As I'm Suffering From Kadhal: This urbane Tamil web series is bold, funny and relatable
Cut off the cuss words from the series and it is a breezy multiple narrative feature film. Keep the abusive words intact, so that each character can get his or her "vent" when situations go out of hand, and what we get is As I'm Suffering From Kadhal — a web series on Hotstar.
It's an attempt worthy of a good, long applause. Balaji Mohan not only creates, writes, directs and produces this series, he also takes on a difficult role to perform. Sometimes one wished the character was played by a better actor, but then the proceedings are so realistically played by Balaji that it seems like the weaker parts of his acting does indeed belong to the character of Santhosh, whose complicated story begins the series.
The colorful ensemble cast in As I'm Suffering From Kadhal has some good acting from Dhanya Balakrishnan as Meera. Her Meera has the most in-depth graph as she moves back and forth between love, hate and love again. Dhanya uses some of the choicest abuses one can see delievered on-screen and what a relief it is to see her do so with aplomb!
Love, hate, togetherness, separation, marriage, divorce and parenthood all come together in a well written, well enacted narrative. Balaji Mohan gets into his Maari mode from time to time and barring for one episode where it all gets a bit overboard, most of this potent mix of love is delivered in the right proportion.
The story of As I'm Suffering From Kadhal is bold with a capital B - without harming value systems or taking sides or passing judgement. The interference of parents to a daughters unwillingness to move out of her live-in equation and new age professions like stand-up comedy (Sannanth doing a fine job here) and acting (Santhosh is an aspiring actor) get respect.
Add to this mix the sweet, pro-marriage couple Raghav and Tanvi (the well in-form Abhishek and Nakshatra). Their elaborate wedding arrangements is both a platform for the drama which unfolds and is an excuse for the director to make a dig at modern couples.
Sundar Ramu brings in a neat performance as a single dad, whose profession also adds to his woes (he is an online film critic), and going on a date seems to be the toughest assignment for him. The characters blend in naturally and the writing is packed with humour. They take relevant punches at matrimony sites, candid photographers, boys vs girls, love vs marriage etc. But nowhere is the series undermining love or women, instead it puts both right up there, above marriage and societal pressure.
When one watches similar series in English, one is used to elevated production values, music and acting. This series doesn't disappoint, though a few scenes, especially those which have a party scenario could have been visually better.
This Tamil web series pans out mostly Tanglish (as the English title denotes) which mixes a good dose of free flowing English to its Tamil dialogues - it is meant for the urban, under 40 audience and it caters successfully to its TG. Women are equals here, be it in love or hate. Season 2 of As I'm Suffering from Kadhal is not too far behind, and we're looking forward to it.