Navarasa– Season 1 Episode 1 “Edhiri: Karuna” Recap & Review


Episode 1 of Navarasa begins with a slick split-screen shot as jovial music is undercut by two different scenes. The top depicts a kind woman called Savithri telling a story. The bottom, shows a vengeful man named Dheena arriving at her house and knocking on the door. Silently, he heads straight into the bedroom and closes the door.

When he appears, Savithri’s eyes wander to the horrifical scene left behind in this room. Her husbands lies face down on the floor in a pool of his own blood. Backing away, she finds herself shocked as Dheena walks out.

Dheena nonchalantly gets on the bus and prepares to leave. He’s looking at a death sentence following his antics, including the very real possibility of being hung too. Wrapped up in his own dizzying descent of anger, he decides to hide out in an old house.

Some of this anger is a result of his brother’s suicide. Dheena is convinced that his brother didn’t die by his own means and thinks Savithri’s husband was responsible. For now, Dheena sticks to the mantra of an “eye for an eye.”

The reason Dheana lost his temper was because Sivaraman antagonized him, ironically nonchalant regarding Dheena’s brother being killed. This is what led to Dheena lashing out and killing the man. But has that really helped Dheena forgive others? Of course not, Dheena is stuck in a paradox of his own anger. He’s now angry at himself for killing Sivaraman under the pretense that he’d be free of the anger he carries.

As a nice little twist, it turns out Sivaraman is actually the person Dheena is talking to here; a projection of his own subconscious mind. In the morning, Dheena makes his choice and approaches Savithri, asking for forgiveness.

Savithri herself is holding onto her own anger and grief though. After Dheena’s brother commit suicide all those years prior, it caused a rift between her and her husband. For 10 years they didn’t talk and upon hearing this, she tells Dheena there’s no way she can forgive or pardon him.

The Episode Review

Navarasa gets off to a fascinating start, with a thematically strong episode about anger, grief and forgiveness. The split screen shots work really well to drive home the message about two different ways of looking at a problem, and ultimately help to give the chapter an extra layer of depth.

The musical score and aesthetic both work wonders here too, feeding into the storytelling which is top notch and very thought provoking. There’s some great moments in this, and a nice little twist with Sivaraman happening to be a projection.

After a solid start, it’ll be interesting to see what thee rest of the show has in store for us.

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Expect A Full Season Write-Up Later This Weekend!
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