I have a serious question for the makers. You’re given a platform where language, length, and freedom of expression isn’t curtailed. You’re given artists who are capable of wonderful performances. You’re given the chance to write and direct, something so many people are hankering for, along with someone to finance you and what do you do? You come up with Karoline Kamakshi, a 10 episode series, or whatever it claims to be, which either underplays or overplays or doesn’t play at all with the above-mentioned resources. Given the chance, I would rename the series “101 ways to mess up a good storyline”. Directed by Vivek Kumar Kannan, the series stars Meena and Giorgia Andriani in titular roles along with YG Mahendran, Balaji Murugadoss, Spike John and Anto Thomas.
Two detectives, the French Karoline (Giorgia) from Interpol and Tamil brahmin Kamakshi (Meena) from CBI embark on a mission in Pondicherry to track down Furkin (Anto Thomas), a mafia don who has allegedly stolen the “Virgin Mary”, an artefact displayed at the fictitious National Museum of Paris. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? But all that strictly remains with the storyline. Although this is not a lengthy series, there’s much that could’ve been cut down. Bland shots hyping up characters, badly-staged quasi-fight sequences we could’ve done without, corny and meaningless dialogues and frustratingly silly humor. It doesn’t even scratch the surface of the ‘action-comedy’ genre.
The very reason for Kamakshi wanting to be a part of the mission is extremely daft. Her daughter Mallika (Baby Pranitha) accuses her of being of no use to the world, insinuating that she had no right to question her. As a parent, one would berate one’s child and ask her to behave, but Kamakshi ruminates over those words and agrees to work on a mission to prove herself. Firstly, why would you put yourself in a position where your ‘kid’ can question you like this. Secondly, kids should strictly be kids and not double up as grandmothers. It only reminded me of Baby Manasvi from Imaikka Nodigal.
In one episode, while Karoline and Kamakshi are speaking to Chidambaram (YG Mahendran) regarding an obviously wrong clue they find, Old Monk (Spike John) has all the time in his life to escape from their car. But what does he do? He waits for them to finish their call, discuss how brainless they are and then escapes when they are just about to turn. Victoria (Angelina) is aware that her dealer has ratted her out to Furkin towards the end. Just when you think she might instantly shoot him down, she lights up a cigarette, cusses for the sake of it and waits to be shot, all with purposeless confidence.
I understand that the platform allows profanity, but makes sense only if it would serve some purpose. Here, every character just had to say at least one swear word just because they were given the chance. And some of them just went over the top succeeding in hampering the already dreadful screenplay.
Meena makes no great comeback with the series. Poor dubbing sync means they rewrote lines at the dubbing table. Kamakshi is aware of liquor that you don’t find in Chennai but somehow cannot identify a male escort who is half-naked at her place. And just in case you didn’t realise, she works for the CBI.
Giorgia, on the other hand, manages to somewhat convince with her performance. Anto Thomas might look fierce but doesn’t frighten at any point. His constant ‘angrily disgusted’ expression irks thoroughly. YG Mahendran forcefully attempts to impress but fails miserably. Dhileepan who plays Kunjumohan (of course there had to be terrible jokes around the name) occupies a lot of screen-space only to entirely waste it. Spike John is the only bearable supporting character from the season.
Little did I know that Side by Side’s background score ‘Run Away Now’ tried to warn me about the season while I was completely blinded by the peppy tune. Although repetitive, it did work well. Costumer Nina’s outfits, especially for Meena, are pretty good. They’ve added sound effects whenever and wherever they please, and fail to sync with care. The VFX department… well they forget to add bullet shots in a gun shooting sequence…
After churning out a nothing less than a terrible first season, the makers seriously need to rethink their decision of filming a second season (yes they did end on that note). I definitely do not have the space for another three-hours of absolute junk.
The Karoline Kamakshi review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.