The Malayalam webseries Master Peace is directed by N Sreejith and stars Nithya Menen, Sharaf U Dheen, Shanthi Krishna, Renji Panicker, Ashokan, Maala Parvathi, Jude Anthany Joseph, Srikanth Murali, Anand Manmadhan, Divya Pillai
Where can you watch Master Peace in the UAE?
Master Peace is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Those who had seen Bro Daddy, the Prithviraj Sukumaran-helmed comedy film, would vouch for the organic flow of the narrative and the whacky lines. When the writer of the same, N Sreejith, helms a web series, you can be sure there’ll be no shortage of humour and mirth.
Master Peace, like in Bro Daddy, is decidedly modern in its setting and feel, and the families, too, living in high-rise new condominiums, exhibit new-age sensibilities. And it is good to see Malayalam creators, after dominating the film segment, enter the web series space with confidence and composure.
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Master Peace is about the well-heeled Riya (Nithya Menen) and Binoy (Sharaf U Dheen) couple living in an upscale flat in Kochi. A typical ego clash breaks out between the two, and one thing leads to another, and their respective parents land.
Binoy’s parents Chandichan (Renji Panicker) and Aniyamma (Maala Parvathi), and Riya’s father and mother, Kuriyachan (Ashokan) and Lisamma (Shanthi Krishna) take positions behind their respective wards. They come with their idiosyncrasies and motivations. And since they stick to their guns, the parents, rather than making things easy for their children, further complicate matters.
In that sense, Master Peace is a parable on today’s families where beyond the facade of finesse and bonhomie lies a festering lava of discontent and dissatisfaction. A large swathe of the modern family is a put-on act. This point is impressively driven home through the never-ending line of jokes and pointed lines.
Master Peace is decidedly loud. But it seems a director’s choice for the jokes to land — many of which actually do. But the 5-episode series, each around 30-35 mins long, doesn’t have the flesh in the story to stay fresh for long. The lag sets in somewhere in the middle after the frenetic start. The pace and pulsation pick up only towards the climactic stretches. The portions that work are indeed impressive, and the flavour is delectable.
Since the primary focus is on a single family, save for minor distractions, the narrative stays the course, and that is its strength and its failing, too. After a point, it becomes more of the same. The feeling that this could have been well encapsulated in a two-hour-long movie is inescapable. But since this is among the first web series in Malayalam on a mainstream OTT platform, the effort can be encouraged.
In the acting department, Maala Parvathi has a roaring time as the over-the-top mother of Binoy. Shanthi Krishna, with a penchant for old lyrics, is more than adequate. Ashokan and Renji Panicker are solid and sincere. The lead pair Nithya Menen and Sharaf U Dheen, as the whimsical couple, don’t quite nail it. Nithya at least redeems herself in some stretches, but Sharaf U Dheen, generally very good in comic roles, is let down by unconvincing writing. But their performance is not a deal-breaker.
Overall, Master Peace is not, to use an obvious cringe line, a masterpiece. But the piece does pass muster.
What are the other critics saying about Master Peace?
An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.