Mad Company On Aha Tamil Is Uneven, But Has Its Moments

Headlined by Prasanna, the series revolves around a bunch of trained actors who get paid to play characters in real life
Mad Company On Aha Tamil Is Uneven, But Has Its Moments

Director: Vignesh Vijaykumar

Cast: Prasanna, Kaniha, Dhanya Balakrishna, SPB Charan, Bommu Lakshmi, Lavanya

Suspicious that her husband is cheating on her, Roshini (Dhanya Balakrishna) gets into a screaming match with him while dining at a restaurant. But after throwing a bowl of noodles on his face in a fit of rage, she immediately apologises and hands over an invoice. Why, you ask? Roshini is an actor who was just acting as the man’s wife for a few hours. This is the intriguing setup of Vignesh Vijaykumar’s debut directorial Mad Company, Aha Tamil's eight-episode series.

The show follows the life of a group of actors who come together to offer professional acting services for people in real life. If someone misses a loved one or desires to have a special someone in their real life, they can now hire an actor to fill their shoes for a few hours, we are told. Prasanna plays AK, the founder of the Mad company. He is a famous actor but is banned from the film industry for reasons that are unclear. So he kickstarts the firm to pursue acting. While he maintains that he started Mad Company to solely cater to the public, the company’s motto is nothing but a front to satiate his own desire to act.

Each episode deals with a bunch of actors essaying the role of a daughter, a brother or even a ghost, as per the client’s request. However, the concept, which sounds unique on paper, feels flat and stretched out over the first few episodes. So, by the end of each episode, when you repeatedly see every client experiencing a touching epiphany, it comes off as contrived. But the show really shines when it sticks to comedy. For instance, when a client hires an actor to scare him as a ghost or when a girl hires her ex-boyfriend to act as her boyfriend for a day, Mad Company is an amusing watch.

The show also seems confused while navigating between the reel and real life struggles of the actors. Some narrative arcs get resolved even before they begin. Take the scene with Amaran (SPB Charan), AK’s arch-nemesis for instance. When Amaran reveals important evidence on air, which could possibly jeopardise the company’s future, the mood is sombre and the actors worry. But the very next moment, we see them forget their issues and celebrate AK’s birthday like nothing ever happened in the first place. The same patchiness is felt when one of their interns meets with an accident or when one of them gets arrested. The series depicts their issue, drops it, and moves on to the next scene. This is also why when Amaran gets into scheming mode in the later parts of the series, you know that it’s not going to matter.

Mad Company also marks the reunion of Prasanna and Kaniha, who last starred together in Susi Ganeshan’s college drama Five Star, two decades ago. In Mad Company, Kaniha plays Podhum Ponnu, the manager of the company, who also doubles up as AK’s best friend. Dhanya Balakrishna, Kaniha, and SPB Charan make up quite an impressive cast, but it is Prasanna who does most of the heavy lifting with his charm. It also helps that his character is one of the better fleshed-out ones in the series. Prasanna and AK get to do some of their best acting in the show finale. While the last episode does turn out to be an engaging ride, it is riddled with unnecessary twists and turns.

Overall, the series bites off more than it can chew – it traces the lives of clients who go through emotional journeys, multiple romances and morals. Mad Company has its moments but it tries to be too many things at once, and a lack of balance in making all of this palatable makes it inconsistent.

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