Star Plus, the GEC, has the innate inkling to push the envelope. And its top bosses dream to weave a product akin to The Lord of The Rings, a proud Indian product, which will travel the world flying high on its meritorious content wings, earning accolades and awards.
The surge began with the magnanimous Mahabharat, an incredible attempt, near yet to so far. Now, another push comes in the form of Aarambh, the ambitious high profile ornate display of the world of the clash of two civilizations-the Aryans and the Dravidians.
Gunning from the successful shoulders of Baahubali, Star’s marketing push has been from the ‘writer of Baahubali’, (K. V. Vijayendra Prasad) a statement which automatically raises both curiosity and expectations.
The project is in safe and talented hands. Helmed by Rose Audio Visuals (maker), under the able aegis of Goldie Behl (director) and Anil Jha (channel supervisor), the team is iconic & illustrious. However, quoting the clichéd Shakespearean phrase ‘What’s in a name’, do the bigwigs manage to hit the right chord/s?
Let’s cut to the chase.
Varundev (Rajneish Duggal) is the quintessential Harry Potterish talented, destined to be king underdog spearheading the Aryanian quest to find a home (Hobbits anyone).
The home is where the heart is and in this case, both home and heart for Varundev is on the other side of the fence, ruled by the Dravidians. Boisterous beauty Devsena (Karthika Nair) is the flag-bearer of the Dravidian civilization, a reluctant yet defiant and confident queen who displaying streaks of narcissism proclaims that the ‘only person who can defeat her is herself,’ not even a giant crocodile (watch the episodes to fathom minute details). She has a heart of gold and is ever ready to enter into a duel with the enemy.
Here, we must admit that Varundev and Devsena, though sharing a Karmic connect, are as different as chalk & cheese. Varundev, a man of principles, is like a river which sings its way gently cutting through the rocks. To the contrary, Devsena is vigorous, full of life and like a livid stream found Herculean strength during monsoons. Their clash, if aptly handled and not made into a Dilwale Dulhania caricature owing to ratings pressure, would ensure some fine television watching.
The first episode serves as exposition, bringing forth the main plot and key characters. The second episode is all about coming of age of the two protagonists, Varundev and Devsena.
There is no waffling pertaining to the fact that Aarambh draws some strong inspiration from similar genre Western hits. Having said that, quoting the inimitable Carl Jung, “Man needs difficulties. They are necessary for health.”
True is the spirit at Star which envisions pioneering a paradigm shift, making a global impact. Small screen will remain small screen, adhering to abysmal notion, it should not attempt to make it large. All mediums have different experiences and Aarambh with its well-knitted storytelling coupled with good (not great) quality VFX and distinguished performances, makes for a fine watch.
Rajneish holds his own, Karthika looks stunning and plays her part to the T, the supporting ensemble adds to the overall grandiose flavour and the noteworthy part is the sequence flow and direction, which has a soothing engaging cadence, holding audience attention.
End of the day any content’s goal is to make the audience happy who is viewing it. The end consumer must find it interesting enough to watch and not swap through the channels. One can bring the best of names and put in millions in production, what holds is the script, story flow and likable performances. Aarambh achieves all with élan.
Veteran Tanuja as spiritual leader Hahuma (Medusa like) catches attention but hope she is used well and plays a better part in the coming episodes other than just being wrapped by snakes. Special mention of vampish ‘hungry for power’ Dayalini played by Haanssa Singh (Hunterr fame). She has a meaty screen presence and though a new entrant in TV space, acts with confidence and controlled gravitas.
IndianWikiMedia would rate Aarambh 3.5 out of 5 stars and we recommend that if you are at home during weekends, do check out the show.