In a scene that arrives late in the new series Taali, a gay NGO worker Navin (Ankur Bhatia) tells transgender activist Gauri (Sushmita Sen) that the discrimination he faces isn’t equal to what it is. she has to live, day in and day out. However, there’s no way the show provides context for what Navin’s struggles look like. For Taali, that doesn’t matter. It was the tedious, unfair comparison between gay existence and their reality that influenced the cleaned up biopic that is Taali. (Also read: Taali Arjun creator Kartk breaks his silence by casting Sushmita Sen over a transgender actor as Shreegauri Sawant)
Created by Arjun Singgh Baran and Kartk D Nishandar, and directed by Ravi Jadhav, Taali revolves around the life of transgender activist Shreegauri Sawant. This six-episode series rests entirely on actor Sushmita Sen, who plays Sawant with the expected grace and radiance. Yet despite his noble efforts, Taali still struggles to rise above the formulaic mold of a biopic. Written by Kshitij Patwardhan, Taali is somehow stuck in constantly viewing its subject from a narrow, form-manipulating lens.
We follow Gauri through flashbacks as she presents her linear recollection in the form of a memorable, Ted-talk-inspired show for an interview with an archetypal white journalist named Amanda (Maya Rechal McManus). She tells about her first time as Ganesh, a effeminate schoolboy (played by Krutika Rao) who is bullied for saying that when she grows up, she wants to be a mother. Ganesh’s rigid, conservative police inspector father (Nandu Madhav) even takes her to a sex clinic to prescribe hormonal drugs. The decision to run away from home becomes the only way out for her after a while.
There’s a heaviness with which previous scenes are directed – as if the details were integrated and presented through a checklist of sorts. In 4 hours there will be a historic decision, we are also informed. Before even presenting her topic and concerns, it is this announcement that is underlined and made available to viewers from the very first episode. (The countdown is completely forgotten after that, just like the interview.) When will filmmakers stop cramming viewers with information and acknowledge their ability to fill the void?
What is not working?
It doesn’t help that Sushmita Sen steps into the role of teenage Ganesh, the scenes feel like planted for viewers to follow her journey from then on. The show couldn’t trace the ways in which she found the courage and determination to have sex reassignment surgery. (It was heavily staged into a social gathering, where Ganesh was ridiculed by the transgender community.) She came as Gauri, and the next thing we know – she’s become one. Savior for the transgender community. From rescuing a harassed transgender worker to attending a conference in the United States as a teacher at a local school – her journey is mapped out through a series of important milestones. important. Even for a second, we are not allowed into her inner life – the way she shrinks to deal with these unusual circumstances, how her ordinary days are, the Where does this unwavering tenacity come from?
Performance by Sushmita Sen
Sushmita Sen does her best to breathe life into Gauri, but there is always the mundaneity of her screen presence in between. The obvious obstacle is her rigid body language and how she reacts to any situation that is predictable after a certain point. She also has some tasteless, rhythmic lines like- “Print logo ne meri makeup kiya hey, shaam tak mein inka packup karti hoon!” There’s only so much people can do to salvage these conversations. It was a colorful one-note performance, devoid of curiosity and surprise.
Taali is expected to return to the historic decision of the Supreme Court of India that transgender people are Third Sex. The bubbly sign comes in pleasantly, but doesn’t really allow any room for dialogue. Even after seven episodes, Gauri somehow stands at a distance. This is a show that just wants to honor her, Are not understand her. Taali is so invested in presenting an overall, objectively inspirational character that it forgets that Gauri is also a living, breathing entity – totally deserving of a subjective inner life. , abundant.