We all have seen those “Woke up and chose violence” memes on Instagram, well, you can consider the director of Gaalivaana woke up and chose tragedy. The series revolves around a family who loses their newly married children to a brutal double murder. As the story unfolds, we discover that the family is not as innocent as it seems at the first glance. With a detective who has her own issues to deal with, we see a very intriguing unravelling of events and are left to question people’s morality in the face of tragedy.
– Gaalivaana review does not contain spoilers –
Gaalivaana is divided into a total of 7 episodes, varying between 25-45 minutes each. Directed by Sharan Kopisetty, the Zee5 series has Radhika Sarath Kumar, Chandini Chowdhary, Chaitanya Krishna and Sai Kumar in lead roles. The pace is quite well-knit but falters to hold the audience’s attention in the later episodes.
Ajay and Geeta are a newly married couple, which we discover from their wedding video playing on the TV, as they are stabbed to death by an unknown man. The first scene itself grabs our attention to the plot, which then begins to establish the main characters. Both Ajay and Geeta’s families are neighbours in the village of Kumarraju Lanka. Although they married against their family’s wishes, the family seems to come together in this crisis.
Their situation is complicated by the supposed murderer crashing his car in front of Geeta’s house. They rescue him and perform first aid on him, but soon discover that he is the killer from a photo they found of Ajay and Geeta in his pocket. From then on, the series launches into a hectic frenzy as the family of Geeta and Ajay try to deal with the situation and the police.
Gaalivaana also has a secondary plot of the main investigating officer in the couple’s murder investigation, Nandini, who is somehow involved in selling drugs. Even though this subplot is intriguing, the lack of follow-up in the series makes it forgettable. It appears as if the writers forgot to incorporate it fully, and just occasionally remembered to include it.
Gaalivaana: Rain that engulfs the whole family
The tone of Gaalivaana is quite grim, despite there being efforts of some cheekiness between Nandini and her assistant officer, Anji. But as the series progresses, the writers forget to incorporate it. The incessant rain in the first half of the series very effectively accompanies the killer’s accident and the family’s involvement in it. We are completely hooked and the guessing game is very intense.
The second half of the plot, however, becomes a bit repetitive, especially after the police start interviewing each family member. It’s a complex story with a lot of characters involved, which makes it being clear and to the point quite important. But in order to make Gaalivaana interesting, a lot of plot twists have been included, making following the story confusing on occasions.
In places, Gaalivaana will also remind you of Drishyam, as the family of Geeta and Ajay tries their best to hide their secrets. But, unlike Drishyam, Gaalivaana does not do well by revealing the main plot twist early in the series, as it is not able to hold the audience’s interest in the events following it. To their credit, the last episode makes up for a lot of waywardnesses in the middle.
Only if all adaptations were like Gaalivaana
Adapted from the BBC hit series One of Us, Gaalivaana is a great attempt at capturing the unease portrayed in the original. The background score is very eerie, never overriding the dialogue. The main characters are superb in their portrayals of a people trying to protect not just themselves but also their families, especially when everyone is under suspicion. Sai Kumar and Radhika Sarath Kumar, playing the roles of Geeta’s father and Ajay’s mother respectively, have given beautiful performances. Equally laudable is Chandini Chowdhary, who plays the role of Ajay’s elder sister and the only voice of reason when everyone else is losing their heads.
Directed by Koppisetty, who has directed Kirrik Party and Thimmarusu earlier, both adaptations as well, Gaalivaana is another feather in his cap. Full of scenes equally beautiful and haunting, Gaalivaana revels in its cinematography and narrative techniques. This Telugu language series will surely keep you at the edge of your seat for most of it, and leave you contemplating. It’s a must-watch for those who love murder mysteries and some thrillers. If nothing, it is definitely an interesting piece of television. Gaalivaana is streaming on Zee5 right now.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.