Kailasapuram Review - A hard-hitting web series that sweeps you off your feet

Kailasapuram Review - A hard-hitting web series that sweeps you off your feet
Movie Rated

Production House: Tamada Media Casts: Mohit Pedada, Snehal Kamat, Brindavan Naidu, Shiva Prasad R, Eenadu Ramana Dialogues: Chanakya Jilla, Prashanth Ragathi, Bhargav Macharla Music: Naren RK Siddhartha Cinematography: Sekhar Boon Editing: Yuva Kiran Producers: Rahul Tamada, Saideep Reddy Borra Story: Bhargav Macharla Direction: Bhargav Macharla Premiere date: June 5, 2019 Story: Shiva, Sailaja, Raju, Suresh, and Seenu are a group of carefree college-going friends biding their time at a small village near Visakhapatnam. Being a gullible lot hailing from vulnerable economic backgrounds makes them easy prey to the drug trade in the suburb. The friends turn drug addicts soon enough but little do they realise the mess they're getting into. They soon become drug delivery agents and one of their friends is haplessly murdered in mysterious circumstances. Meanwhile, a cop and a constable are holding an independent investigation to put an end to the drug mafia in the suburb. Where will this lead them to? Artistes’ Performances: Though the story mostly happens through the eyes of Shiva and Sailaja, the characters played by Mohit Pedada and Snehal Kamat, Kailasapuram gives several rookie actors scope to deliver impressive performances. The newcomers don't disappoint at all. Actor Shiva Prasad R, who plays a constable named Parvateesam is the series' biggest find. In a role where he's sandwiched between drug peddlers, goons and his superiors at work, Shiva Prasad submits to his part with an innocence that helps us empathise with him. Mohit Pedada is an actor with a promise too. As an arrogant youth, a selfless friend and an insecure lover with middling character traits, there are multiple dimensions to his role and the actor lends believability to it at most places. His on-screen love interest Snehal Kamat appears at ease in front of the camera. The actors playing the higher officials to Parvateesam are well-cast. The surprise factor comes from the actor who essays the role of Dhanunjay. Revealing anything more would spoil the suspense element in the narrative.   Technical Merit - Direction: Right from the first frame, it seems very clear that Kailasapuram is the director's baby. It's a plot-driven series whose storytelling is extremely rooted and authentic to its setting. Director Bhargav Macharla's true-to-life detailing becomes another layer that adds more appeal to the intriguing story. Kailasapuram steers away from any unnecessary cinematic cliches and it's very impressive to see a newbie director hold such strong conviction in his material. Be it the modus operandi of the drug trade, the crisp character establishment, the realism or the use of smart narrative devices, Bhargav proves his worth as a capable storyteller. Dialogues: The writing credits are shared between Chanakya Jilla, Prashanth Ragathi, and Bhargav Macharla. Though this isn't a dialogue-heavy product, the writers make sure that the lines are to-the-point and don't beat around the bush. The expletives could have been toned down considerably and the Visakhapatnam accent feels inconsistent through the series, especially with the dialogues of its lead cast. Impressive job on the whole, but the impact could have been greater with more flavourful lines. Cinematography: Sekhar Boon's lens zips through the length and breadth of Kailasapuram in meticulous detail. Most characters in the series are on the move and the cinematographer utilises the nature-rich backdrop to his advantage. Good cinematography is one that always blends with the story and doesn't try to rise above it, and Sekhar seems to know his job well. Impressive colour grading dominated by the greys (in relevance to the story), experimental use of lighting techniques provide the right atmosphere to the dark series. Music: Naren RK Siddhartha comes up with a solid background score and two individual tracks that go with the series well. The composer keeps things low-key and edgy, keeping in mind the dark backdrop of the series. Though he doesn't traverse much beyond the obvious, he ensures that the tempo of the series is sustained on the whole. Editing: Given the director switches between conventional and experimental storytelling patterns in many parts of the series, the editor's (Yuva Kiran) task in ensuring coherence to the product couldn't have been a walk in the park. Yuva Kiran, in spite of his sharp edits, does a decent job in preserving the soul of the story and retains its rawness. The non-linear storytelling wouldn't have worked without his contribution. Production standards: Even though it's clear that the series is shot within a shoestring budget, the makers' choice of locations, particularly the outdoor shoots, are a delight to watch on the screen. This isn't a story that demands grandeur and in fact, relies on its rustic flavour for its visual appeal. The technicalities and the production scale are adequate, also serving their job to capture the essence of the story. Highlights: Exemplary detailing of the drug trade Terrific performances Rooted, raw storytelling Drawback: Inconsistencies within the dialogues Analysis: Kailasapuram isn't only the most authentic series to have based its story around the flourishing drug trade in the Telugu states, but also the best Telugu web series to have released on any digital platform to date. The director Bhargav takes up a sensitive subject, bases it on true incidents and fictionalises it well for the digital space without compromising on its execution by any means. Filled with the right amount of tension, drama and emotional context, the narration in Kailasapuram is slick and is backed by consistently engaging performances. Kalisapuram stands out because of its attempt to view the drug trade from several perspectives, including parents, students, cops and the mafia gangs. With literally unknown faces and bluntly relying on a real, dark and a complex story, Kailasapuram drives home an important message and proves that content is indeed king. Icing on the cake:  A compelling, no-holds-barred series on the drug trade Rating: 3.5/5

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