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Ayali Review: Hauntingly Alarming Story Of A Town Where A Goddess Is Worshipped At The Cost Of Enslaving Women

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Ayali Review ( Photo Credit – Ayali Poster )

Ayali Review : Star Rating:

Cast: Abi Nakshatra, Madan Ravichandran, Anumol K. Manoharan, Lovelyn Chandrasekhar, and ensemble.

Creator: Muthu Kumar.

Director: Muthu Kumar.

Streaming On: Zee5.

Language: Tamil (with subtitles).

Runtime: 8 Episodes Around 40 Minutes Each.

image Ayali Review ( Photo Credit – A Still From Ayali ) Ayali Review : What’s It About:

in a village highly superstitious, a deity is worshipped who only allows girls who haven’t attained puberty in her temple. Everybody else including men are not supposed to cross her boundary. A haunting folklore advices these people to marry off their daughters the very year they hit puberty as a measure to conserve their culture. A girl rises in such a landscape and tries to kill the stories woven by men to keep women under them always.

Ayali Review : What Works:

In a very powerful scene in Ayali, Mythili played by a phenomenal Lovelyn Chandrasekhar says, “even if the Goddess Ayali decides to come down on Earth, these men will call her a woman and enslave her too”, goosebumps! The divide between being a God Lover and a God Fearing person is vast but blurred in a country that doesn’t even walk the way a cat crosses their path on. And when a show takes you back in time and tells you a story of women fighting for their rights in a system that purposely tries to press them under their toes, it is bound to create ripples.

It is a world created by men using the name of a woman and the makers so skillfully address that. It is a village where girls don’t get to study beyond ninth grade and boys are not motivated enough to even pass the tenth. A mother scolds her daughter to not look up but towards her feet while she is walking because she is a grown-up girl. A school teacher is so misogynistic that he calls a girl who wants to study poison and even wishes for her death. Girls are dying of early pregnancies, their overaged husbands are abusive both physically and mentally. There is havoc all around but they are conditioned to think that is their normal and this is how a village flourishes. Remember how Kantara spoke about the Man- Nature conflict?

Ayali created and written by Muthu Kumar creates a fictional village that lives by the laws written by men in the name of a Goddess who according to them restricts anyone who has attained puberty from entering her premise. By her law, girls are supposed to be married off to a boy from the same village as soon as she menstruates for the very first time. Muthu in his writing does a fabulous job at balancing everything in the right proportion. He adds his ideology, his stand, the story about the oppression of gender, humour, and a very crisp satire without letting anything overpower the other.

It is a very serious subject. Men who only aspire to oppress women so they never go ahead of them are a breed that is all around us. The feeling could be in a very violent manner or could be a part of someone’s micro aggression, but one cannot deny the label of being a stronger gender the male troop walks with. When Muthu sets a story in the 90s and shows how a teenage girl questions this very system and changes it, he is clever to show the revolt through a budding mind and not one who has gone through it all and is conditioned to be a certain way. The writing does a good job of not creating a complex structure but simplifies everything for a viewer who isn’t much into metaphors.

The camera work is amazing in many parts and it captures some beautiful and partly haunting top-angle shots. The music supports the whole cause quite strongly and manages to create a very wholesome experience. Costume design is apt and so detailed in every corner.

image Ayali Review ( Photo Credit – A Still From Ayali ) Ayali Review : Star Performance:

Abi Nakshatra is a good actor and she does an amazing job at keeping the shop afloat throughout the show. The actor has the heaviest lifting to do and she manages to carry the responsibility on her surprisingly abled shoulders. There is a lot of angst on her part but also the hint of naivety that her age brings with it, everything can be seen in her performance.

Lovelyn Chandrasekhar as said is phenomenal scene stealer and you are not allowed to even see anything else when she is on the screen. She gets to play the most emotionally damaged woman who is pushed into a pit knowing it has vultures ready to eat her up. She gets a couple of burst sequences and she aces them and how! You feel her emotions to the core and she moves you with her tears.

Anumol K. Manoharan is a seasoned actor and plays a woman who goes through a transformation with her daughter so impressively. You never see an actor enacting a part when she performs and that is such a big achievement.

Ayali Review : What Doesn’t Work:

The show does tend to get a bit preachy in many parts. While the writing saves it, you cannot ignore it. Like how it brings the Head Master of the school only when a moral speech is required, or how it completely forgets some characters. Also, I hope it showed a serious consequence for the men who plot a vicious plan by the climax.

image Ayali Review ( Photo Credit – A Still From Ayali ) Ayali Review : Last Words:

Ayali manages to achieve what it sets out to in a very simplistic manner proving that not all good shows need a complex structure to be called phenomenal. You should not miss this one.

For more recommendations, read our Cinema Marte Dum Tak Review here.



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The post Ayali Review: Hauntingly Alarming Story Of A Town Where A Goddess Is Worshipped At The Cost Of Enslaving Women appeared first on Koimoi.

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