‘Sweet Kaaram Coffee’ review: A feel-good series on soul-searching and introspection

Featuring fantastic performances from actors Lakshmi, Madhoo and Santhy Balachandran, the series is a beautiful amalgamation of these women’s desires, insecurities and inhibitions; the brilliant stretches outweigh a few bumps in this road-trip adventure

July 07, 2023 01:31 pm | Updated July 11, 2023 04:21 pm IST

A still from ‘Sweet Kaaram Coffee’

A still from ‘Sweet Kaaram Coffee’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ask anyone who travels for pleasure and they’d say how it’s always the journey that matters more than the destination; it’s intriguing how that’s a metaphor for life itself. What is life but a series of sweet and sour experiences? Prime Video’s latest Tamil original Sweet Kaaram Coffee, cut from that same cloth, is a slice-of-life series that explores how stepping out for some fresh air will often be rewarded with life-altering happenings.

Sweet Kaaram Coffee follows the lives of three women; the family’s eldest, Sundari (Lakshmi), her daughter-in-law Kaveri (Madhoo) and her granddaughter Santhy (Niveditha). Riddled with their own problems and in dire need to quench their thirst for freedom, the three embark on an impromptu road trip without informing the two men of the family. Each episode sees them taking a pitstop across different cities where they meet new people, understand several aspects that were once foreign to them, discover a side of them that had stayed dormant for years and introspect on the paths they have taken in life.

Sweet Kaaram Coffee (Tamil)
Creator: Reshma Ghatala
Directors: Bejoy Nambiar, Krishna Marimuthu, Swathi Raghuraaman
Cast: Lakshmi, Madhoo, Santhy Balachandran, Bala Suresh, Kavin Jay Babu
No. of episodes: 8
Runtime: 45 minutes each
Storyline: Three women embark on a journey of self-discovery that’s filled with patches of sweet and sour moments

On the surface, Sweet Kaaram Coffee is a simple, straightforward and heartwarming tale of women enjoying the best time of their lives. But like the million onions Kaveri has cut over the years serving her family, there are layers to the plot. For starters, if Kaveri mulls over her past where she could’ve been more than what she settled for, Nivi is worried about the uncertainty of her future, whereas Sundari wants to enjoy the present.

Watch | In conversation with the cast and directors of “Sweet Kaaram Coffee”

Similarly, the reason for this impulsive decision to take a trip is different for each of them; Nivi wants a break from her relationship and boyfriend who doesn’t take her career decisions seriously, Sundari has an ulterior yet poignant motive, and Kaveri just wants to prove to her husband that she can do it. Sweet Kaaram Coffee, just like its title, is a beautiful amalgamation of these women’s desires, insecurities, passion, inhibitions and love.

A still from ‘Sweet Kaaram Coffee’

A still from ‘Sweet Kaaram Coffee’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The series has its share of drawbacks. But just like the scenic vistas making up for the irregular roads during a trip, the dialogues, characters and impressive actors essaying them more than compensate. Nivi cares for her relationship despite cricket being her everything, and the reason for this dilemma is explained with a backstory — something the other two characters get as well. While Kaveri’s flashback isn’t as intriguing, Sundari’s history and her reason to travel is a fantastic reveal at the end. Even the mediocre stretches that don’t really hit us hard are laced with little subplots that majorly work; the scene where Kaveri and Sundari discuss their sex lives, or when Kaveri and Nive talk about the sitcom Friends and the mother thinks it’s the Vijay-Suriya Tamil film! Even the one-dimensional male characters have their own interesting arcs as the series progress.

Siva Ananth’s dialogues, Govind Vasantha’s music, and the visuals capturing the confines of their house and the vast outdoors add value to the series that’s built on brilliant performances, especially that of the veteran actor Lakshmi. Adding to this is a surprising cameo from a star (who is part of another Prime Video show) and nifty touches like a foreign couple named Julia and Roberts (probably a hat tip to Julia Roberts’s Eat Pray Love).

Sweet Kaaram Coffee might have one too many subplots and characters, and even bite more than what it can possibly chew when it comes to the message it tries to push home, but that doesn’t take away the warmth of the feel-good story.

Sweet Kaaram Coffee is currently streaming on Prime Video

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