A story that deserved a long-format series – Planet Bollywood
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt is one man who is known to be very vocal about the mistakes he has committed in his personal life. Apart from speaking about many darker aspects of his life in media, he has touched upon several such incidents from his life in films like ‘Arth’, ‘Janam’, ‘Naam’, ‘Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayi’ and ‘Who Lamhe’ that have been produced and/or directed by him. In some of the aforementioned films, he has depicted several key events from his life during the time he was in a relationship with the late actress Parveen Babi. So, when a series gets made on this subject, you might wonder what’s left to be told?
Shankar Vats (Tahir Raj Bhasin) is a filmmaker who has made three films all of which have been box-office failures. His failure as a filmmaker and resolve to keep making films directly affects his family comprising of a mother (Zarina Wahab), wife Anju (Amrita Puri) and a school-going daughter. Amna Parvez is a successful actress who has been, of late, mired in controversies because of her personal relationships. Shankar has written a new script that, he believes, will appeal to Amna. The film that Shankar approaches Aamna for doesn’t get made but a strong friendship develops between Aamna and Shankar which culminates into love.
Those who were as to why a story, which has been told multiple times before, needs to be brought to the fore again would realize that this is the kind of story that was waiting to be told in a longer, series format. As writer-director Pushpdeep Bhardwaj has stated in many interviews, ‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’ is based on some of the incidents in Mahesh Bhatt’s (who has been credited as the creator on the show) life, it is largely fictional. Pushpdeep deserves credit for writing a screenplay that has several moments that tug at your heartstrings and keep you thoroughly engrossed in the narrative. He has done a very good job at fleshing out the characters. While the primary characters have been etched out well, even the ones like the ‘Watchman’ have a lot of depth. In fact, the sequences featuring the ‘Watchman’ are some of the best of the series. The best is the sequence which unfolds in the fifth episode.
The screenplay is good but could have been polished a little more. The progression of Aamna and Shankar’s relationship has not been depicted very well. Also, some of the characters in the show have been introduced in a slightly absurd manner. One of the strengths of the series is the soundtrack put together by Aabhas – Shreyas and Prasad Sashte. This is the finest soundtrack one has heard in a Vishesh Films/Entertainment production in a long time.
This is the first digital show produced by Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt and it has one similarity to the films they produce. Despite being a period drama, a lot of budget control exercises have been done here which is evident by the sets and the overall atmospheric look of the film. The art direction/production design team seems to have put their best foot forward but budgetary constraints, perhaps, did not allow them to utilize their creative potential to their best.
The performances in the show are one of its biggest highlights. Tahir Raj Bhasin brings the vulnerability of his character to the fore in an effortless manner. Amala Paul, who looks like a cross between Deepika Padukone and Malvika Mohanan, delivers a pitch-perfect performance. Amrita Puri puts across a very confident performance and makes you wonder why one doesn’t get to see her in films/shows more often. Zarina Wahab gets a few scenes to shine and she does her best. Madan Deodhar (Abdul) and Naina Sareen (Mary) deliver earnest performances. Paras Priyadarshan delivers a memorable performance as Ganesh. Uday Chandra leaves a solid impact as Watchman.
‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’ is a rare OTT series that delves on emotions and human relationships. You might have seen parts of the story being told here in films earlier but in this eight-episode series, you get to witness it in an elaborate form.
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