QUEEN (Tamil – Web Series) – A Gloriously Daring Odyssey of the IRON LADY!
Directed By: Gautam Vasudev Menon and Prasath Murugesan.
Cinematography: S R Kathir and S Manikandan mostly, with a couple of episodes done by R Velraj.
Writing Credits: Reshma Ghatala
Background score: Darbuka Siva
Editor: Praveen Antony
This biopic footmark the journey of Shakthi Seshadri over her age of 14 to 40 years, which constitutes and delves into her varied metamorphic state as a state topper, a celebrated actress, a longing women for true love, a journalist and a political leader. The story adapted from the novel “THE QUEEN” by Anita Sivakumaran, is based on the life of the late TamilNadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is made into 11 episodes (total of 9 hours run time) as the first season, which is collectively well studied and solemnly directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon (GVM) and Prasath Murugesan. The general assumptions have always been J Jayalalithaa being born with a silver spoon environment, but the existence had been harsher with intense humiliations since her childhood days at every phase of her life and how like a phoenix bird she had risen up continuously on a male chauvinism environment. For many, all this will be new to understand and it justifies why she had such a strict control over her party and cadres at later stages. Ramya Krishnan as the political leader and CM Shakthi Seshadri, Anjana Jayaprakash (as 17-30 years old Shakthi), Anikha (Viswasam Girl) as young school days Shakthi are absolutely phenomenal and leaps it with an unforgettable glorifying performance. Ramya Krishnan with her radical act had absolutely brought in J Jayalalithaa on the screen. In the last three episodes (Episode 9,10 & 11), she steals the show! What a talent she is! Especially in the last episode, the score-settling conversation between Shakthi and Pradeepan at the end is a class act! Anjana Jayaprakash (Dhruvangal 16 actress) is debonair as the celebrated actress Shakthi and the stressful days of Shakthi are portrayed through her. The love episodes between Shakthi & Chaitanya Reddy have been well shot stylishly. Brilliant casting throughout… Indrajith as GMR, Sonia Agarwal as younger days mother of Shakthi, Thulasi as Sakthi’s mother at later stages (oh my… stunned with her acting), Vamsi Krishna as Chaitanya Reddy, Karuppu Nambiyar as Driver Syed (was really apt), GVM as Director Sridhar, Harsh Raj as Assistant Director, Vivek Rajagopal as Pradeepan and every other actor has been carefully chosen!
Each episode has been aptly titled matching to the life journey of Shakthi at different phases – The Breach, The Wall, Circle of Light, HIM, Tipping Point, Home & Away, The Dream, The Nightmare, The Prophesy, The Fall & The Rise. All episodes are narrated with TV Interview recording as background, where Shakthi Seshadri as Chief Minister shares her experience.
1) “The Breach”:
Young age of Shakthi living at an orthodox environment, her Punctuality, Sincerity & Leadership quality at school, State Topper in Tenth standard board exams, goes to movie screen test skipping the Best Student Award function, due to her mom’s compulsion and a discontinuing scenario arises. (Directed by GVM)
2) “The Wall”:
Shakthi’s surprise 15th birthday party celebration at Pinky’s house, her bonding with Pinky’s family, a big wall that separates their houses, bhajan during Pooja function and her gifts, humiliation by her mom not to continue her studies, Pinky likes to get married at young age, while Shakthi’s aspiration still stays to study further. (Directed by Prasath Murugesan)
3) “Circle of Light”:
Shakthi’s first-day shooting experience, Director Sridhar’s (done stylishly by GVM) advice, Restriction from her mom not even to read books during shooting breaks, her disappointment over not getting the college admission, her interactions with co-artists, starts to give suggestions on film making and a circle of light depicts her maturity on the art. (Directed by GVM)
The entry of GMR (MGR in real-time), GMR visits Shakthi’s house at her age of 17 and casts in his movie, Shooting interactions & intimacies, Shakthi’s attraction towards GMR, Shakthi starts giving inputs on the script, her continuous acting in GMR movies, GMR’s Contract restricts her acting in other hero and Hindi movies, Sakthi’s correspondence study attempt also fails (Directed by Prasath Murugesan)
5) “Tipping Point”:
Shakthi is 24 years old. GMR considers Shakthi as his asset and keeps her in control, Suspicious checks done at her home, Shakthi vents out her anger on GMR’s controlling activities, Price of acting in another hero’s movie, Meets her school days friend Pinky at a restaurant, Shakthi asks GMR to marry her, attempts suicide and gets admitted in hospital, GMR distances from Shakthi. (Directed by GVM & Prasath Murugesan)
6) “Home & Away”:
Shakthi is 25 years old. Finds no opportunities in Tamil movies. Accepts to do a Telugu movie directed by Chaitanya Reddy (in shades of Shoban Babu in real-time), First Telugu Film Shooting Spot experience, Sakthi has a crush over Chaitanya, Gets attracted and parties with him, Shakthi’s bro Srikanth gets impacted with Drug addiction and sent to a rehabilitation center. Her mother leaves the house, leaving Shakthi alone. (Directed by GVM & Prasath Murugesan)
7) “The Dream”:
Shakthi is 26 years old. Shakthi feels a vacuum in her life. Chaitanya visits Sakthi’s place. Love & Bonding episodes of Shakthi & Chaitanya, Shakthi’s school day’s friend Alamelu visits her home, Marriage of Shakthi & Chaitanya faces an unexpected hurdle at the last minute. (Directed by GVM)
8) “The Nightmare”: Shakthi is 27 years old. Feels dejected and tries suicide again. Shakthi’s mother brings back Driver Syed, Director Sridhar, her school day’s HM Sister, takes her to school and tries to build back Shakthi’s confidence. Shakthi regains lost ground. Her mother passes away. Shakthi starts working as a journalist for a magazine. (Directed by Prasath Murugesan)
9) “The Prophesy”
: Shakthi is 36 years old. GMR comes to her house. Strong conversation happens between GMR and Shakthi. GMR offers to help Shakthi. Shakthi gets inducted into GMR’s party as campaigning secretary and nominated for Rajya Sabha MP Position with opposition raised by other cadres. Shakthi suggests “Satthunavu” campaign. (Directed by Prasath Murugesan)
10) “The Fall”:
Shakthi is 39 years old. GMR passes away due to illness. Shakthi gets humiliated inside the party with the evil planning of Pradeepan (GMR’s aide) and by GMR’s wife for his demise. GMR’s wife Janani makes false claims against Shakthi. (Directed by GVM & Prasath Murugesan)
11) “The Rise”:
Shakthi in state of shock on the demise of GMR. Shakthi wants to move out of politics. A heated conversation between Shakthi & Pradeepan happens at the funeral procession place, settling scores. Shakthi experiences continuous humiliation and aversions. Shakthi rises and decides to fight for her rights at the party. Shakthi emerges as the next leader of the party. (Directed by GVM)
Analysis by Vigneshwar