Cast: Naveen Chandra, Sarathkumar, Jagapathi Babu and others
Directors: Krishna Vijay and Vishwanath Arigela
Streaming on: Disney+Hotstar (Web series)
‘Parampara’ is an expansive Telugu-language web series where there are political godfathers, friends with benefits and everyone in between. Story-writer Hari Yelleti locates the story in a joint family set-up, a wounded family where multiple generations live under the same roof despite simmering discontent ruining their peace every other minute. The characters, both inside and outside the palatial house, eavesdrop on others’ conversations with a sense of helplessness, rage and/or resentment. There is a fearless cop, there is an unforgiving patriarch. There is a principled journalist, there is a shocking affair.
On paper, the storyline and the multitude of characters are fascinating. Unfortunately, the story is puffy and big-mouthed. The conversations-heavy web series is an unending mess at more than 6 hours.
We will not confuse you with the character names. Jagapathi Babu plays a meek middle-aged man whose son, played by Naveen Chandra, is excessively anguished that his father has remained an underdog in the family after the demise of his grandfather. The limelight and authority have long been stolen by Kollywood actor Sarathkumar’s character. Sarathkumar plays Jagapathi Babu’s brother. See, they were not born to the same father. Naveen Chandra’s character has the sole aim of dislodging Sarathkumar’s character from the perch. In this, he attempts to ruin his son’s personal life as well. (Please read up the para all over again to get a sense of the swollen nature of the conflicts-ridden drama).
The flashbacks are a plot device this web series uses in a template-tinted fashion. Two children grow with perpetual disappointment or impotent rage or vengeful thoughts or a bit of all the three informing their growing years. In the present, there is the parallel track of business rivals angling for the destruction of Sarathkumar’s character.
The beach (the story is set in Vizag) becomes a witness to not just sex but also gore. The hidden agendas, the loose morals of the characters, the cold wars.. everything goes into making this an onerous affair. After surviving scenes and scenes of lame collisions and belligerent conversations, tons of bruised egos and slow-motion shots, the least we deserved is closure.
For a drama that feels outmoded, the episodes are named pompously (read ‘Virodham’, ‘Moolam’, etc.). Naina Ganguly’s character is not fleshed out. The trajectory of Aakanksha Singh’s character surprises us initially but the scenes in the later portions hit choppy waters.