AS I'M SUFFERING FROM KADHAL (2017)
Critic - No.116
Director: Balaji Mohan,
Casts: Balaji Mohan, Sundar Ramu, Dhanya Balakrishna, Baby Yuvina, Nakshathra Nagesh, Sanath Reddy, Abishek Joseph George and Sanjana
Music: Satish Raghunathan
Genre: Romance / Comedy
Running Time: 22-25 mins (10 episodes)
Set in urban Chennai, this mockumentary cum web series tells the story of four couples negotiating the perceptual meanings of modern-day love.
Balaji Mohan has always been a live wire of innovation right from his first flick. In fact he was one of the first few young filmmakers who started the new age trend, giving the industry a different direction. If ‘Kadhalil Sothapuvadhu Eppadi (2012)’ introduced mockumentary genre to Tamil cinema, ‘Vaayai Moodi Pesavum (2014)’ was a bold satire told in a backdrop of quirky, fantasy-based screenplay. But what made him stand in the big league was ‘Maari (2015)’ that served as a Masala film tribute. He is almost an expert in genre disguising.
After a brief hiatus, Balaji Mohan seemed to have plunged into his heydays of experimental approach towards his bold content. ‘As I’m Suffering from Kadhal’ (AISFK) is relevant, engaging and at the same time makes you reflect about life without even trying too much. Inspirations from American sitcoms are sprinkled here and there but the idea and the presentation is totally original. Without any delay, lets delve into the four intriguing love tracks.
The restless Dad
If a man has a second chance in love, will he take it or not? A simple know about how a single dad copes with his probing daughter. The ideas about re marriage and modern parenting are quite interesting to watch. Sundar Ramu looks apt for the role and it’s quite refreshing to see him after sometime in a non-twisted role. For me, this father-daughter chemistry was the best among the four tracks.
Hopelessly in love
Probably the most substantial track of all with so much mystery knots that gets progressively complex. In fact, their forthcoming wedding is the joining plot of the series. The idea of showing couples that flaunt their love like a luxury is interesting. No one actually is perfect but wanting to be perfect couples can be lethal at times.
The carefree duo
This track of cohabitation breaks all the typecast projections that has been done and dusted in Indian cinema. The way they solve their problems, give in to each other and see life without any ego is something that every couple needs to learn. Honestly when this track was introduced, I predicted to see a typecast episode but Balaji Mohan breaks all the expectations one by one. Commitment and love doesn’t need a tag. In fact, this couple is the strongest of all. Sanath and Sanjana’s act in the final episode is a bomb!
Tom and Jerry
Balaji Mohan and Dhanya top the performance department with their seasoned acting. Taking the most controversial and boldest track on their shoulders, they provide everything shaky married couples go through. For me, I think this has the most complete character arc tagged to it. It’s quite interesting to see that both Balaji and Dhanya has written the series. It actually shows in such a confident, dedicated performance on screen too. Well, who can understand the script the most other than the writers?
The high engaging factor of it is the biggest strength the web series posses. If you start watching, you will never stop. There are many interesting cameos of film actors and VJs that spice of things as well. Music by Satish is fresh and the opening tack is extremely catchy.
However, people who might not like the genre of romance or mockumentary might feel that the forth wall breaking interviews a little draggy. The series is not perfect but don't analyze too much, this is definitely a healthy start for more such original attempts. A big pat on the back for the creator, Balaji Mohan!
Stuffed with many laugh-out-loud moments and relatable emotions and intelligent comedy, ‘As I’m suffering from Kadhal’ is a positive start to the bloom of web series in Tamil cinema.
CELLULOID METER – 4/5:
Catch the full series here