Fingertip Review – A techno thriller that gets its act right

Fingertip Review – A techno thriller that gets its act right
Platform
Zee5
Format
WRITTEN REVIEW
Movie Rated
13+
Genre
DRAMA
Language

In times where the lines between our digital and personal lives are blurring by the day, Zee5's Tamil web-series Fingertip is a gripping, reflective tale of fiction that serves as a mirror to our changing priorities. The series is an attempt to underline our online existence as a double-edged sword that one has to tread with the right amount of caution. Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Tinder are a few dimensions of social media addiction that the series takes to highlight the perils of our digital activity. Notable names including Akshara Haasan, Sunainaa, Gayathrie, Ashwin Kakumanu make for a credible actor-lineup in a story that's executed with promise. The five episodes spanning three hours deal with different plots, bound by a common digital threat. For all the credibility the show has, it isn't without a hint of exaggeration. Perhaps, that's the reason why the director Shivakar builds the tension in the air well. The first episode featuring the rift between Rekha (played by an in-form Sunainaa) and her husband owing to the former's obsession for a false celebrity status on social media seems slightly far fetched, but the atmosphere feels believable. The writing is strong, and also takes a peek into our obsession to capture every aspect of our supposedly-perfect lives on social media, sugarcoating it with words to possibly woo a follower-base. But, at the cost of jeopardising your personal life? This is a question that Fingertip points out. The episode featuring Madhusudhan Rao is scarier – about a youngster who uses a fake Whatsapp forward to malign an elderly man who had humiliated him publicly. The tension relatively dips in the thread between thick friends Priya and Vidhya, where the latter's insecurity about an online (playboy of a ) boyfriend ruptures their formidable equation. The story about Tinder where a married man is honey-trapped by a con-woman and a cop into a resort date is reasonably interesting as well. The best however is preserved for the final episode – it has got to do something with hacking and the 'Me Too' movement and that's the part where the series well and truly hits home. The director and the team of writers prove that they completely understand the digital space with all its complexity and don't reduce it to one invisible caricature. Fingertip is impactful because it offers practical examples where we can feel the chills from a certain distance. The filmmaker is successful in establishing characters with a neighbour-next-door 'quality', Vidhya, Priya, Rekha, Sanjay could be some of our friends, relatives or even us. There are no pointless-cinematic liberties, unnecessary sermonising or uncalled-for drama. The messages are tightly wrapped within the narrative and everything else falls in place. This is why the web-series came into being in the first place. Fingertip is very today in its theme, is executed with enough tact and has the technical precision of a feature film – the cinematography, the music, production design blend like an inseparable unit. Actors like Sunaina, Gayathrie sink their teeth into flawed, complex roles, something that feature films barely offer female actors these days. The two make use of their acting experience within their limited screen-time and deliver a knock-out punch. The same holds for Ashwin Kakumanu, who gets a dream digital debut of sorts as a tainted actor and a casanova whose life changes for the worse after his social media account gets hacked. His assured screen-presence helps him sail through the part with conviction. However, Akshara Haasan is the only disappointment in a role with a limited scope and one that isn't as well written as the other parts. For a series that was heavily marketed as her digital debut, Fingertip doesn't offer her much. Yet that doesn't take away from the fact that Fingertip is the best Tamil web series to have been produced on any streaming platform, being both engaging and to-the-point. Rating: 3/5 (Watch the Fingertip here)


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