Taali Review: Sushmita Sen fights a losing battle in a facile series

Taali Review:- A trans activist named Gauri (Sushmita Sen) is told by a homosexual NGO worker named Navin (Ankur Bhatia) in a scene that occurs late in the new television series Taali that the persecution she experiences on a daily basis is nothing compared to what he experiences. However, the show in no way describes the nature of Navin’s difficulties. Taali doesn’t give a damn about it. The sanitized biographical play Taali is overshadowed by this tepid, unjust contrast of LGBT living and their circumstances.

Taali, a film directed by Ravi Jadhav and written by Arjun Singgh Baran and Kartk D Nishandar, is based on the life of transgender rights advocate Shreegauri Sawant. Sushmita Sen, who portrays Sawant in the six-episode series, carries the burden of the six episodes with the expected elegance and brilliance. But despite her admirable attempts, Taali finds it difficult to transcend the biographical drama’s cliched premise. Taali, written by Kshitij Patwardhan, is unable to stop viewing its topic through a constrained, formalistic lens.

Taali Review

We follow Gauri through flashbacks as she gives Amanda (Maya Rechal McManus), a hypothetical white journalist, her linear recall in the form of a Ted-talk-inspired, chapter-by-chapter material for an interview. She describes how she was teased for expressing that she wanted to be a mother when she grew up as Ganesh First, an effeminate kid (played by Krutika Rao). Ganesh’s strict, traditional father, a police officer (Nandu Madhav), even brings her to a sex clinic to get her hormones prescribed. After a certain point, she decides that leaving her home is her only option.

These earliest scenes are directed with a strong hand, as if the elements are combined and provided through a checklist of sorts. We are also informed that the historic decision will be made in 4 hours. This announcement is emphasized and given to viewers in the first episode before the topic and her worries are even mentioned. After this, the countdown is completely forgotten, much as the interview. When will filmmakers stop spoon-feeding audiences information and start relying on them to fill in the blanks?

Taali Review

Taali Review Overview

Article Name Taali Review: Sushmita Sen fights a losing battle in a facile series
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Taali Series Cast

Aishwarya Narkar, Ankur Bhatia, Krutika Deo, Nandu Madhav, Sheetal Kale, Hemangi Kavi, Maya Rachel McManus, and Sushmita Sen. I will never get tired of saying this: An significant story’s victory cannot be only that it exists. In art, representation has two opposing sides. Clearly, it’s a good thing. In contrast, the mere idea of representation tends to limit the characters to their socio-cultural identity because Hindi film hasn’t been inclusive for so long. They essentially reduce themselves to their disagreements and battles.

We witnessed that in the second season of Made In Heaven, particularly with the introduction of Meher, a post-op trans woman whose complexity is restricted to her accurate casting (she is portrayed by trans actor Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju) and a number of dating-app encounters. Taali takes a step further—or a step back, depending on your perspective—by abandoning authenticity in favour of greater economic success. Gauri Sawant, the legendary transgender activist and petitioner in the historic 2014 case where the Supreme Court of India proclaimed transgender to be the third gender, is portrayed by Sushmita Sen in the six-episode biographical series.

Gauri tells a reporter doing a profile on her in an early scene to “ask new questions” because her information is already online. Taali then goes on to accomplish the exact reverse of that, turning Gauri Sawant into a list of internet bullet points, without even the least hint of irony.

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Awkward Storytelling

First first, the protagonist’s bravery isn’t reflected in the narrative choices. Flashbacks are used to portray her life, with the main chronology centred on Gauri Sawant’s conversation with the foreign journalist just before the Supreme Court’s decision. The fact that a police station is mentioned during their day—a furious Gauri rushes there to file a complaint after two attorneys smear ink on her face—allows for a smooth segue to the trauma she experienced as a kid with her father, a police officer from Pune.

The sights and sounds of law enforcement bring back memories. However, their interaction is gratingly simple, and the reporter asks her questions with all the subtlety of a ‘Did You Know?’ blurb that appears in a kid’s animation clip. Every other episode, Gauri asks, “Where was I?” to remind us that she is telling her narrative.

There’s little feeling of time passing however, so the clumsily staged sequence in which Gauri speaks broken English with a school principal is quickly followed by a panel in which she reprimands corporate stooges in English in soap opera fashion. Her personality changes from timid to messiah in a single montage, therefore her transition is only visible in terms of how she looks. The back-and-forth eventually runs out of steam, this lengthy profile is forgotten, and the flashbacks take over the show until they coincide with the case.

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Stuck in Basic Binaries

A lot of Taali plays out like a homemade stage play and has the moral complexity of an Amar Chitra Katha cartoon. A sex worker has a phoney mole on her face; a sleazy boss who attempts to sleep with the employees; a pimp has a big beard and long, greasy hair In the style of an Eighties sidekick, Gauri is noisy and bald. All of the statement scenes include the same repeating theme: rain. A sexologist is an elderly bigot who is corrected by the young person he is attempting to “cure.”

Even if society is Gauri’s true antagonist, a jealous rival materializes out of nowhere and vanishes after a clumsy assassination attempt. After listening to Gauri’s monologues, detractors quickly transform into honorable individuals, such as the CEO who promises to give two places to transgender employees or the lawyer who goes from saying “you people have no rights!” to “I’ll fight your case!” It’s as if there are only two colours of character: good and bad.

Every episode includes a musical interlude to help the viewer follow along with the character’s journey, although sometimes the songs come off as a screenwriting cheat when it’s necessary to look within. In an effort to highlight her grit, the conversation rhymes phrases like gaali (excrement) and Taali, bindas (carefree), and badass. A number of photos show Gauri stuck in slow motion between lines for men and women, or she can be seen peering in a carefully positioned mirror between signs directing people to the men’s and women’s restrooms. The smoothest metaphor is perhaps the ink drying on an elder Gauri’s neck as she awaits judgement day.

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A Myopic View of Trans Identity

Most importantly, the notion of a Bollywood actress playing a transgender star clearly seduces the series. A large portion of it appears to have been scripted to highlight Sushmita Sen’s performance rather than the courageous role she is portraying. Sen employs her emotional intelligence, like she did in Aarya, to portray the motivations of someone who survives and protects; the mother impulse to guide and nurture appears natural. Even the false Maharashtrian accent and cultivated voice may be excused. However, gender dysmorphia is defeated by the optical illusion of seeing a well-known cis woman portray a distressed guy (the make-up is at best unsettling) and a post-op transgender campaigner.

The fact that a little girl is portrayed as Ganesh, Gauri’s effeminate younger self, implies something. It’s more probable that Taali merely has an erroneous sense of empathy, despite the fact that I’d want to think that this represents Gauri’s inner gaze rather than how society interprets her. Ankur Bhatia, Gauri’s homosexual buddy, for example, ultimately admits, in an effort to elevate Gauri, that his issues are nothing compared to hers and that it wasn’t until he met her that he understood what stigma was. Making a statement by pitting one LGBTQIA+ identity against another is not the best strategy.


Taali does have a few instances where purpose and amusement mesh well. like Gauri’s hysterical confrontation with medical staff who won’t handle her friend’s body. Like the contrast between Gauri’s post-op integration ceremony and her father’s performance of the death rituals for the boy he ‘lost’. similar to how the elderly grandfather eventually applauded Gauri’s triumph on television.

Or, as the sister’s response was when she ran into Gauri at their children’s school – both moms, both powerful and career-minded, both still poles apart. These instances, however, are the exception and not the rule. Taali’s profile and the remaining content are basically a student essay on celluloid and a list of social subheads. That’s more than enough for some people. Others view it as a further justification for raising fresh concerns about contemporary narrative and raising the bar for artists.

Taali Review FAQ’S

Who is Gauri in Taali?

Taali – a web series inspired by transgender activist Shreegauri Sawant has Sushmita Sen playing the lead role.

Is Taali a web series?

A web series based on the life of transgender activist, Gauri Sawant, throws light on her daring transformation, the journey towards motherhood, and the battle that led to the inclusion.

Is Taali based on true story?

The excitement for the JioCinema show is not solely because of Sushmita. The show revolves around Gauri Sawant, a renowned transgender activist from Mumbai, whose true story serves as the inspiration for the series. Gauri is recognized as the voice of the community, and her inspiring journey will be portrayed in Taali.

Which Ott platform is Tali on?

The drama series Taali can now be streamed on JioCinema. Originally planned to premiere on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, it unexpectedly became available on August 14, one day earlier. The show is free to watch and accessible to everyone.

Who is the owner of Taali Foods?

Aditya Kaji is the Co-Founder & CEO at Taali Foods .

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