Cheran’s Journey, the Tamil web series that marked the OTT debut of renowned filmmaker Cheran, is currently streaming on Sony LIV.
Cheran’s Journey story: Ashok (R Sarathkumar), the chairman of a leading automobile company is in search of a perfect candidate for an important post. From the list of 126 candidates, 5 supremely talented youngsters, including Raghav Isakkimuthu (Prasanna), S Pranav (Aari Arjunan), Latha Vijayakumar Reddy (Divyabharathi), Ameer Sulthan (Kalaiyarasan), and Nitesh Gupta (Kashyap Barbhaya), are shortlisted for the final round. All the five contestants are equally brilliant and have a compelling backstory, which marks it difficult for Ashok to choose the right candidate.
Cheran’s Journey review:
At the beginning of Journey, Sarathkumar’s character mentions that his new employee will have to head the designing team of his company’s brand-new SUV, which is set to get released in 2025. This clearly suggests that the series is set in today’s times. However, the simply outdated storytelling is unable to justify the same, and that is the biggest problem with Cheran’s Journey. The story idea, which is promising on the paper, struggles to connect with the viewers. However, this Sony LIV does have its good moments at parts, thanks to the stellar star cast, and bits and pieces of Cheran’s magic.
The National award-winning director brings together some of the most promising talents of the Tamil film industry for his debut series. All five main characters have backstories, which discuss highly relevant social themes. However, these promising ideas are just diluted by old-school writing and storytelling, which is hit by the predictability factor right from the beginning. The preachy, artificial dialogues and lack of conviction in the narrative make this web series come across more like an over-stuffed public service advertisement.
Even though Ameer Sulthan’s track discusses a major issue faced by minority communities, it leaves us confused with major logical loopholes. Kalaiyarasan, who played Ameer, delivers a mature performance. And it was a pleasure to watch the late actor Mammukkoya in a pivotal role (even though his signature voice was missing). When it comes to Raghav’s (an earnest Prasanna) track, a relevant issue faced by immigrants in the US is presented in the most amateurish way. However, the romance of Raghav and Jessie (a lovely Jasmine Metivier) reminded us of some of Cheran’s best works.
Even the romance falls flat when it comes to Nitesh Gupta’s track, and the backstory doesn’t feel strong enough to make an impact. While Kashyap Barbhaya delivers a decent performance, Anju Kurian comes across as a misfit in her role (and the dubbing could’ve been better). Divyabharathi, on the other hand, rightly fits into the role of Latha who is on a noble mission. But sadly, she ends up in the most preachy (and tiringly long) backstory of the series, which deals with a theme that is already discussed by at least a dozen Tamil films.
Aari Arjuna, on the other hand, does justice to his character Pranav, in a similarly preachy track. R Sarathkumar, Jayaprakash, Aadukalam Naren, Vela Ramamoorthi, Bharani, and others have nothing much to do in their minimal roles. Sathya C, the music composer has done a decent job with the background score. However, the songs are forgettable. Ekhambaram NK’s visuals make Cheran’s Journey an eye-pleasing watch.
Cheran’s Journey is a mishmash of some highly promising and socially relevant ideas, which is diluted by old-school, preachy writing and storytelling. If you like the signature Cheran movies, you can try watching this Sony LIV series.