Pushpavalli is the story of a woman who moves cities to pursue (read: stalk) a crush. In case the trailer didn’t make it clear, the opening tune “won’t you look at it me” will do the job.
Now, make no mistake the love interest has expressed no romantic desire in her. His actions remain purely platonic and are only seem confusing to her. However, it makes no attempt to justify her actions (unlike what you see in a rather worrying amount of Bollywood movies). The audience is always fully aware of the fact that Pushpavalli is the one in the wrong.
Writer and lead Sumukhi Suresh came up with her as she was ‘tired of women characters being white or black’. And boy does she deliver.
Pushpavalli is a problematic character. She’s insecure, manipulative and has some serious mommy issues. Her mother, land lady and friend Pankaj constantly berate her. They criticize her for her size, her career choice, and so you feel bad for her. You even sympathize with her and try to understand why she ventures into literally criminal territory. Yet, you never agree with her. The show makes no effort to glorify it’s lead or “embrace her flaws”.
It fully accepts the fact that Pushpavalli is an anti hero. The comedy is hence dark, but never offensive. As a fan of Sumukhi and Naveen’s work I’ve come to expect it.
The supporting cast does a phenomenal job and gets some of the best lines. Vasu will have you cracking up for sure! Naveen Richard’s Pankaj is… an a**hole to say the least but he’s also a cutie. Nikhil, the love interest can be perfectly described as a himbo. Manish Anand fits the concept to a t. Watch out for cameos from Rahul Subramanium and Kumar Varun.
You can’t help draw parallels with Netflix’s You. It shows the difference between male and female stalkers. The former tend to be more predatory while the latter get their job done by manipulating the victim. I remember being both amazed and horrified at her intelligence and ability to twist narratives. Second season shows her in action in her field of expertise and your appreciation of her genius only grows stronger.
If you haven’t watched this brilliant show yet, please give it a chance. I guarantee it will grow on you sooner or later.