Movie Review

'Thalaimai Seyalagam' On Zee5 Review: Kishore And Sriya Reddy's Political Drama Is Heavily Weighed Down By A Predictable Plot

Outlook Rating:
2 / 5

Starring Kishore and Sriya Reddy, 'Thalaimai Seyalagam' is now streaming on Zee5. Is this political thriller worth watching or you can choose to skip it? Read the full review to find out.

A still from 'Thalaimai Seyalagam' Photo: Zee5

National award-winning director Vasanthabalan is known for helming critically acclaimed works such as ‘Veyil’, ‘Angaadi Theru’, and ‘Kaaviya Thalaivan’ to name a few. So when it was announced that he would be helming a political thriller on OTT, I was excited. With a stellar cast that is known for delivering nuanced and hit performances, Vasanthabalan’s ‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’ is now available to stream on Zee5. The series has enough twists and turns to keep you hooked till the very end. In case you are planning to start your week by binge-watching this series, then here’s all that you need to know about ‘Thalaimai Seyalagam.’

‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’: Story

Set against the turbulent political backdrop of Tamil Nadu, ‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’ opens with Chief Minister Arunachalam (played by Kishore) caught up in a 15-year-old corruption scandal. The verdict has the potential to ruin his career and destroy his party. As he tries to figure out his next move, his loyal aide journalist Kotravai (played by Sriya Reddy) tries every possible move to prove his innocence and keep the party intact. As his power starts to slip, people start eyeing his influential chair. Among them are opposition leader Amudhavalli, Arunachalam's daughter (played by Remya Nambeesan), and his son-in-law Hariharan (played by Niroop).

Simultaneously, an old murder investigation in Jharkhand and a series of killings on the outskirts of Chennai from two decades ago also resurface. CBI officer Nawaz Khan (Adithya Menon) starts to investigate these cases and he uncovers potential links to Arunachalam’s trial.

‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’: Performances

The cast of ‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’ is what can be called a dream cast for any director. As Arunachalam, Kishore is balanced and calculative. His performance exudes the traits of a seasoned politician who takes a firm look at the pros and cons of every situation before taking a step. His screen presence is compelling. Additionally, his dialogue delivery has that authoritative tone which is necessary for his role.

Sriya Reddy as Kotravai also delivers a compelling performance. The way she balances her demeanour when her entire world goes haywire is commendable. Her portrayal of the smart political advisor makes you side with her because of how she brings her character to life. Throughout the series, she maintains this streak.

On the other hand, Kani Kusruti as Durga is stunning to look at. There are times when her acting falters but the way she brings out the grey shades of her character is beautiful to look at. Bharath and Adithya Menon add depth as police officers investigating the complicated case.

‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

The series deals with all the themes that you can think of in a political thriller – power, money, and betrayal. Despite having multiple characters, the makers have taken the pain to write each character meticulously and with detail. While the series starts on a good note, it slowly falls into a predictable mess. The twists and turns fail to make an impact because you had seen them coming from a mile ago. Interestingly, these multiple characters also weigh the story down. While it attempts to build political intrigue and constant conflict, it neglects to develop its characters, even someone as central as Arunachalam.

The direction is a squandered opportunity. With so many characters in tow, it becomes difficult for the audience to keep track of all of them with every episode. Frankly, the series needs crisp editing. The characters needed to be developed to make a compelling watch. But with one-dimensional character arcs, the story starts to become a snooze fest.

The cinematography effectively captures the intense and often dark atmosphere of the political landscape. The use of lighting and angles enhances the mood, while the soundtrack complements the narrative's tension. However, the editing could be tighter, as the pacing occasionally drags.

‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’: Cast & Crew

Director: Vasanthabalan

Writer: S Jeyamohan, G Vasanthabalan

Cast: Kishore, Sriya Reddy, Kani Kusruti, Bharath, Remya Nambeesan, Adithya Menon, Dharsha Gupta, Siddharth Vipin, YG Mahendran, Santhana Bharathi, Kanya Bharathi

Available On: Zee5

Duration: 8 episodes (30- 40 minutes approximately)

Languages: Tamil, Telugu

‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’: Can Kids Watch It?

No. The episodes feature violence, gore, and blood that will be disturbing to young viewers.

Outlook’s Verdict

‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’ has a lot of suspense to keep the audience hooked. The series starts slow, but it picks pace by the second episode. But what brings this series down is the number of subplots which can make it for any viewer to lose track. What would have worked for this series was if it was made into a political movie with crisp editing. Most of the plots add to the narrative overload. With a stellar cast that has the potential to make any story a gripping watch, this series fails to make use of these phenomenal actors. I am going with 2 stars.