Kallachirippu review: Zee5's Tamil web series is an unbelievably dark thriller with unpredictable characters

Haricharan Pudipeddi

August 01, 2018 12:54:19 IST

Kallachirippu, the new Tamil web series from Zee5 and Karthik Subbaraj, is set in a very small world – it’s centered on members of two families, their secrets, actions and repercussions. What’s really impressive about the show, or should we say the attempt, is the fact that it breaks new ground – both with content and cussing, and it does it with full conviction, which is commendable.

At a time when it’s becoming extremely challenging to write decent roles for women even in 'women-centric' films, here’s a show that rewrites the norms of how a leading lady can/should be portrayed. The show revolves around the accidental killing of a husband by his wife (played terrifically by Amrutha Srinivasan) and the events that follow.

Amrutha Srinivasan in Kallachirippu. Still from the trailer.

What begins as a family squabble between a daughter and her father over the former’s desire to study abroad soon turns into an unbelievably dark tale of morality, independence, sex, abortion, homosexuality, and patriarchy. It’s amazing how with each episode we see the layers coming off the characters; it’s almost shocking how unpredictable they become by the end of the show.

For instance, after accidentally killing her husband, 24-year-old Mahanati is shaken, but not scared, by the incident. Even before the shock factor settles, she’s thinking of chopping the body into pieces. She’s a lawyer, and while she’s thinking of dumping the body, she’s also preparing her alibi. Here’s a woman who is hot-headed, ruthless and logical. This show features its leading lady in ways we’ve rarely seen (at least not on screen before).

The show’s opening crucial moments unfold in a dark room with no electricity. It’s a beautiful way to set up the show and introduce us to the lead characters.

As the show progresse, we’re drawn into a world of lies and deceit. It’s extremely tough to guess which character is more evil than the other by the end of the show. Writer-director Roju, who also plays one of the leads of the show, uses a non-linear screenplay to make the narrative very interesting by revisiting events – multiples times — at crucial junctures to make it a riveting watch. So much so that it becomes extremely difficult to guess what could happen next and that’s one of the reasons why Kallachirippu is far better than most Tamil films in the neo-noir space.

Kallachirippu also features lovely conversations between the female characters. It’s refreshing to see a mother and daughter talk about sex, superstar Rajinikanth, porn and more. These conversations help us understand and see things from different viewpoints and it’s very vital for us as audiences to accept it.

This show belongs to Mahanati – Amrutha Srinivasan; it’s a joy to watch her on screen. In the beginning, it’s tough to understand why she’s angry and pissed most of the time but as we get to know her more with each episode, it’s fun to watch her take control. By web series standards, Kallachirippu is a major breakthrough.

Updated Date: Aug 02, 2018 11:40 AM