‘Kumari Srimathi’: Cast & Crew
Director: Gomtesh Upadhye
Cast: Gautami, Nithya Menen, Murali Mohan, Vijaykrishna Naresh, Nirupam Paritala, Praneeta Patnaik, Talluri Rameshwari, Thiruveer Reddy, Prem Sagar Rajulapati, Mahesh Achanta, Madhavi Latha, Ramani, Satthi Babu, Pruthvi Raj, V.K. Naresh, Gavireddy Srinivas, Usha Sree, Lakshmi Vennela, Vijay Bhaskar, Akshay Lagusani, Sathya Reddy, Srihari, Karthik, Pitapuram Baburao, Krishna Rao, Venu Polasani, Subbaraya Sarma, Prabhavathi, Sahasra, Akshara, Srinivas Avasarala, Katta Anthony, Inturi Vasu, Mahika, Babu Mohan, Ramana Bhargav, Usha Sree, Srivani, Lakshmi Vennela, Ram, Madhu Prakash, Rian, Vishwa Teja, Pujari, Kumari Rajeshwari, Laxman, Vihaan, Nani, Noel Sean, Jabardast Dorababu
Available On: Amazon Prime Video
Duration: 7 Episodes, 40 Minutes Each
‘Kumari Srimathi’: Story
A woman named Kumari Srimathi (Nithya Menen) refuses to let her grandfather’s bungalow get sold by her evil uncle. While the case has been running in court for over 20 years, now the court has finally given her time of 6 months in order to produce the money needed to buy the bungalow from her uncle. With a meagre job, she wouldn’t be able to earn that much money in that short span of time. So, she decided to quit her restaurant job and open up her own bar in the village, which she feels has huge monetary returns. Will she be able to become an entrepreneur? Will she finally be able to start her own bar? Will society allow her, a woman, to open up a bar? Will she ever be able to win her grandfather’s property back from her uncle? Well, for all that, you’ll have to watch ‘Kumari Srimathi’.
‘Kumari Srimathi’: Performances
Nithya Menen leads the pack with a very simple, sweet and relatable character. Her performance is so genuine that it draws you into the story even more. The little nuances that she brings to the character show her prowess with such simpleton characters. From the understanding between sisters to the short and sweet fights with her mother to the heartfelt endearment towards her grandfather to the anger towards her father – every emotion is so well placed that you simply want to watch more and more of this character onscreen.
Gautami never lets the character of the mother fall flat at any minute. Even when she is just standing there in the background with no lines or emotions, her expressions are on point and that makes you realise the kind of commitment she puts into the performance. She starts off the character very subtly as any other Indian mom who’s worried about her daughter’s wedding and very soon that worry turns into her strength and pride for her daughters. That change in not just her emotions but even her body language is shown very precisely by her. She barely laughs throughout the film, but when she does at the very end of the movie, it just makes you feel the kind of emotional turmoil the character must be going through, and how nicely Gautami held onto all of that through the 7 episodes.
Prem Sagar Rajulapati is the stereotypical textbook example of a nemesis who’s not villainous but makes sure to be the hindrance every step of the way. His performance is also so refreshing that you’ren’t hating him despite him being the negative character throughout. The way he jokes, the way he swiftly shifts gear to a musical note, the way he tries to always put a mark on his sons, the way he gets astonished at little things – all of them make his character even more lovable. You’re rooting throughout for his character to have a change of heart and not be the evil uncle anymore. That’s how nicely Prem Sagar Rajulapati has played the character where the audience wants to hate him but can’t. A very precariously balanced act, and he comes out with flying colours.
Talluri Rameshwari returns to screens after ages in such a big-ticket project. It’s lovely to see that she didn’t pick a character who is just there for the sake of being a character artiste. On the contrary, she has quite a few emotional scenes where her outburst makes for a wonderful watch.
Nirupam Paritala, Thiruveer Reddy, and Gavireddy Srinivas – the three guys in the lead character’s life have done their parts decently even though there isn’t any standout scene of theirs. Their characters should have received a much better closure.
Nani’s cameo was unexpected, and it comes at a point where you’re just starting to feel that the show is probably getting dragged unnecessarily. But with Nani’s quick cameo, you’re brought back to the story with a bam! Even though it's just a blink-and-a-miss performance, it leaves a huge impact on the flow of the story. Nani is quickfire even in just one short scene.
The rest of the supporting cast doesn’t have too much screen time or even a standout performance to warrant a mention here.
‘Kumari Srimathi’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects
The writing by Srinivas Avasarala, Jayanth and Uday Kaushik is the only weak spot in ‘Kumari Srimathi’. You can’t deny that the story is predictable. It’s very predictable and you know every nook and corner of what’s going to come. However, what makes it worth the watch is the simplicity which the writers have managed to bring to the characters and to the overall story. That’s what makes this so relatable that you’re not willing to stop after the first episode and you end up binging the entire series together.
Gomtesh Upadhye’s direction was so subtle yet spoke up so nicely. The societal issues he picked up were not shown loudly and put in your face directly. They were discussed very smoothly in the subtext of the story, which makes you realise how nicely the storyboarding must have been done. Choosing the kind of locales to keeping the simple feel of a small town to not diluting the sensitivity of the story – everything was done brilliantly.
The music by Kamran and Staccato is another high point of ‘Kumari Srimathi’. There aren’t songs which stop the narration of the story, but they’re very nicely placed amidst the story which takes forward the story as well and yet gives you a soothing song. Some of the songs from the album are definitely worthy of getting a place in your playlists.
Mohan Krishna’s cinematography is brilliant. The usage of drone shots is absolutely impeccable. The way he has shot the locales makes the series feel even more appealing. The greenish paddy fields to the huge courtyard of the ancestral bungalow, all have been so well shot that you’re asking yourself where this place is, and I want to spend some time in this small town. It’s presented really well.
Srujana Adusumilli’s editing is another aspect of ‘Kumari Srimathi’ which could have been tighter. There are a few portions where the story starts to drag a bit. But the director manages to bring in a new punch right there and get the audience back. However, had the editing been a bit crisper, the entire series probably could have been wrapped up in 6 episodes.
‘Kumari Srimathi’: Can Kids Watch It?
‘Kumari Srimathi’ is a sweet and simple story told with a lot of heart. Nithya Menen’s performance is -oh-so-relatable. Despite the story being very predictable, it’s the way it’s been presented, the way it’s been shot, and the way it’s been acted that draws you into the story more and more. It’s a Breezy Weekend Watch, which you might want to rewatch later on as well. I am going with 3.5 stars.