OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 Review: Vasanthabalan’s ZEE5 series is explorative and shaky at the same time

Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 Review: Despite a talented cast, the narrative feels convoluted and lacks depth

Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 Review: Vasanthabalan’s ZEE5 series is explorative and shaky at the same time
Thalaimai Seyalagam

Last Updated: 03.40 PM, May 17, 2024


Thalaimai Seyalagam story


Arunachalam (Kishore), is the sitting chief minister of Tamil Nadu who is facing a trial in a 17-year-old make-or-break corruption case, that can send him to jail, causing a wobble in the party and to his position. While his entrusted right-hand Kotravai (Sriya Reddy), who we are hinted to share a bond not spelt out with Arunachalam, trying to prove him innocence, his daughter Amudha (Ramya Nambeesan), also does her best, only so that she can firmly assert her position for being the next political heir. Meanwhile a murder in Jharkhand and series of killings in Chennai outskirts seem to have a strange link to the state’s political affairs. How are all these tied together?

Thalaimai Seyalagam review

Before we are introduced to the story, there is an elaborate monologue on what justice is, being given to us through the voice of Arunachalam. Tying the threads of revenge, threats, and if justice is merely a payback to those who have wronged, in a monologue that sounds so convincing and easy as a politician’s speech of sway, it ends on the statement that justice is the love you keep on people and crimes you commit to do that. Perhaps, this is the most we get out of what Arunachalam thinks during series, which otherwise relegates its lead character to being mum throughout the series.

Given how we are told Arunachalam is a three-time chief minister and took the baton from the party founder while keeping his son as his loyal and trustworthy aide, there ought to be some more to be shared about the lead character. But we are given none. In fact, in the whole saga of the ongoing case on Arunachalam, we barely get to see the man talk and take decisions on his own, making it the biggest grouse to come out of a series that talks about a man who has won thrice as people’s choice. We barely get to hear the running thoughts of Arunachalam, his capabilities, what’s in him that takes to be a politician and leader, and is he indeed the man he claims to be? Thalaimai Seyalagam attempts to not even explore these areas, let alone show its politician’s love for his subjects. In fact, for a series like Thalaimai Seyalagam that declares its central character’s love for people is what justice is, we are never shown their interactions and Arunachalam’s navigation through his voters for once.

Directed by Vasanthabalan, the series also traverses through some pertinent topics, like feudalism versus rebel groups, and uprising of the extremist groups, a commentary on the efflux of youth to abroad, perceived criminal lens through which men from other states are viewed upon, but Thalaimai Seyalagam is barely able to cause an impression by taking a delve into one of them deep, despite its choice to take sprawling method of series to narrate a political tale that is both skewed and layered. Amid all this, is Arunachalam’s family politics, with each of them eyeing benefits of their own. The series bites more than what he can chew and at times, even confuses itself on what it tries to say. Whether it is on dynasty politics, feudalism, or the revolt of the working class and exploitation on them, the series attempts to overarch concepts but crumbles when is unable to.

Thalaimai Seyalagam’s cast is any director’s dream. Given its lead is a versatile Kishore, who naturally possesses a face and body of work that relinquishes in mystery, playing a grey-tinted character like of a politician is a piece of cake and the actor seems to be at ease with it. But he isn’t used enough to bring his prowess onscreen. As much as Sriya Reddy and Ramya Nambeesan get their fair share of screen presence and certain depth to their characters, their point black dimensioned roles offer no surprises and even if there is one, it is very much guessable. That being said, one cannot take away the efforts how these seasoned actors bring to the table.

Thalaimai Seyalagam verdict

The series has its ambitious heart at the right place and perhaps even touches upon to make it points, making its political stances at times clear. But in the narrative that does not delve beyond skin deep, it only gets hazy and convoluted.

Get the latest updates in your inbox