Kallachirippu – Love, desire, toxicity, and criminality abound in this Karthik Subbaraj production. THIS THRILLER EXPLORES LOVE, LUST, AND TOXICITY.
Critic’s Rating: 3.0/5
The first episode of Rohit Nandakumar’s Kallachirippu gets right to the point. Following a furious disagreement between Mahati (Amritha Srinivasan) and her husband Ram, a bird’s eye camera view is captured (Vikas). What begins as a disagreement ends in murder, leaving Mahati with blood on her hands. But our femme fatale, who values rationality above all else, is quick on her feet. Eight episodes of sharp and clean entertainment that go beyond crime and misdemeanor follow.
Mahati is a law student who aspires to study abroad. Things do not go as planned when she is forced into an arranged marriage by her pompous father. This Karthik Subbaraj creation is jam-packed with gems, the most significant of which are love, desire, and toxicity. In a wonderful touch, love is depicted as a connection between two men, whereas desire is depicted as a relationship between a woman and her paramour. The series frequently switches between these two topics. But the one thing it addresses with wrath and venom is toxic masculinity, as embodied by Mahati’s father.
Her father, whom Mahati scarcely refers to as a father, is a textbook chauvinist. Mahati argues verbally and frequently battles for her submissive mother. However, we are constantly waiting for the father to be put in his place, which unfortunately never happens. That said, the program shines most when it’s not knee-deep in cleaning up inadvertent killings, but when it’s talking. Whether it’s a casual talk between Mahati and her mother about sex and masturbation, or a man having a temper tantrum to get through to his alcoholic lover, the banter is spontaneous and sensitive, almost making you wish the program would halt for a moment.
But there isn’t time because each episode reveals a mystery or two, which doesn’t always work in its favor.
For example, the murder mystery plotline dries out near the conclusion. Every main character in the program acts out of rage and passion, which may be unsettling to witness. Mahati is played well by Amrutha Srinivasan. She is sincere and tenacious. But it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have an edge, which makes her the show’s most fascinating character.