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‘Naamkarann’ strikes an emotional chord with viewers

Far away from sagas of kitchen politics, supernatural tales, et al, Mahesh Bhatt’s new show, ‘Naamkarann’, is a story sans over-the-top drama. Airing on Star Plus, ‘Naamkarann’ is a modified adaptation of Mahesh Bhatt’s critically acclaimed movie ‘Zakhm’, which starred Pooja Bhatt and Ajay Devgn.

The Plot

The story revolves around a 10-year-old girl Avni (Arsheen), who is the hero of the film. She is miffed with her father Ashish (played by Arif Mehta), who is a prominent film director, for not being present with her most of the times. Avni’s mother Asha (essayed by Barkha) is expecting her second child, but tries to evade people as her marriage with Ashish is not validated by society, even though the two have been together for 11 years. Deep within, Avni knows that their family is not a normal one, but she defends and in the process often gets into fights at school.

Where it gets our thumbs up...

Arsheen is indeed a director’s actor, and Bhatt is all praise for her, “Arsheen is my biggest discovery till now.” The child actor emotes well and her anguish is well-expressed as she asks her mother in the first episode of the show, “Hamari family normal kyun nahin hain?” She flawlessly expresses myriad emotions of anger, loneliness, and her search for unanswered questions. Barkha looks fresh and we love the grace and serenity she brings to her character Asha. Arif brings in more maturity, however, what we adore is how seamlessly he is able to pull off his role. Strong on his principles, he plays the role of an obedient son, loving father, and passionate lover, who is caught up in his circumstances. The chemistry between Arif and Barkha, too, strikes the right chord with the audiences. Reema Lagoo completes the ensemble with equal poise and sternness. And yes, if it’s a Mahesh Bhatt production, there has to be good music too. And ‘Naamkarann’ doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Full credit to the dialogue writers as well. Unlike most shows, ‘Naamkarann’ deals a lot with inner battles and dialogues, which have been captured beautifully.

...And the thumbs down

However, the show is not without its glitches. First of all, the entry of Neela (male protagonist childhood friend) is too melodramatic and doesn’t go with the flow of the narrative. And as typical as it sounds, both their parents want to see them getting together. Also, the plight of Ashish – guy caught between an ailing, dominant mother and the love of his life – is too clichéd and offers nothing new. The set-up is too passé and the show so far is slow-paced, which might lose viewer interest in the long run.

Channel and Timings: Monday to Saturday, 9 pm on Star Plus

Cast: Arsheen Namdaar, Barkha Bisht Sengupta, Viraf Patel, Reema Lagoo, Sayantani Ghosh, Gulfan Khan, Puru Chibber, Pooja Verma

Producers: Guroudev Bhalla, Dhaval Gada

Directors: Mahesh Bhatt, Loknath Pandey, Subhobrato Sengupta

Release Date: September 12, 2016

-Jigna Shah (jigna.shah1988@gmail.com)

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