November Story Review: A brilliant plot that doesn’t get an equally brilliant execution

Breaking the set pattern of murder mysteries or who-dun-it crime thrillers, November Story has a brilliant plot that raises your expectations the moment you get to know about the murder and the key suspect. Featuring Tamannaah Bhatia as a computer/hacking expert, it has multiple storylines that all get connected with a murder and a date in November hiding a dark secret related to the past.

Sharing the outline of its exciting key plot, the seven-episode series is about a famous crime-writer, struggling with his old age and Alzheimer’s, constantly forgetting things and the surrounding people. He lives with his daughter, who is currently working on a hacking assignment in the local police station. Accidentally, the ailing writer gets involved in a murder, remembering nothing about the night and how he was there with the body on a specific date of November. Luckily his daughter reaches the murder spot before anyone else and she brings him back, taking care of the evidence that could have proved his presence.

The incident begins the game between the daughter willing to save her father and the police officials investigating the crime – the same team she is working with as a computer expert. A brilliant plot with huge potential, it further promises many unpredictable twists and turns, when the daughter starts investigating the crime taking help from her ailing father, the famous writer of many successful crime novels and murder mysteries.

The intriguing storyline would surely inspire many to go for it at the earliest. But sadly, the series doesn’t make the best use of the plot, emphasizing more on the parallel narratives instead, missing a big opportunity. Focusing on the daughter’s tactics to save her father, this could have easily been a highly impressive and engrossing series on the lines of the Malayalam hit Drishyam, with the protagonist fooling the investigations and the police officers. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case with November Story.

Continuing with three connected plots of a controversial surgeon, a rape, and an old writer, the series often looks like an over-enthusiastic, directionless attempt losing its clear focus. Written and directed by Indhra Subramanian, it keeps you hooked moving on the next episodes but doesn’t leave you with a satisfying kind of experience falling short of the expectations raised. It scores because of the core plot, competent cinematography, art direction, and an apt background score along with a noteworthy lead performance by Tamannaah and G. M. Kumar (as the writer).

But the series has many unconvincing and disturbing sequences too, including the night scene in the station and the one in the mortuary. Where the initial episodes remain thrilling, the last ones seem to be stretched unnecessarily resulting in an underdeveloped series that could have been a lot better as a taught investigative thriller.

On the whole, this can surely be seen for its novel premise and performances, as a more than decent attempt to break the set routine.

Series: NOVEMBER STORY – Season 1 (Tamil/Hindi)

Episodes: 7

Platform: Disney+ Hotstar

Cast: Tamannaah Bhatia, G.M. Kumar, Vivek Prasanna and more

Director: Indhra Subramanian

Rating: 3.5/ 5

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