Kudos to Ekta Kapoor and Shrishti Arya, for presenting extramarital affairs in a sensitive manner, in ALTBalaji’s latest offering, Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain.
Rich businessman Rohit (Ronit Roy) cheats on his wife Poonam (Gurdeep Kohli), by having an affair with interior designer Ananya (Mona Singh). He claims that everything is over with his wife, yet continues to cohabit with his wife, applying balm to her below the sari and petticoat, like any loving husband would.
It was refreshing to see a modern woman like Ananya. Her funda is clear– she did not ditch her husband, and neither is she with Rohit for his moolah. She likes her drinks and shares an apartment with him. Her friends don’t spare telling her that she is being used, and once she withdraws privileges, Rohit will go crawling back to his wife. Their language– that she opens her legs for him– was a bit over, but again, that is how close buddies talk. Mona’s strong personality adds heft to the narrative.
All hell breaks loose, when Rohit’s elder daughter Bani (Pooja Banerjee) reads his and Ananya’s love messages. Wifey asks him to snap all ties with the latter; however, Rohit, on the contrary, decides to walk out. Ananya does not like it when Rohit tries to guilt trip, saying, either handle your baggage or go back to your family.
Further, in an attempt to contain Rohit’s extramarital fall out, sexually active Bani refuses to get married to her guy, as suggested by Poonam, saying this is Dad’s mess. Why should I put my life on the line for him?
Ronit has a very restrained performance, not abusing or beating his better half, as most TV and film two-timers would have done in similar circumstances. He tries to justify his action, saying that he was tired of living for others, and now wants his own happiness. It is not wrong to be a tad selfish, but it is a tough call to balance individual desires with overall family welfare.
Just spare a thought for Poonam, who was dumped after giving the best years of her life to a man. Her “compromise” line had held many a marriages in India. Although Gurdeep’s character is more traditional, she effectively brings out Poonam’s worst fears of what will happen if Rohit really dumps her. It is not easy to start life afresh, with two daughters in tow.
There was just one fly in the ointment– when Rohit’s brother-in- law threatens to drag him to court, he acts blasé about losing money. If you’ve shown realism all over, why go melodramatic here?
With nascent desi net having no template to fall back upon, ALTBalaji too keeps changing strategies.
Initially, they would stream all episodes in one go. However, now they have streamed just four of the 15-episode series.
The idea seems to be to create a buzz and milk in more watchers. Binge releases always carry quick burnout fears as well. Also, with a radical theme, maybe they were unsure of audience reactions, so preferred to play the waiting game.
P.S. We sure would like to wait and watch how and if Apurva Agnihotri’s character changes the ball game of the narrative down the road. He has also been seen so far in the first episode. It would be fun, for he and Mona had impressed us years back, in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin.
On the whole, Kehne Ko Humsafar Hai gets 3.5 stars out of 5 as per IWMBuzz review..