Postman Review: A waste of an intriguing one-liner
An interesting premise and umpteen Rajini references do little to salvage this weakly-written and amateurishly-made 10-episode ZEE5 series
The name or I should say brand 'Rajinikanth' is an indelible part of Tamil cinema. While the rest of the heroes of the 80s and 90s were busy playing cops, businessmen and lawyers, he chose to represent the people of the lower class, such as the autokaaran Manickam, paalkaran Annamalai or the coolie Tamizharasan. And though he played Tony Stark minus the suit in Sivaji, he calls himself a humble postman saying, "Kanna naan PM; PM na Post Man, makkaloda panatha makkal kitaye sekravan."
Interestingly, twelve years later, we get ZEE5's Postman, which has an ardent Rajini fan as the lead character, and the series is filled with references to the Superstar. The episodes are named after his iconic lines like 'Natpu na enna nu theriyuma', 'Katham Katham', and 'Thirumbi vandhuten nu sollu', and the two major timelines in the story kickstart on the date of Baasha's release and Rajini's political announcement, respectively. But these references do little to salvage this weakly-written and amateurishly-made 10-episode series.
Cast: Munishkanth, Keerthi Pandian
Director: Prashanth Gunasekaran
Postman does have a promising start — the period portions set in 1995 are convincingly-shot, and I immediately burst into laughter when the Rajini fan who has been in coma for twenty-three years wakes up to hear his idol's political announcement and faints the next second, saying, "Thalaivar arasiyalku ipo dhaan varara?" I also quite liked the cute portions which involved Raja's (Munishkanth) daughter Rajini (Keerthi Pandian; no points for guessing how her character got her name) reciting punch dialogues standing beside his bed, hoping that would fix him.
I got as curious as Rajini when Raja decides to handover the letters which have been kept undelivered for more than two decades. Though this excitement sustained for the first two episodes, the haphazard casting, overboard performances, bizarre dialogues, and sluggish screenplay all took turns butchering the promising premise of Postman.
The details and realism in the initial episodes vanish all of a sudden and nothing takes their place to redeem the rest of the story. It's strange to see an able actor like Munishkanth looking clueless most of the time and even the evident efforts of Keerthi to add life to the proceedings are in vain owing to the lacklustre writing.
Postman has a weird connection to the medical field. Almost all the episodes have a hospital scene and the primary characters are all either doctors or patients for no discernable reason. At one point, I even started to wonder if the makers could have named it 50 shades of doctors, given how many of them there are. I needed such an exercise to help stave off the boredom.
Still, the enjoyable first couple of episodes kept alive my hope that something interesting would pop up to vindicate the series. But, unlike Postman Raja, the series, Postman, never got out of coma.