'Papam Pasivadu' is now available for streaming on Aha Video. This inaugural season comprises five episodes with a total runtime of around 105 minutes. In this segment, we will be critiquing the newest Telugu-language web series.
The story is set in Hyderabad. The time is present. Kranthi (Sreerama Chandra) is a small-time event manager with a dull life and a duller body language. His years-long relationship with Dimpy (Gayathri Changanti) falls on the rocks after she breaks up with him without giving a reason. Kranthi tries to cope with the depression by walking out of his house, inhabited by a pestering mother who constantly reminds him that he is unmarried at the age of 30.
Kranthi's life turns for the better after his break-up and a self-imposed separation from his parents. He bumps into a beautiful architect named Chaaru (Raashi Singh) with whom he has a passive fling. Feelings of love follow. Meanwhile, his nagging parents re-enter the picture. They ask him to meet a techie named Anusha (Sri Vidya Maharshi), who instantly likes him and nudges him to marry her.
In this week's other Telugu web original 'Kumari Srimathi', Nitya Menen's character constantly comes across men and women itching to reshape her life. The viewer is told Srimathi is facing struggles in realizing her dream of setting up a bar, but the viewer doesn't feel she is undergoing any real struggles whatsoever. If anything, her rise is meteoric and miraculous. In 'Papam Pasivadu', the series under review, Kranthi constantly comes across women itching to transform his life. The viewer is told Kranthi is confused and claustrophobic after two to three women get desperate for him, but the viewer doesn't feel he is undergoing any confusion whatsoever. If anything, he is mighty moronic in not knowing how to talk straight with women of his age for five straight minutes.
'Papam Pasivadu' has been conceived as a coming-of-age relationship comedy that borrows its sensibilities from new-age comedy capers. Idiosyncratic roomies (among them a clown who does drugs) and eccentric situations (which are actually silly, like the scene where the male lead messes up after he tries to touch a bra) are trotted out with the aim of making the show look bohemian.
Why is a woman brandishing a pistol and threatening to kill anyone at will in a relationship comedy? Why is it that a grown-up adult doesn't know how to communicate with a watchman and a cop? Why is it that a woman who wants to marry Kranthi is not interested in listening to him even though he keeps requesting her to give him some time? Above all, why are three good-looking women (two of them have a soaring career) itching to marry a semi-jobless joker who looks constipated all the time?
Granted that you can have a silly plot in a zany comedy but even the jokes don't land in 'Papam Pasivadu'. The heavy lifting is done by the music director, whose score keeps reminding the audience that they are supposed to see the show as an offering where confusion and montages are supposed to be the substitute for a screenplay. The background music and the umpteen film songs playing in many scenes frustrate the viewer.
If it weren't for the prevailing trend of male actors sporting beards, which often conceals a major portion of their facial expressions (or lack thereof), singer Sreerama Chandra might not have ventured into the realm of acting.
'Papam Pasivadu' is one of the most frustrating, affected, unoriginal Telugu Originals. By a distance, it is also this year's worst Telugu offering on OTT.