The first season of 'Kudi Yedamaithe', the eight-episode web series, is currently streaming on Aha. Let's find out what works and what doesn't.
Adhi (Rahul Vijay) works as a delivery agent and is also an aspiring actor. Durga (Amala Paul) is a Circle Inspector. Their life doesn't move after 29 February 2020, in the sense that the day keeps repeating itself. To be clear, they wake up on Feb 29 after sleeping on Feb 29. After a while, they realize that they have to meet each other and work towards finding an escape. In the process, they can change the course of events in the lives of others, too. But can they succeed?
The web series belongs as much to Rahul Vijay as to Amala Paul. The 'Sooryakantham' actor, who has faced setbacks on the silver screen, gets an author-backed role on OTT. He does a decent job in the role of a meek man who is caught in a series of anxious moments. As for Amala Paul, she gets to play a non-glamorous character. The actress shows effortless ease for the most part.
Ravi Prakash in the role of a criminal-minded beast is subtle and superb. He continues to be an underrated actor. Nithya Sri plays a damsel in distress. Pradeep Rudra, as Amala Paul's friend, is good. Surya Sreenivas plays a fellow cop.
The BGM by Poornachandra Tejaswi SV is effective. While it may not be entirely innovative, the sound keeps the viewer involved for the most part. Sometimes, the music does sound repetitive but it could be a deliberate attempt to suggest that the lead characters are stuck in a time loop. Advaitha Gurumurthy's cinematography is able. The frames are pleasing for the most part.
Suresh Arumugam's editing could have been better. There was no need to keep some of the repeat mode scenes too lengthy. The production design by Abhishek Raghav and Manisha Dutt is adequate.
Writer Ram Vignesh and director Pawan Kumar wed the crime thriller genre to the fantasy genre. The director comes with the critically acclaimed 'U Turn' and 'Lucia' (Kannada) in his filmography. While the crime incidents spun are more or less routine, it's the fact that the protagonists can at least try to alter the course of events that makes 'Kudi Yedamaithe' somewhat of a novel experience.
At least on paper, the eight-episode series offers intrigue. The first three episodes are engaging and we don't really complain. The structuring is also neat, with each of the episodes told from the perspective of the different characters.
But the real trouble ensues after the fourth episode. One starts to feel that the episodes, each of which is not less than 30 minutes long, are too bulky. And a number of scenes could have been left unsaid. The viewer should have been left to understand them after letting them grasp the concept is of Time Loop. Films like '24', which is directed by Vikram K Kumar, let the viewer deduce a lot of conclusions.
Despite the strength of the premise, most of the episodes don't end in a cliffhanger. The viewer doesn't feel that changing the past can result in great emotional satisfaction.
The last episode comes into its own and undoes some of the damage wrought by the previous few episodes.
Strong performances and technical departments are a big plus. The premise and the fantasy concept are its forte. But the series is too long at more than 4 hr 30 minutes. Even if there may be only too few logical loopholes, the overlong narration is underwhelming.