November Story: Slow Paced But Effective Crime Thriller

There is a lot to like about Indhu Subramanian’s November Story streaming on Hotstar. The director takes an interesting premise and does a good job for most part of the show. The twists and the turns keep you engaged, there is a solid cliffhanger at the peak of each episode which will keep you intrigued. Yes, there are issues like the slow pace and the long drawn out climax but it still works in spite of its flaws. The reason for naming the show as November Story is because the character of the crime novelist goes to a particular house every year on November 16th. The series consists of seven episodes on the whole.

Tamannah plays Anu, she is the daughter of India’s best crime novelist Ganesan played by GN Kumar.  Anu works as an ethical hacker while trying to look after her father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. She is trying to sell their ancestral property that they own without the knowlegde of her father in order to have more money for her father’s treatment. One day Anu comes across a woman whom she had briefly met in the train the previous day. The woman is found dead in the house she’s been trying to sell. To make things worse her father is there in that house at the time of the woman’s death. Anu is sure that her father is innocent and the rest of the series is about how she proves that her father is innocent along with finding out who actually killed that woman.

The good thing about the series is how the director unravels the plot. He builds up the characters really well. You get into the headspace of the characters and as a result you empathise with Anu’s efforts.

The father and the daughter relationship has also been portrayed with the required sensitivity. Anu’s efforts to be a caretaker daughter to her father will definitely strike a chord.

Another good thing about November Story is how things are tied up seamlessly. The narrative is always a step ahead with the guessing game and also in establishing the motives of the culprit.

The humour in the series comes from the cops’ viewpoint, portraying their restlessness and fatigue. While the comic scenes may look odd given the genre of the series but its understandable as the makers didn’t want to keep the narrative too serious at all times. However these scenes work quite well particularly the ones featuring Aruldoss as the investigating police officer.

Technically also November Story is a pretty good product. The background score of Saran Raghavan blends well with the narrative without screaming for attention. The cinematography of Vidhu Ayanna is in perfect sync with the premise of the show. The atmospherics contribute a lot in the audiences being invested in the series.

After playing the glamorous heroine for most part of her career Tamannah gets an opportunity to show her acting skills and she makes the most of her meaty character. One of the reasons why the character resonates is that it shows that a strong women can be vulnerable and have flaws too. The actress oozes confidence in her part, with this role Tamannah proves that she can be more than a glam doll.

GM Kumar plays the ailing crime novelist writer quite well. Another stand out performance comes from Pasupathy. He is very good as the forensic expert with shades of grey. It is a tricky part but the actor does complete justice to his role.

November Story on the whole is a compact whodunit thriller with a strong emotional thread.

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