Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 web series review: Weak writing pulls down this well-acted show

Directed by Vasanthabalan and bankrolled by Radikaa Sarathkumar, 'Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1' fizzles out owing to convenient writing.

ByS Subhakeerthana

Published:May 19, 2024

G Vasantha Balan's directorial Thalaimai Seyalagam web series in streaming on ZEE5

Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 (Tamil)

17-05-2024, Political Thriller, 8 episodes 16+
  • Main Cast:Kishore, Sriya Reddy, Remya Nambeesan, Bharath, Aditya Menon, and Kani Kusruti
  • Director:Vasanthabalan
  • Producer:Radaan Mediaworks India Limited
  • Music Director:Ghibran
  • Cinematography:Wide-angle Ravishankar



The story of politics in South India—the unwavering quest for power and the ongoing conflict between greed and morality—is not easy to tell.

However, Zee5’s latest web series, Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1, establishes its underlying theme within the first 25 minutes.

Filmmaker Vasanthabalan attempts to paint a political thriller with Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1. But unlike his previous works, he’s not able to succeed in painting a cohesive one.

Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 narrates the story of a woman’s unwavering quest for power in the stormy world of Tamil Nadu politics, entwined with ambition, dishonesty, and ultimate redemption.

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Thalaimai Seyalagam to stream on Zee5

‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’ is streaming on ZEE5. (X)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Arunachalam (Kishore) is set to go on trial in a 15-year-old corruption case that may land him in jail. Those in his close circle, who want to succeed him politically, are more hopeful as a result of this situation.

The voice of Arunachalam delivers a lengthy monologue explaining what justice is before the series begins.

We get to know the life of journalist Kotravai (a superb Sriya Reddy), who acts as a reliable aide to Arunachalam. She behaves more like the queen in a chess game, protecting her master at all times.

In addition to wanting to succeed her father as Chief Minister, Arunachalam’s daughter Amudhavalli (Remya Nambeesan) harbours suspicions about the relationship between her father and Kotravai.

As blood ties are tested, a lot more blood is spilt.

A Jharkhand murder and a string of killings in the suburbs of Chennai appear to be connected inexplicably to the political situation in the state.

Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 intends to connect them all. But does it? I don’t think so.


Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1, was released on Zee5, amid a particularly heated election season in India. Politicians in the real world brush off accusations of scams with ease, but in the fictitious depictions of Indian politics, corruption, and power are openly linked.

Sriya Reddy on the sets of Thalaimai Seyalagam

Sriya Reddy on the sets of ‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’. (X)

The web series also offers a take on politics that is largely familiar as a ruthless world, where each character can outdo the other in the dirty tricks department and friends turn foes in a matter of minutes.

Corruption, ruthless Maoists, and tenacious police officers—the cat-and-mouse game goes on!

However, things aren’t going well at Kotravai’s house. Her intolerant daughter Maya (Sarah Black) calls her a “bitch” to her face.

When the Maoist leader Durga (Kani Kusruti) visits Kotravai, she becomes rather anxious. What then is the relationship between Durga and Kotravai?

There are two separate inquiries into Durga’s past. Ever since she showed cleaver to enemies and uncooperative associates, Chennai policeman Manikandan (Bharath) and Central Bureau of Investigation officer Nawaz (Aditya Menon) had been chasing her desperately.

The fundamental problem with Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 is that, despite its greatest attempts to construct a universe of never-ending conflict and focus on political intrigue, it fails to provide adequate attention to individual characters and their arcs, including Arunachalam, who is crucial to the story.

Naturally, the presentation comes across as quite superficial, and aside from a couple of actors giving strong performances, Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 doesn’t make you want to watch the next episode to find out more about the plot.

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A slow burner

Kishore in Thalaimai Seyalagam

Kishore in ‘Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1’. (Supplied)

Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 takes itself far too seriously when the material is unfortunately hollow.

The storyline, which blends political and personal elements, makes for good storytelling. However, I wish there had been much better execution.

The series puts in a lot of effort to be a brutal exposé of subjects that are all too common.

There’s no denying that Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 might have been tightened. Watching such intense content with a slow-burner treatment for hours is bound to eventually get tiresome.

In contrast to Vasanthabalan’s earlier films, like Veyil (2006) or Angadi Theru (2010)—where the characters and narrative have a lasting impact long after the film concludes, the web series feels overly formulaic.

The script also does not have enough meat to create a gripping narrative, with enough twists and turns.

Vasanthabalan stated in a few interviews that Thalaimai Seyalagam, will defy the clichéd image of politicians; nonetheless, his series is uninteresting and full of clichés.

In a crucial scene, one of the characters says, “Hindi theriyadhu poda-ku badhilaa, naamum Hindi kathupome. (Rather than claiming that I don’t know Hindi, why don’t we say, let’s also learn Hindi?)”

The web series is bankrolled by actor-producer and BJP member Radikaa Sarathkumar. Now, you get the idea. You really do!

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Sriya Reddy delivers a towering performance. Her character, Kotravai, is a self-made, calm, headstrong, intelligent, diplomatic, and well-read person. Of course, it’s a delight to watch her in the series.

Kani Kusruti is a surprise. But, despite an intriguing set-up, her character isn’t allowed to reach its potential.

Kishore brings Arunachalam to life with ease.

But, with such a powerful star cast like Santhana Bharathi, YG Mahendra, Remya Nambeesan, and Bharath, the web show hardly gets anything right.

Final take

Though the web series has potential, Thalaimai Seyalagam Season 1 doesn’t blow your mind because the fundamentals are wrong.

(Views expressed here are personal.)