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Kaiyum Kalavum Review: This Karthik Subbaraj-backed series is an interesting experiment in magical realism but lacks a punch

Two star-crossed lovers are destined to meet other to break a curse

Kaiyum Kalavum Review: This Karthik Subbaraj-backed series is an interesting experiment in magical realism but lacks a punch
A poster of Kaiyum Kalavum

Last Updated: 10.35 AM, Apr 23, 2024


Story: A series of events brings together two star-crossed lovers, who are destined to meet and break a curse

Review: SonyLIV's latest outing Kaiyum Kalavum begins with the narration of the tale of a Tanjore king called Trilok Maharaj, who engages people to tell his subjects that women are no lesser than men, after a daughter is born to him. During one such skits, two characters mess up things leaving many questions unanswered and both of them with a curse.

Cut to the present and the characters meet once again - this time as a youngster named Police (Rohit) who destroys other's desires because of his 'itch' and a pickpocket named Anbu (Sanchana Natarajan) for whom luck is not really in her favour. The impending meeting of the two lovers happen after a series of incidents that accidentally affect each other's lives without their knowledge.  Anbu is part of a larger gang run by PMC (fabulously portrayed by Jeeva Subramaniam), a harsh woman who means well for her 'family' that comprises many wacky characters. The only two people Police and Anbu confide in are two invisible entities (voiceover by Chinmayi and Bobby Simha).


In the run-up to the meeting of the star-crossed thieves, we come across many outlandish characters, a self-loathing wife who is upset because she has the perfect husband ( Ramya Nambeesan), a gun-toting lawyer who is also a pimp, but finds it hard to express his feelings to the woman he loves (Vivek Prasanna), a book lover and writer who would go any length to get a good story, which means even burning down his entire library and the people there (Karu Pazhaniappan) and an alcoholic doctor who is happy when patients die because he has a fixation with a particular watch (Vijay Adhiraj), to name a few.

The storyline might sound completely eccentric and hence, it takes some time for the audience to get invested in the characters and understand the plot. The seven-part series gets more eccentric with each episode as the show's writer Roju takes us through the bizarre world of events and people where logic takes a backseat. The show makes a reference to Puratchi Thalaivar MGR, too, and reveals an interesting backstory about the names of the characters in PMC's gang- be it Aayiram, Anbu, Padagu or Kani.

The star cast has put up a decent performance as the extremely bizarre characters. However, considering the series is also billed as a dark comedy, the humour quotient falls flat at certain places. For instance, when the secret of the 'most wanted watch' is revealed in the hospital set-up, it comes across as a huge disappointment. Some of the scenes seem a tad overstretched and would have left a better impact had they been trimmed. Some episodes could have been written better, too, like the one starring Ramya Nambeesan. The eccentrity sometimes peaks to an extent that it can leave the audience confused.

But all said and done, Kaiyum Kalavum is a bold experiment in magical realism in dark comedy, a path less trodden in the web series space. It's interesting how the writer has woven every character and sequences together in a way that each of them eventually helps lead up to the meeting of Anbu and Police. Both protagonists struggle to survive in the world where they are often let down. 

Barring a few glitches here and there, this experimental drama by written and directed by Roju works, especially for its unique treatment.

Verdict: An interesting experiment in magical realism.

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