Sweet Carram Coffee is a brew gone sour

Madhoo, Lakshmi and Santhy Balachandran in Sweet Carram Coffee. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

The intentions are obviously pan-Indian, if not global. A serial predominantly made by Tamilians but for national viewing explains the title—Carram, if I am not mistaken, is the pronunciation by a South Indian for the Hindi words for ‘hot’—garam! But neither the words carram nor garam are ever used, and we do not see any emphasis on coffee, the Tamilians’ favorite brew, either.

So, at the end of the day, the title is just a catchy term for a series that explores the feminine of the species. Fed up of both the domination and being taken for granted by the males—Rajarathnam (Kavin Jay Babu) and his self-centered son, Bala (Bala Suresh), the ladies of the house, led by Sundari (Lakshmi) who is Rajarathnam’s mother, his wife Kaveri (Madhoo) and daughter Niveditha a.k.a. Nivi (Santhy Balachandran) decide secretly to go together on a vacation.

They take the family car and seemingly have no shortage of funds. Nivi is suffering too—from a chauvinistic-to-the-point-of-toxicity boyfriend, Karthik (Dev). Karthik and Nivi are both training to be cricketers, but her passion is ridiculed by the former, who tells her that she should be a hausfrau after they get married. Sundari too seems to have suffered from her late husband’s attitude to her.

What looks like a spirited and funny gender-focused series of ‘road trip’ adventures along with self-discoveries gradually end up as a narrative with a couple of significant p(l)ot-holes on the way. A foreigner couple (Alexx O’Neill and Ayesha Kapur of Black fame) that is madly in love fall in with Kaveri’s suggestion that they should marry, but the celebrations seem to go on ad infinitum. The hotel episodes too are funny, and the tactic Rajarathnam uses to make Kaveri toe his line are quite real in conservative cultures.

Amusing moments abound in the initial episodes (there are 8 here), but things begin to degenerate around episode 5. The absurdities pile up and the narrative begins to plod. Sundari now insists on heading to Dharamsala in the North (not Goa as originally planned) as she wants to desperately meet someone. Vikram, a doctor who seems to do everything other than medical practice, is also a wandering tourist and decides to accompany the trio, for all of whom he has taken a fancy.

And then we get to taste this coffee of a script go sour!

Deva, the person Sundari wants to meet (the clues to the whereabouts of this individual come from a voice on the ‘phone, who Sundari keeps calling up from the beginning of the trip) is a woman!! Turns out that in her young age, she is the woman Sundari loved but did not have the gumption to defy society. Instead, she betrayed her beloved, and married the man who made her suffer with his domination, so much so that she did not even weep when he passed away!

As if this totally needless and gimmicky ‘must-have’ compulsion for web series (lesbianism) is not enough—the directors want to clearly aim at a ‘perceived’ global viewership and show the progress society has made today. But we also have, at the other end of the spectrum, a regressive turn! Nivi goes back to her toxic boyfriend, who claims he has reformed! Kaveri and Rajarathnam reignite passion into their life, and Kaveri finds herself pregnant!

Vikram and Nivi had begun to have feelings for each other. But what happens when Vikram brings Deva home suddenly? The three women have apparently made a pact that whatever happened on the trip will remain their personal secret. The series ends on that conjectural note with even Rajarathnam not knowing what to make out of it when Kaveri and Vikram hug each other. Nivi too is nonplussed. So is a sequel on the cards?

Whatever it is, there are few non-crime series that exhibit such degeneration in their scripts. Some of the performances tend to brighten up the scenario, though. As the confused, over-eager, credulous and wronged Kaveri, Madhoo is excellent, especially in the early parts of the show. Santhy Balachandran as Nivi is very good, and her expressive and emotive eyes help. Lakshmi as Sundari is amusing in most parts but tends to be repetitious. The males are all functional, Kavin Jay Babu scoring tall as Rajarathnam, while the others barely have depth in their respective roles.

The young Kaveri and Sundari are not really impressive, while Ayesha Kapur and Alexx O’Nell have nothing to do but go stock lovey-dovey. Padmavati Rao looks stern as Deva, and is clearly miscast. Ritwik Bhowmik is wasted in a sequence that looks like an extension of Bandish Bandits, with he too cast as his character from the show.

The music is a drone, while the songs too do not help. In short, the series is, in the way it all pans out, a waste of time and pretty humdrum and pointless.

Rating: **

Amazon Prime Video presents Lion Tooth Productions’ & Zeal Z Entertainment Services’ Sweet Carram Coffee Created & Produced by: Resham Ghatala  Directed by: Bejoy Nambiar, Krishna Marimuthu & Swathi Raghuraaman Written by: Reshma Ghatala, Swathi Raghuraaman, Vinithra Madhavan Menon, Krishnaswamy Ramkumar & Siva Ananth  Music: Govind Vasantha Starring: Lakshmi, Madhoo, Santhy Balachandran, Bala Suresh, Kavin Jay Babu, Dev, Vamsi Krishna, Samyuktha Viswanathan, Alexx O’Nell, Ayesha Kapur, Ranjini Prabhu, Ritwik Bhowmik, Padmavati Rao & others











Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here