Bringing popular mainstream names to OTT platforms is proving to be rewarding for all. The actors get to challenge their own stereotypes, the makers get the eyeballs, and the audience, if lucky get the best of both worlds. Of course the success of this formula heavily relies on the content. November story hits the right chords with an intriguing premise, an unusual screenplay and a great cast.
Anuradha is some sort of a software expert who spends her days tirelessly between ethical hacking, trying to sell an ancestral house for extra money and caring for her Alzeimer ridden father. Her already tough life turns upside down when she finds her clueless father at a murder scene. Now its upon her to protect her father from a crime he might or might not have committed. On its face the plots seems like a parallel version of Drishyam, but episode after episode multiple complexities are introduced and you are drawn into a layered narrative that is much deeper than just being a murder mystery.
The director takes his own sweet time to introduce you to the characters and the premise. Every episode has an intro of disconnected black and white flashbacks, which start making sense only after the 3rd or 4th episode. Every character has been drawn with relevant details like a backstory, profession, traits etc, there is hardly any information that is unnecessary. At the risk of testing our patience, the build up is done meticulously. To its credit, even when the pieces of information are so disparate, you still don’t question the existence of this world given how invested you are in these characters. Another interesting route that the story takes is that it lets you in on some disclosures early on, not holding on to one BIG reveal for the end. But I still found myself constantly building new theories till the last episode on how such seemingly unrelated sub plots would come together.
While Some might decipher the clues a bit early, the long drawn climax manages to be satisfying and essential.
Tammanah Bhatia is surprisingly good. It is another win for OTTs to have discovered the true caliber of an actor beyond typecasts. Veterans like GM Kumar and Pasupathy breathe lives into their complex characters and humanize even their darkest traits.
November Story has a highly competitive and engaging writing. There is some overindulgence in build up and a stretched finale, but with great performances and enough twists at every corner, it makes it to the ‘must-watch’ list.
Going with 3/5