This is trully a Sushmita Sen affair all along. Just at the time when people are talking about camps and how amazing talent goes underutilized, we have Miss Universe Sen rubbish also those who ignored her this far. She is a class act. Her class and style were never in question, now given a full-length script (9 episodes of about 50 minutes each) she leads with amazing confidence. Her timing perfect, her diction unmatched. Truly this is a tribute to motherhood and without an apology.
A Rajasthani pharmaceutical company is headed by Zorawar (Jayanth Kriplani). His daughter Aarya (Sushmita Sen) is married to Tej (Chandrachur Singh). The Zorawar household has multiple problems with aging wife (Sohaila Kapoor), nagging Zora for his relationship with Rads (Flora Saini). His second daughter Soundarya (Priyasha Bharadwaj) is about to get married to a westerner Bob (Alexx ONeil) when Tej is shot. Tej and Aarya have 3 children – their daughter Arundathi (Vrithi Vaghani), son Veer (Viren Wazirani) and little Aadi (Prayatskh Panwar). The business is run by Tej, Aarya’s brother Sangram (Ankur Bhatia) and Jawahar (Namit Das). Things go wrong when a huge consignment of Shikhawat (Maneesh Chandan) goes missing. Tej is assassinated in the presence of his son Aadi.
It’s a bad world out there. Reminiscent of the skewed-up family in Benegal’s Kalyug, directors Ram Madhvani, Sandeep Modi and Vinod Rawat give you a taut script. There are some nail biting twists. Aarya evolves from being a loving housewife into a Don prepared to smuggle drugs to save her immediate family. She has at the domestic front the challenge to handle a son who is going through the challenges of adolescence and a daughter threatening to get into a incestual relationship and her youngest child suffering psychological problems after being a witness to the fatal shootout of his father. Zorawar also has a man Friday in Daulat (Sikandar Kher). As the drug mafia threatens to take control of Aarya and her children, she decides to fight. She has on the one hand her brother in jail and thus her parental family, the drug mafia and the police ACP Khan (Vikas Kumar). Also, Jawahar who is not only a dope addict but is privy to the legitimate and the illegitimate activities of the pharma company. Each of the nine episodes has multiple twists and gripping turns.
Top class performances add succour to a narrative that anyway is packed with drama and action. Namit Das as Jawahar is a revelation in the negative role he performs. Ankur Bhatia presents his claustrophobic presence in jail amazingly. Even minor roles played by the mother Sohaila Kapoor is impressive. As the three children Vrithi Vaghani, Viren Wazirani and Prayatskh Panwar look real and play out very natural stances. Chandrachur has nothing to do. Sikandar Kher is there in almost every moment of the narrative. Often in the background. He leaves a lasting impact. Vikas Kumar as ACP Khan also shows tremendous promise and stays away from cliched scenarios both as the investigating inspector and also as one with alternate sexual preferences.
It’s a world of addictions, kidnaps, killings, shootouts, palace intrigue balanced beautifully with romance, caring relations, warmth and an appetite for happiness.
I cannot but revert to talk about Sushmita Sen in the title role. On the big screen we have seen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan what she could do to get back her daughter in Jazba and Sreedevi in a near similar role in Mom. By contrast, Sen is out with a commanding performance. This is not just her best outing, it is among the best in recent times. She gives Shefali Chaya Shah the run for her money for role in Delhi Crime.
The serial is unhesitatingly recommended. You don’t get too many opportunities to watching a story so well told, so well mounted and so perfectly enacted. Watching it at one go could be tedious. Watch it in parts if necessary. But watch it all. Watch it surely.