What is the story about?
Navarasa is an anthology series consisting of nine different emotions, based on the nine different rasas (emotions) of humankind. The series has its stories spun around the different emotions which are love, laughter, sorrow, anger, courage, fear, disgust, wonder and peace.
Out of the nine films in the list, Karthick Naren’s Project Agni is the best of the lot, as it projects the wonder rasa with a tasty sci-fi tale that majorly runs through the course of pure conversations built over heavy technical terms, English vocabulary and the class of both Arvind Swami and Prasanna. Though the final twist does remind you of a famous film, the journey until then is just perfect.
Rathindran Prasad’s Inmai is another solid film which takes up a very regular story and creates a lot of tension and ‘fear’ around it. The spookiness in the story and the surprising narrative that it keeps springing up makes it a superb watch on the whole.
Arvind Swami makes a punchy directorial debut in his film Roudhram, based on the emotion of anger. Contrary to his real life image, the actor chooses a local milieu and extracts really good performances out of his actors.
Karthik Subbaraj’s Peace works well as a drama that focuses on the title from the first frame, and delivers a story that has a nice surprise to spring up. The film suffers from a weak ending, but otherwise, it is very convincing.
Suriya - Gautham Menon’s Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru and Vasanth directorial Payasam are films which don't impress in full, but end up being mixed bags. The other 3 films in Summer of 92, Edhiri and Thunindha Pin find it tough to make a mark, and have only minutes of specials each.
With each film being limited to 30 minutes, there are fine performances throughout but the standout ones are definitely only a handful. Suriya in Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru is so refreshing, fitting into the tag of the musician perfectly. Both Siddharth and Parvathy carry out their parts in excellent fashion in Inmai, along with the classy command of Arvind Swami and Prasanna in Project Agni striking it big too. But the real show stealer here is Pasanga Sreeram who does a fabulous job again in Roudhram, with a special mention to Delhi Ganesh in Payasam as well.
Music & Other Departments
Karthik’s work for Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru is definitely the best of the entire series, for his songs strike gold and are worth listening to over and over again. Vishal Bhardwaj’s eclectic score for Inmai is something that is beautiful and haunting at the same time, in addition to Rahman’s fantastic themes for Arvind Swami’s Roudhram. These 3 composers take the cream this time. The cinematography and the editing overall is very neat, and credit goes to all the cameramen who have put in a solid amount of work for the films.
Project Agni, Inmai and Roudhram are films that one won’t mind watching for the second time.
Some of the rasas aren’t explored very well, and could have been employed with different stories instead.
Did I enjoy it?
Yes, some of it. The series on the whole could have been a little more consistent, doing more justice to the rasas.
Do I recommend it?
Don’t miss the three films mentioned in the highlights, the rest is a product of your free time.