception act. He played with the body language and minimalism so well that when you backtrack his performance, it kind of makes sense why Yesu was behaving that way. A special mention has to be given to the actor who portrayed the college-going version of Pasuathy’s character.
The story here is pretty elaborate, yet you don’t feel that they are dragging it too much. The way Indhra Subramanian manages to keep you invested in the proceedings is the highlight of the series. He is creating subplots that initially look like a distraction strategy but eventually adds up to the totality. And the usual level of spoon-feeding you see in Tamil content is also somewhat missing. For instance, we are not shown any scene where Anu explains why Ganeshan talked to a “Kuzhandai.” The self-explanatory things are somewhere left for the audience to grasp. This isn’t a series devoid of flaws. The hacking visualization is still a bit gimmicky. I found the Alzheimer’s of Ganeshan a bit uneven (Maybe my lack of awareness about Alzheimer’s). And the climax is a bit stretched out and slightly on the typical side in terms of treatment. But I had that issue with Ratchasan as well. The color-saturated contrasting lighting pattern of the visuals, along with tight frames, makes sure that the story’s mood is always maintained. The cross-cutting montages, especially at the beginning of each episode, did manage to increase the curiosity levels.
November Story might not be a truly unique thriller, but it definitely has some clever writing and applaudable making. The way the story gets unraveled after each episode was so compelling that I watched it in a single stretch. Admittedly, it is a bit misty for a larger part of the story. Still, as things progress, you are given a better idea about characters, and somewhere the series manages to invite you into that investigation.
November Story might not be a truly unique thriller, but it definitely has some clever writing and applaudable making.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended