Newsense: A Web Show That Gives An Insight Into The Nexus Of Media And Rural Politics

Sai Prawin Kumar’s directorial Newsense consists of many threads that sustain the interest of the audiences for the second season also.

Stories centred on politics and journalism make great subjects because both are interconnected pillars of our society.

Newsense is one such show. However, this isn’t an easy genre to crack for a director as a certain authenticity is needed, as well as some political knowledge.

Director Sri Prawin Kumar looks at the nexus between politics and the media in small towns. He creates a web of characters who can’t be slotted as black or white.

He does a wonderful job for the most part. The director is also hugely aided by his cast, starting with Navadeep, who disappears into his part.

Synopsis

The backdrop of Newsense is a small town called Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh, set in the 1990s and 2000s.

The show primarily explores unethical journalism practised by a set of stringers, along with a few politicians who want to grab power at any cost.

Shiva (Navadeep) is a street-smart journalist who belongs to the same category.

But sometimes, he deviates from the norm by presenting the truth (although not completely), and as a result, he gets into trouble.

For Shiva and his fellow stringers, it is a battle between doing the right thing, and also staying alive. Often we see them accepting covers of money from both political parties.

Newsense deals with several issues like the role of media in society, and the impact of sensationalising news, among other things. It does not hesitate to criticise the media and its corrupt practices.

Though the story is set in the Rayalaseema region, the director thankfully doesn’t resort to over-the-top action sequences that the viewers are forced to see in typical action movies.

Newsense grips the viewers from the start with its multi-layered narrative. As viewers, we empathise with the sufferings of the local people, who are sandwiched between two political parties.

For example, there is a farmer who fights for his land, which has been illegally occupied by miscreants, a woman searching for a missing husband, etc. There is certain believability about the problems they face.

Despite the show’s serious tone, there is also some raw humour which comes as a respite.

The chemistry between the leads

Neela is an aspiring news anchor and Shiva’s love interest.

Through the character of Neela, the director touches upon the perspective of a female journalist in a town that is dominated by male journalists. The interaction between Shiva and Neela has a certain playfulness combined with a local flavour.

This has been both wonderfully written and enacted. The chemistry between the duo is spot on. Newsense’s light moments mostly feature Shiva and Neela (played by Bindu Madhavi).

Talking about the leads, both Navadeep and Bindu Madhavi are in very good form.

Navadeep gets into the skin of his character, starting from the dialect. He embraces the several grey shades of his character with aplomb.

Bindu Madhavi lights up the frame whenever she is on screen. She is supremely natural on her part.

Strong technical aspects

What also adds to the impact are the dialogues of Jayasimha. He does a good job of making the viewers introspect without resorting to rhetoric.

The background music of Suresh Bobbili goes well with the flavour of the series, Newsense. There is only one song in the show— Myneeru Pillagada. This track makes for a soothing watch, both for the ears and the eyes.

Three cinematographers are involved with this web series— Anantnag Kavuri, Vedaraman and Prasanna. They capture the rustic terrain wonderfully through their lens.

Nanda Gopal to rescue

There are some moments where the graph does go down.

But thankfully the show gets back on track with the entry of Sub-Inspector Edwin (Nanda Gopal), in the fifth episode.

Nanda Gopal has an arresting presence which makes the viewers look forward to his portions despite the limited screen time. The rest of the supporting actors also make an impact.

Final verdict

Overall this web show is binge-worthy, particularly if you have a keen interest in politics and media. It shows how lives are ruined because of the unholy relationship between two great pillars.

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