Queen: Web Series Review
Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon, Prasath Murugesan.
Language: Tamil, English, Hindi, Bengali.
Release Date: 14th December 2019
Platform: MX Player
“The Queen of people’s choice, MX Player’s web series is an inspiration like the woman it tells the story. Find out what makes it worth a watch.”
Shakthi Seshadri. The girl with the beauty and the brain. Adored by everyone, but her circumstances. Her dreams and opinions always got sidelined for everyone’s choices but hers. She excels at whatever she does- a state topper at her school, a superstar when she starts acting, and a leader adored and respected by the people when she becomes a politician. Ironic, considering her dream was entirely something else than what she got. Living her entire life in a gilded cage, it takes the person who brought her the most hurt- the prestigious GMR– to make her realize that she always had the power to fly free.
A heroic tale of struggle and success, Queen plays out the story of Shakti Seshadri in her three prime stages of life- her childhood, maidenhood, and adulthood. It is a walk down memory lane by the now Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Shakthi (Ramya Krishnan), in an interview with a journalist, played by Lilette Dubey.
Daughter of a junior film artist, Shakti (Anikha) strives to escape her looked-down, lower-middle class lifestyle towards something great. A smart yet hot-headed child, she passes school with flying colors, but her dream is squashed by her apathetic and hardened mother, who cannot afford to put Shakthi through higher studies and embroils her in her world of acting. Her first stint with cinema makes her realize that sometimes in the harsh truth of life, you have got to make do with what you have got, and with GMR’s (Indrajith) entry in her life- a person respected and loved by all- she (Anjana) enters into the world of glitz and glamour to be his Queen. It is then a journey through the roller-coaster ride she experiences as a powerful woman in the world of men, proving her worth to each and every one of them.
A powerful screenplay to do justice to the strength of Shakthi, the story is peppered with dialogues on life and its tough lessons, which not only resonate with the character but also within you. And the blessing is, it doesn’t get unnecessarily preachy. Perfect in sync with the situations, it complements the heavy tone of the series.
We knew without that Ramya Krishnan would be exemplary to play this powerful person, and she doesn’t disappoint. But Anikha and Anjana, who play yesteryear Shakthi, steal the show. Anikha is a delight to watch as she portrays the child who was forced to grow up. She balances the strength and innocence of the character commendably. Anjana is the Shakthi whose hotheadedness rises and mellows as she experiences one setback after another, adapting to her life as it comes- sometimes with her fists raised, sometimes lying down. Shakthi’s character development is held up brilliantly by this talented triplet.
Another character that sticks with you is GMR. A diabolical character bound by his duties as much (if not more) as Shakthi, Indrajith makes you admire him and question him and then go back to admire him, with his performance.
Though Queen follows Shakthi’s life in detail, the almost-1-hour 11-episode series, feels too stretched after a while. The focus is more prominent on Shakthi’ life as an actress, where most of the life-changing moments take place, and after a while it begins to feel stretched thin with repetitiveness.
Queen is a larger than life story of a woman, who rises to power against all odds. Worth a watch.
Gautham Menon, co-director of the Queen, makes a cameo appearance in the series as Shakthi’s first film director.
Though not promoted actively by the channel or creators actively due to certain issues, Queen is inspired by the life of Tamil Nadu’s late CM Jayalalithaa.
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