Ek Boond Ishq - A promising start!
Ek Boond Ishq - A promising start!
Time - Monday to Friday at 8:30 pm on Life OK
Producer - Saba Mumtaz and BBC Worldwide
Director - Indraneel Goswami
Story - Saba Mumtaz
Cast - Chhavi Pandey, Viraf Phiroz Patel, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Hunar Hali, Dishank Arora, Gauri Tonk.
The story so far -
It is basically the story of Tara (Chhavi Pandey) and her family comprising of her mother, elder sister and younger brother. Tara has lost her father and since then taken over the responsibility of earning the daily bread for her family. She is sort of a tomboy and runs a small eatery in Bhopal's market area. She has many a responsibility on her head - the home where she stays with her family is on loan and the instalments are due to the bank, her younger brother, Bunty has dreams of higher education while her elder sister Nandini aka Nandu (Hunar Hali) has stars in her eyes and portrays herself as a girl from a well off family so that she gets married into a rich family.
All these dreams are shattered when one day Tara's shop is razed to the ground and she is left without any source of income. At the same time the Panditji gets a rishta for Nandu but Tara's mother refuses it as she finds something wrong with the fact that the rishta has come from the respectable Thakur Jairaj Singh's family which is one of the biggest and most influential families of Bhopal. When Tara comes home after the demolition of her shop she knows of the same and insists on meeting them. She feels this is the only way she can get her family out of all their troubles. As she comes face to face with Thakur and Panditji she puts forth her own proposal for marriage not knowing who the groom is. Impressed by her attitude Thakur accepts her proposal and promises to make her his bahu.
Tara's mother, is not happy with all this but has to go along with the decision when the bank authorities come banging on the door threatening to throw all of them out of the house. She goes to meet the Thakur and finding them to be good people to talk to agrees to go ahead with Tara's marriage with his son not knowing that he wants to get Tara married to his adopted son Mritunjaya (Viraf Patel) who is in jail for alleged rape and murder. His younger son Aditya (Dishank Arora) from his wife Nirmala (Gauri Tonk) is put in the forefront as the dulha and everybody assumes that Tara will get married to him. Ironically, Aditya is shown to be flirting with Tara's elder sister Nandu but we see him telling Nandu that he cannot get married to her. All this time he doesn't know that she is in fact Tara's elder sister. Later we also find out that he is already married and his wife Meethi is a good soul who will turn out to be a support to Tara. Nandu on the other hand is shown to be distressed after seeing her sister Tara happily married while her own life is getting messed up as Aditya stops acknowledging her calls. In desperation she tries to end her life but is saved by her mother and brother.
There is another story running parallel too - that of Tara barging into a mandir which is having an elaborate ritual of sorts and accidently bumping into Kalavati aka Didisaab (Vishwajeet Pradhan). Fearing that Tara has seen his face he is baying for her blood and wants her dead not knowing that she has been married into his family. His secret of being a crossed dressed eunuch is yet to be revealed but it can be assumed that he is part of the Thakur khandaan and is in fact the Tauji. At the end of this week's episode we see the newly wed Tara exploring the Thakur haveli and finding the room which belongs to him.
What works -
The setting of the show which is in Bhopal looks different and authentic as the city is captured well while on outdoor shoots. Even the haveli and the interiors of the haveli come across as having a royal feel to it and is not the typical grand rich look we see in other shows.
While the promos had caught our attention right from the beginning the story of the show too promises to be different. The actors of course are quite intense and serious with each one delivering a good performance. Special mention needs to be made of Chhavi Pandey who comes across as a superb actress. Lookwise she resembles Anushka Sharma while acting wise she reminds you of Divya Dutta who has proven her mettle in the industry. Gauri Tonk looks as if she had never taken her nine year long break. Her fitness and looks need a special mention as she looks her glamorous self just like what she was during the Kahin Kissi Roz days.
Vishwajeet Pradhan too looks the part - he has to wear sarees and womanly outfits with loads of make-up and jewellery but he carries off the outrageous costumes well along with perfect acting and dialogues too. His love for art whether it is shayari, dancing, painting or playing the flute adds to the nuances of his character. He delivers his dialogues in his own male voice without making the unnecessary effort of sounding feminine which works well.
Each character has been worked on and the credit goes to producer Saba Mumtaz who has been a noted writer for many notable shows earlier too. Her expertise in the story and characters is noticeable here and Ek Boond Ishq comes across as a result of hard work and patience.
Moments we liked -
The tender moments between Tara and her mother look very special and the bonding that they share as mother - daughter touches a raw nerve. Tara's family despite being in misery is close knit and the siblings love for each other is depicted rather well. Tara's character has shades of subtle comedy... she loves her family and is a bindaas girl who speaks her mind without being scared of anybody - we hope she stays that way!
What doesn't work -
Tara dancing at her own wedding without her own mother able to stop her is a bit over the top. Also the family agreeing to marry off Tara without meeting the dulha or not knowing the fact that one of the Thakur's son is in jail despite staying in the same town is also a bit hard to digest. Also what is the reason for this quick shaadi when the dulha is in jail? A character, Fahim Miya who is part of the staff in the Thakur's haveli too comes across as someone with feminine qualities. Isn't it too much of gender confusion here or maybe there is a story here too?
Vishwajeet Pradhan's transformation from being a man to a woman might be flawless but how does he keep this secret from others since he is roaming around in full finery in front of the house staff and outside too. Then why the veil of secrecy when an unknown girl (Tara) disrupts their mandir ritual and bumps into him?
Our take -
Yes, it is a different kind of story but hope it picks up some pace. It is almost two weeks now and the story has moved only a bit. The back story of Mritunjaya being in jail or of why Vishwajeet Pradhan is trying to be a woman in man's dressing needs to be shown alongside too. The track showing Tara's wedding looked a bit dragged and we are sure if these loopholes are taken care of this will be one show to look forward to!
On the positive side, the freeze points at the end of each episode have been keeping the viewers hooked on to the show. It sure is a promising start!