I stayed up till 3am today morning to finish all the eight episodes of “Pushpavalli – based on a true-ish story” streaming on Amazon Prime video. Created by Sumukhi Suresh who is also the protagonist in it, this is one of the most intriguing web series available right now. Starring Manish Anand and Naveen Richard in pivotal roles, this is the story of Pushpavalli switching cities from Bhopal to Bangalore to be with the man she is in love with but ends up stalking eventually.
- Sumukhi Suresh – Pushpavalli
- Manish Anand – Nikhil Rao
- Naveen Richard – Pankaj
After finishing the episodes, I figured out the top 10 reasons that make this series a must watch –
- The story – Pushpavalli has that unique story of a girl reverse stalking a guy. While stalking in itself is a scary thing to begin with, the story takes it to a different level of creepiness altogether. You will end up pitying for Pushpa in an episode only to strongly loathe her in the next one.
- The dark comedy angle – Pushpavalli makes it very clear that you can have a series where you would end up having negative feelings towards the protagonist. At no point, Pushpavalli tries to impress anyone other than her man Nikhil, not even the audience. She knows she’s manipulative and not really likable but she doesn’t really care.
- The climax – It is so unpredictable that just when you think that it had ended, the following two minutes shakes you up messing up your entire thought process.
- The combo of Sumukhi Suresh and Naveen Richard – we had seen them play colleagues in Better Life Foundation” series. Now they are back together as colleagues cum school friends. They complement each other so beautifully despite the non stop banter throughout that one can’t help but wish for a friend like Pankaj. Sumukhi, who’s also known for her characters like Parvathi Bai and Behti is marvelous here.
- The supporting cast – This series is a great collaboration between artists from various medium. While we see Kenny Sebastian, Rahul Subramanian and Kumar Varun make guest appearances, Urooj Ashfaq and Sumaira Shaikh are eually good in their role as Pusha’s PG roommates. Manish Anand, who plays the role of Nikhil is suave and charming. You will end up supporting Nikhil for the endearing character that he portrays throughout the episodes.
- Vasu – Shraddha as Vasu, the PG owner in Bangalore where Pushpavalli stays deserves a special mention. She’s unbelievably good and convincing in her character. Everytime she’s on the screen, she lights it up with her effortless sense of humor. I ended up reminiscing about my Bangalore PG and hostel years because Vasu made it look so real
- The taboo topics – There are quite a few instances in the series which makes one glad that they subtly touch upon topics like menstruation and sanitary pads. And they do it casually without making it look like a big deal.
- Social issues – Under the cloak of humor, Pushpavalli also touches upon issues like fat shaming, raising questions on women’s safety through situations involving flashing and stalking and the working of arranged marriages in the Indian society. The truth of the marketability of the groom basis his job, salary and green card against the look and waist size of the bride is unfortunately still that stark reality of today.
- Length of the episodes – Each episode duration ranges between 19 minutes to 25 minutes. It’s short, crisp and leaves the viewers yearning to see the next one immediately after.
- Relevance – There’s also something more about the series making it very relevant in the current age and situation. Be it the way working mums get judged by others, be it Pankaj trying to teach a kid about dealing with women’s problems like periods, be it Vasu’s devil may care attitude about divorce or the dynamics of the market of arranged marriage even now, most of the issues will resonate with today’s audience. One might end up feeling that Pushpavalli justifies the meaning of her name in being quite creepy throughout but you would also wish for her to return soon with the next season.
Outstanding performances, unique story line and the right mix of emotions is what makes Pushpavalli a must watch series. So, I would suggest that it’s about time to get the Amazon prime subscription done and spend the next three hours watching this amazing show. You can thank me later for the recommendation.
Link to the episodes on Amazon Prime – http://amzn.to/2AHorgS
Edited to add on 17th Dec –
After reviewing the web series yesterday, woke up this morning to some wonderful comments from the creators and actors regarding the review. Thank you #SumukhiSuresh, #NaveenRichard, #ManishAnand and Shraddha for liking and replying to my tweet on the review. Grateful for the encouragement.