Thoughts on Karle Tu Bhi Mohabbat Season 1

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Series – Karle Tu Bhi Mohabbat
Starring – Ram Kapoor as Karan Khanna, Sakshi Tanwar as Tripurasundari Nagrajan
Created by – Ekta Kapoor
Written by – Reshu Nath
Directed by – Muzammil Desai
Platform – Alt Balaji
Episodes – 7

The much awaited and anticipated platform of the largest soap factory in India, finally took off with the advent of five brand new exclusive shows for the same.

The most talked about, the most buzzed of their new shows was Karle Tu Bhi Mohabbat. Nearly three years after the end of Bade Achhe Lagte Hai, the popular pair of Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar were making a comeback with the series and fans couldn’t be more excited.

Playing the role of a superstar who refuses to act his age, admit his stardom is fading away and who would rather lose himself at the bottom of a barrel than confront his demons Ram Kapoor returns as Karan Khanna, a divorced man and as of now, a father of a twenty-two year old.

Sakshi, effectively compliments him yet again as Tripurasundari Nagrajan, a 34 year old deaddiction counselor, with a stellar professional career, who on the personal front has no life whatsoever and an OCD to keep herself sanitised at all times. 

The two cross paths when Karan needs to prove himself dependable to be cast as the leading actor in the next project of one Mr. Hirani (A nod to the Munnabhai maker). Aware of his chops and yet weary of his drinking problems, Mr. Hirani makes Karan sign an agreement wherein he agrees to cast him only when Karan gets help for his addiction issues and only when Mr. Hirani is assured of Karan’s recovery shall he sign him on for the movie.

From thereon, the show effectively changes gears and Karan accompanied by Tripurasundari ‘Tipsy’ Nagrajan, heads to Mahabaleshwar to attend the wedding of his estranged daughter and encounters his ex, played by Shweta Kawatra of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki fame with whom he’s still not amicable.

Slowly Tipsy begins to see the man behind the star, as she witnesses the encounters between Karan and his ex as well as his daughter, who addresses him as Mr. Khanna. In a drunken stupor Karan admits how he’s emotionally stunted, via his admission of failing to fight for anything that concerns him personally despite labelling Tipsy as an emotionally stunted woman before.

The chemistry between the two is exactly the same as BALH, which is to say that these two are just as amazing as before.

It is however the writing of the series that I wish would do better justice to them. Won’t lie but the first four episodes seemed very rushed to me as if they simply wanted to get to the family drama of Karan Khanna’s life and the last three in comparison fared better. 

My biggest grouch with any Balaji series to date, however many I’ve seen has simply been the lack of character development in any of their series. The heroines are always too perfect for prime time tv viewing and the hero a little damaged, nothing the heroine can’t help and heal though. 

This platform however does not work by the same logic. It simply won’t survive if the rules of the game remain the same. Here there are no more channels and their nosey interference or a rat race for a number on a chart. Here is the chance for Ms. Kapoor and company to shine on and prove themselves in all their glory and either fail miserably or succeed spectacularly.

So, I’d love to witness with the progression of the series, more insights into the history of Karan and Tipsy. Be it his descent into alcoholism and the reason why he was so invested in his career that he completely disappeared from the lives of his family and ended up so lonely or why Tipsy is putting up with a hedonistic cousin even as she makes a living by counselling addicts and prides in her success at helping them regain their lives, by making them recover from their addiction/s completely. Or why is she such a spendthrift and moneyminded woman who strangely seems to have trapped herself in a life of routine as though it’s her coping mechanism to deal with her life’s adversities.

What worked for me – the chemistry between Ram and Sakshi, the fact that Tipsy mentions to Karan, he has to work on his personal issues and sort them out to commence his recovery. Seems like there’s some thought put into incorporating the psychological aspects of addiction in the writing; at least I hope that’s the case wholeheartedly.

What didn’t work for me – the humour sometimes didn’t really seem funny, the three old gentlemen who seemed to don’t understand the writing on the wall, the crazy woman stalker and last but not the least watching Shweta Kawatra who for some reason wasn’t convincing enough to me. Also it grated on my nerves after a point whenever the word “behna” popped up in any conversation between the cousins. Thanks to YHM I know at least this that Tamilians address their older sisters as Akka, the honorific for didi… so why can’t Sherry call Tipsy with the same is beyond me and even if they’re trying to show a progressive family, can they simply stop using the word just completely? Please. It’s annoyingly repetitive and no one talks like that for crying out loud in reality. 

The editing is crisp, however I wish the background music wouldn’t be so loud that sometimes hearing the dialogues becomes difficult and the direction is wonderful. 

Also, is the whole Punjabi Tamilian, cross cultural love story the new fascination of Ekta Kapoor or what? After Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, she reused the formula with a little twist in her short lived star plus series Kuch toh hai tere mere darmiyaan and now again two of her webseries – KTMB and R&J, have the same Punjabi Tamilian lovers angle.

I don’t know why Ms. Kapoor is so fascinated by the concept but it’s getting old and I certainly hope that it wouldn’t be used so liberally that it absolutely loses the touch of novelty. 

Would rate this season with no more than 2.5 out of five. And hopefully we get a better idea of how the seasons will be launched over the next few days really, while this would help with quality of content wonderfully, having a clearer picture of things wouldn’t hurt naturally. 

Series Review – Orange is the new black | Netflix |Jenji Kohen

I believe it’s a rare feat, to achieve for a show – to get better with each passing season – when the idea behind it is to push it’s characters down a deeper and darker lane from when we first met them, with the time passing by.And yet to keep its viewers hooked BECAUSE of that is just incredible. Not to say that all characters end up for the worse on it, eventually because hey there’s Doggett, a character who I never imagined I’d end up liking eventually but it happened.

But it’s human tendency to be enamored by evil and the dark, which explains why Breaking Bad and Game Of Thrones are such cult hits. Today the show that I’m gushing about doesn’t come close to those two iconic shows but in it’s own way is sure gonna have a legacy to leave behind. Netflix’s Orange is the new black, spearheaded by Jenji Kohan, is a show which frankly I never imagined I’d find myself watching let alone being hooked onto it and yet nonetheless it’s happened. Who would think that a drama set in a women’s prison about a bunch of criminals could be worth the time after all, when you first learn about it. But it’s what has worked in the favor of OITNB, it’s absolutely out of the box content.

I remember that when the show initially came out, Netflix wasn’t available in India and neither were there any channels with which the streaming service had entered into a deal to make it available for us Indian viewers back then. The only choice was a good torrent service.

With the internet raving about it, I had come close to wanting to watch it via one as well but I had also learned that it was a show based on a memoir of one Piper Kerman, called, ‘Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.’ So I did what was easier and normal, sought a copy of the same off Amazon and read it as soon as possible. And felt completely and utterly let down by it. Yep, this is one of those rare instances where the adaptation is better than the inspiration; kinda like 3 Idiots and five point someone.

Naturally, I dropped the idea of wasting precious data and time on watching a show, the inspiration of which failed to work for me.

That was back in 2013 and finally last year as Netflix went global, I bit the bullet and subscribed because holy hell, the crap on Indian TV is beyond insane and crazy and watching anything on the supposed niche English channels airing in the country is now a pain too, what with words beeped out and subtitles blurred where profanities are used, even innuendos (c’mon! urghh) or sequences completely edited out making you wonder WTH happened when suddenly things jumped from point A to C or D. The lure of watching shows without ads, whenever I wished and without anything blurred and beeped/ edited out was enough to make me weep with joy when Netflix further sweetened the pot by allowing offline viewing and I was in my personal heaven, because watching anything online in India without that option is like trying to lose your sanity on purpose, by all the repeated buffering.

Which is how, somehow I ended up downloading the first episode of the very first season of this show because I thought why the hell not, if it can’t entertain at least it will help me sleep or kill time or just travel without having to make small talk when I am not in the mood.

And ended up being amusingly delighted by it.

The black comedy, the best kind IMO, tickled me and I found myself hooked.

Last night, I wrapped up my three month long journey of catching up on the series as I viewed the finale of the fourth season and for nearly half an hour, was stunned and so raw with the events I witnessed, trying to process and take it all in, as to what the hell just happened. Did I see what I really saw and holy shit, what a stupid mistake it would have been had I skipped this series only because I found the book too boring and whiny.

As things sank in my mind, I found myself thinking of the words from one of my favorite books,

“How the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Finally, all I can say is, June 9th better hurry up already…..

The Night Manager Review

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I’ll be honest here. Prior to the Golden Globes, I was absolutely unaware of this miniseries because here in India for some reasons channels rarely air them or if they do then it’s on one or two of those niche channels which either you can’t watch unless you subscribe to a specific broadcaster or you can’t watch at all because, well you have no idea of it airing on a channel in the first place since there’s no publicity for the same. Thankfully though we Indians now have services like @netflix_in and @amazonvideoin and the amazing internet to keep us updated on the latest must watch shows and movies. Based on the novel of the same name by John Le Carré, the adaptation stars the brilliant Hugh Laurie as the Richard Roper and Tom Hiddleston, better known as Loki from Avengers, as Jonathan Pine. If you’re into thrillers and spy movies and shows I’d absolutely recommend this one. Available on Amazon prime this series is a brilliant, edgy and one of the best in the genre I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.