'Kumari Srimathi' is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Here is the review of the seven-episode series, written by Srinivas Avasarala, directed by Gomtesh Upadhye and produced by Early Monsoon Tales (a division of Vyjayanthi Movies).
The story is set in Ramarajulanka, a small village inhabited by mostly kind people. Kumari Srimathi (Nithya Menen) is pushing 30 and is unmarried as yet. It has been seven years since she started waging a court battle for her ancestral home, which is claimed by her money-minded and greedy uncle Keshava Rao (Prem Sagar). While Srimathi's mother Devika (Gautami) insists that she get married at the earliest, the daughter goes on to set up a bar with the aim of making a large sum of money within six months. Can she earn that much and own the ancestral home?
The biggest problem with this web series is that it has been conceived and executed as a feel-good comedy-drama with the exception of the last episode. There is no durable conflict to speak of. At every step, the titular character stumbles across instant solutions. As someone who never runs out of her truckload of luck, she could have been featured on the cover of Forbes magazine had the series lasted a couple of more episodes.
'Kumari Srimathi' was touted to be about the fortitude of a rural entrepreneur - a woman at that. But this wannabe businesswoman is gifted with a one-in-a-million stroke of luck. She has an over-supportive ex-collegemate who resolves the biggest crisis in a snap. She has a supportive sister (Praneeta Patnaik), a fairly supportive grandmother (Rameshwari), a semi-supportive mother (Gautami), a lovable male bestie (Nirupam Paritala) who never ceases to morally support her, and an old friend (Thiruveer) who returns to the village on a sabbatical just in time. Her father's (VK Naresh) absence in her life doesn't have any far-reaching, irreversible consequences for her.
Artificial conflicts are ever-present but miraculous solutions are more so. As a result, we don't feel any tension. The bane of 'Kumari Srimathi' is that it wants to be a comedy-drama where comedy is 80% instead of just 50%. Whatever drama that is there is watered down by women who pretend they are in pain and men who only smile in the presence of our heroine (her uncle is an exception, though, but it is only a matter of time before he too turns benevolent).
Srimathi's mother is not weathered despite being an abandoned wife; she looks perpetually pretty and never makes any real attempt to dissuade her 30-year-old unmarried daughter who is already battling a stubborn, never-ending legal battle from taking the biggest gamble of her life. Srimathi's grandmother pretends that she is angry all the time but she behaves like a dream granny the next second.
Everyone in the village is Srimathi's well-wisher or future well-wisher. Her unending stream of luck made this reviewer suspect that even the founder of the bank she approached for a loan was her old friend. Probably, that delicious piece of information has been reserved for the second season.
Nithya Menen never comes across as a worried woman. She behaves like Dad's little princess, making those 'Treat me as a cute child' expressions all the time.
'Kumari Srimathi' has a truckload of superficial ideas. Its female protagonist is extremely lucky. That's it. There is nothing else to her character and to this over-long, hollow comedy-drama.