&TV’s Mitegi Lakshman Rekha makes for a banal watch

When &TV announced its new women-empowerment show, Mitegi Lakshman Rekha, with very hard-hitting promos, we expected an earth-shattering story that would compel men to question how they treat women and would offer revolutionary solutions to the gender barriers.

Alas, what we have seen 19 episodes so far and there’s no great shakes. It seems to be like any other daily soap, thriving on misunderstandings. The entire plot is running only on confusions so far.

This Shashi Sumeet Productions show opened with the lead male character, Prince Vishesh (Rahul Sharma), espousing respect to the fair sex, courtesy a poem. Despite being royalty, he is Mr. Goody Two Shoes. Why do all protagonists have to be as white as a lily?

Cut to the female lead, Kanchan (Shivani Tomar), who is a beautician plus martial arts teacher, equipping girls with self-defense techniques. It was good to see how she dissuades her students from using their power for wrong reasons.

Like all female leads, she is harfan maulaa (master of all trades), taking good care of her house plus dad (Ravi Gossain) and younger sister.

She has had a very traumatic past, which makes her run miles from any relationship. Have we not seen this before as well?

Cut to the first misunderstanding– her cousin Sudha’s marriage is on the verge of being called off, when the bride’s prospective father-in-law, seeing Kanchan alighting from the royal car (she had gone to the palace to give beauty treatment), thinks she is getting married to Vishesh, and drops the dowry demand.

Interestingly, Sudha loves Vishesh’s friend, who tries to kill himself when she refuses to marry him for family reasons. Kanchan agrees to the above lie after talking to Vishesh over the phone, who tells her that it is ok to lie for good (she thinks it is a wrong number but Vishesh had called up to speak to Sudha who leaves her phone in the kitchen.)

Vishesh, not wanting to see his friend suffer, plans to change Sudha’s dad’s mind, so that he lets her choose her heart. For this purpose, he becomes a cook in the wedding house, a la DDLJ. Kanchan knows the entire game but refuses to help, not wanting to hurt her uncle. In the end, he succeeds.

As it happens in the process, Vishesh flips for Kanchan who too starts to like him but keeps spurning him due to her past .On the other hand, his mother, Badi Rani (Vaishnavi MacDonald), wants him to settle down and her daughter offers her sister-in-law as a possible bride. Another misunderstanding, courtesy Chhoti Rani (Jayshree T), makes Vishesh think that the queen has agreed to his marriage with Kanchan.

Hope this show is what the doctor ordered for Shivani, as this highly talented actor’s career has been plagued by ill-luck so far, courtesy Kasam and Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon 3?

The girl has not been given enough time to prove her mettle. This character, if allowed to bloom properly, can take her places. She is doing a good job so far. Hope she has also matured up and will not have issues with romantic scenes, as alleged before in Kasam.

Rahul, who impressed all with his Kaal Bhairav Rahasya performance, is again doing a good job. The nok-jhok between Kanchan and Vishesh is the best part of the show so far.

Vaishnavi MacDonald is essaying the role of the queen well. Yesteryear film vamp, Jayshree T, is apt as the negative Chhoti Rani.

It would be interesting to see how Kanchan agrees to marry Vishesh– will it be through yet another misunderstanding? A daily soap lead has to be married for the saas-bahu-nanad equation to come into play. Hope a day comes when we have daily soap leads rising up to issues outside domestic discord; we are not saying don’t show relationships, but please don’t make it the pivot. Have we not heard the adage–zindagi mein aur bhi gum hain mohabbat ke siway

We have yet to see the above main crux of the show¬- Kanchan rising up to the plate to break traditional stereotypes that bind women down.

All in all, it is a decent watch, given the limitations of the daily format, which thrive on formula for numbers.

It deserves 2.5 stars.

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