Mani Ratnam’s Netflix anthology of 9 emotions is a mosaic; Arvind Swami shines like a star!


Navarasa Review: The Netflix Anthology On 9 Emotions Offers Some Great And Bad Things, But Arvind Swami Shines!

Koimoi recommends Navarasa: It is one of the most challenging and innovative cinematic attempts by the bigwigs of Tamil cinema in recent years. However, when you analyze each rasa or emotion through the short films, you realize that not all of them work.

To emit: Suriya, Arvind Swami, Vijay Sethupathi, Siddharth, Atharvaa, Gautham, Vasudev Menon, Prasanna, Revathi, Prayaga Martin

Directors: Gautham Vasudev Menon, Karthick Naren, Karthik Subbaraj, Priyadarshan, Rathindran Prasad, Sarjun, Vasanth Sai, Arvind Swami, and Bejoy Nambiar.

Available in: Netflix

Star Rating:

3.5 out of 5.0 stars

Koimoi recommends Navarasa: What is it about?

A short film of nine, five-hour anthology, Navarasa brings together nine rasa or emotions of Indian drama that have been translated to the screen by some of the brightest names in Tamil cinema. It was conceptualized as a means of supporting film industry workers affected by the Covid-19 shutdown. Interestingly, none of the short films include the pandemic in their story. Three of the films are set in the past.

Agni project

Classification:

5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Navarasa Review: Mani Ratnam's Netflix Anthology Of 9 Emotions Are A Mosaic
Navarasa Review: Agni Project

Karthick Naren’s short film explores the theme of wonder. The film is in part a tribute to Christopher Nolan. The filmmaker delivered a mind-blowing sci-fi thriller, in just 30 minutes, that blew me away. His story spoke from human civilization to alien life and subconscious reality.

The impressive performance of Arvind Swami and Prasanna kept me on the edge of my seat until the last minute. I was stunned in the end. It’s Karthick’s best work to date.

Payasam

Classification:

3.5 out of 5.0 stars

Navarasa Review: Mani Ratnam's Netflix Anthology Of 9 Emotions Are A Mosaic
Navarasa Review: Payasam

Vasanth S Sai’s short film is based on the theme of disgust in the context of Tam-Bram’s wedding. Vasanth tells the story of a man’s jealousy that drives him to do something that leaves his daughter upset. While Delhi Ganesh plays the main role, Rohini and Aditi Balan played supporting roles. Although I felt the story took a predictable route to make its point, Delhi Ganesh’s compelling and impressive performance made me sit up during the movie.

Roudram

Classification:

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Navarasa Review: Mani Ratnam's Netflix Anthology Of 9 Emotions Are A Mosaic
Navarasa Review: Roudhram

Arvind Swami makes a spectacular debut with the short film that explores the theme of anger. Skillful writing and excellent filmmaking make it the best short film in the anthology. The actor-turned-filmmaker tells the story of an investigation that unravels the mystery of why a boy knocked down a man with a hammer. As the cops investigate to find the reason behind his action, the story is cut back to tell what pushed him over the edge. Arvind Swami’s direction kept me glued to the screen until climax. Also, the twist at the end was a huge surprise.

Inmai (Bhayaanaka)

Classification:

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Navarasa Review: Mani Ratnam's Netflix Anthology Of 9 Emotions Are A MosaicRathindran Prasad’s short film is based on the theme, fear. Siddharth and Parvathy Thiruvothu team up for a riveting take on the horror. Although the film touches on the usual tropes associated with the horror genre, Rathindran delves into what fear really is for the main characters. Siddharth and Parvathy’s performances were top-notch.

Peace (Shanthih)

Classification:

2.0 out of 5.0 stars

Navarasa Review: Mani Ratnam's Netflix Anthology Of 9 Emotions Are A Mosaic
Navarasa Review: Peace (Shanthih)

Karthik Subbaraj’s leadership is based on the peace that must be paid to stop fighting. Against the backdrop of the civil war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan army in the small island nation, the short film is the shortest and fastest of the nine films. The running time of the movie is 28 minutes.

Subbaraj’s short film focuses on some LTTE soldiers at an outpost and their encounter with a child. While the idea is commendable, but somehow it gets lost in translation. I felt that the message of the movie was not effective enough to make an impact. The film features Bobby Simhaa and Gautham Menon in pivotal roles; his performance was also impressive.

Thunintha Pin (Beyond Courage)

Classification:

2.0 out of 5.0 stars

Navarasa Review: Mani Ratnam's Netflix Anthology Of 9 Emotions Are A Mosaic
Navarasa Review: Thunintha Pin (Beyond Courage)

Directed by Sarjun KM, the film explores the mindset of a soldier who was entrusted with the responsibility of transporting an injured Naxalite to a hospital. Along the way, the soldier and a Naxalite have an ideological battle inside a jeep. While the conversation may seem engaging on paper, sparks don’t fly during the conversation. The short film ends with an open question about whether saving a life is brave than taking it. However, the intention behind the story did not materialize.

Not once did it feel like rising that should make you feel a real act of courage. Maybe the little ideas don’t really come together to create a fascinating whole.

The story, written by filmmaker Mani Ratnam, is hard enough to shake the echoes of Roja in these spaces. Even though the movie hardly matches that one. The film stars Atharva Murali and Kishore as the central characters.

Edem (enemy)

Classification:

3.0 out of 5.0 stars

Navarasa Review: Mani Ratnam's Netflix Anthology Of 9 Emotions Are A Mosaic
Navarasa Review: Ediri (enemy)

Directed by Bijoy Nambiar, the film is based on the theme of Karuna (compassion). However, it also touches on issues such as guilt and forgiveness. It is a slow-burning drama that draws heavily on the strong performances of Vijay Sethupathi, Revathi, and Prakash Raj.

Nambiar’s film tells the story of Sethupathi’s pent-up anger, which kills Prakash Raj, and the repercussions faced by the murder and the victim’s wife, Revathy. The film asks the pertinent question of whether a wife can forgive her husband’s murderer. The filmmaker ends the story with a twist by transferring regret from one to the other. The change was too sudden and I found it a bit superficial.

However, Revathi and Prakash Raj have given commendable performances in the short film. Sethupathi shines in his minimalist acting prowess.

Summer of ’92: Hasya / laughs

Classification:

2.0 out of 5.0 stars

Navarasa Review: Mani Ratnam's Netflix Anthology Of 9 Emotions Are A Mosaic
Navarasa Review: Summer ’92: Hasya / Laughter

Priyadarshan’s Directing tells the story of a successful Tamil film comedian who visits his school to kick off the centennial celebrations and proceeds to reveal the problems he had with his teachers. While the movie had an interesting premise, it didn’t elicit a lot of laughs until the end.

The movie also seemed to have wasted two talented actors, Yogi Babu and Nedumudi Venu. However, a pet dog leaves a peculiar mark on a movie. Otherwise, the movie lacks genuine humor.

Kambi Mela Nindru Guitar

Classification:

1.0 out of 5.0 stars

Navarasa Review: Mani Ratnam's Netflix Anthology Of 9 Emotions Are A Mosaic
Navarasa Review: Kambi Mela Nindru Guitar

Directed by Gautam Vasudev Menon, the film explores the theme of love. Suriya and Prayaga Martin play the main roles. The story focused on a musician and how he is inspired to improve at his job after meeting a girl.

The story is very cliché. No matter how hard the main characters try to get the chemistry out, it all feels artificial. The movie exhausted me.

It was painful to see the film made by the filmmaker who gave away gems like Khaaka Khaaka, Minnale, Vinnaithaandi Vaaruvaayaa, and Vettaiyaadu Vilayaadu, to name a few. The filmmaker seemed to get repetitive with his writing.

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