CHENNAI: The second, presumably final, six episodes of “Selection Day” may have a new director in Karan Boolani but they more or less follow the same path in tone, texture and narrative style as the first batch, streamed on Netflix in January.
Adapted from Aravind Adiga’s 2016 Booker Prize-winning novel with the same title, the latest Netflix series is set to go out on April 19, and wisely retains the same cast. This offers a sense of continuity to a piece of fiction based on one of India’s most obsessive passions, cricket.
In fact, Indians joke that marriage, cricket and politics – in that order – are what exercises the common man’s mind most of the time.
Similar to earlier episodes, Boolani’s creation – written by Marston Bloom – fails to draw in the finer nuances and subtlety of Adiga’s work, which is a devastatingly brutal look at parental autocracy.
The author makes an elaborate effort to get into the dilemma of the characters: The way they are torn between personal relationships and their commitment to the game of cricket is written with power-punched lucidity.
In the web series, the father Mohan Kumar’s (Rajesh Tailang) near-manic obsession which distances him from his two cricket-champ sons, Manju (Mohammad Samad) and Radha (Yash Dholye), and the boys’ own guilt and anger, often feel a trifle exaggerated.
Manju and Radha also have another demon to grapple with, the disappearance of their mother.
Playing against this emotional storm is the story of a widow (Ratna Pathak Shah) who fights a dangerous land shark who is out to demolish her school and cricket academy in order to build a multi-storey complex.
But the battle between the father, whose failed dream to be a cricketer turns him into a monster, and the two boys, who are struggling to shake themselves out of a shackled existence, makes for an interesting theme in “Selection Day.”