Queen is based on Anita Sivakumaran’s book by the same name. The series is directed by award-winning directors Gautham Vasudev Menon and Prasath Murugesan. This is among the more intelligently devised series covering a number of social issues. The glass ceiling, caste biases, professional biases are just a few to name. The series progresses slowly but evolves surely leaving an indelible imprint on the onlooker's mind. The series explores the highs and lows in the life of a celebrity, only to add, with every drop of honesty to it.
Based on real-life events, the series opens at Lillete Dubey’s talk show that is premised closely around Rendezvous with Simi Garewal. The host very gently walks the more experienced and stayed Shakti Sheshadri (Ramya Krishnan) down the nostalgic alley. Anikha Surendran (the young Shakti Sheshadri at 15) takes it on her shoulder to lay the foundation of the series, and she does so with panache! Anikha emboldens Ramya’s character, delivering her to the required edge that she must possess as a matured adult who has been through the highs and lows in life. Right from her girlhood years Shakti incessantly finds herself oscillating between her own wishes and achievements on one hand and destiny’s masterstroke on the other.
The young Shakti yearns to study, but her ambitions are held back owing to the receding finances. Pinky, Shakti’s best friend comes from a very well to do family. The members of Pinky’s family are in awe of Shakti’s ability and encourage her to study (all expenses paid). But Shakti’s mother brashly dismisses the idea, taking her on film sets, landing her to her destiny.
Shakti’s convent educated ways are viewed loosely and as pride and arrogance. But somehow she makes a mark in the industry with the help of her director and begins to evolve progressively. At a very young age she learns that she cannot fight destiny, which is precisely why she should just give her best shot at where she is. Her lack of judgement is clear in the early years as a star. Shakti’s decisions posses an evident streak of thoughtlessness. The bearing of which are often backed by her mother (young Mother Sonia Agarwal’s) wisdom.
All through the series the director efficaciously incorporates the use of symbolism to steer the course of the series. It is interesting how he has shown the best of both worlds (Rich and poor) using the divide of a single wall. It seriously touches one’s hers when a thatched roof, is used to signify the closing of Pinky’s and Shakti’s deep-rooted kinship. Human biases, such as sexist ways, professional biases, and even the power struggle between woman and man are evident.
As Shakti grows up with Anjana Jayaprakash taking over we see how this young girl has been taken for a ride. This is interestingly woven as the director shows how smitten the 17 years old Shakti is by GMR’s ways. Shakti’s desire to work with other superstars is often met with an abrupt end halfway through the shoot. The growing anxiety about her relationship with GMR compels her to confront him in a manner that he later casts her away. Time passes, and GMR once again finds a way into her life propelling her to politics. Even there she emerges just as victorious.
The transition of every passing epoch is subtly shown with minimalistic transitions, yet incorporating the key features of each era. The quotes on the walls of GMR’s office pretty much helps the series to meander, taking its right course. The production, especially some of the scenes shown in the convent school in the first episode is slightly off point, but the crew certainly works around the erroneous ways, as the series quickly gathers steam.