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Review of Colors’ Bepannaah: Engaging Narrative – Will it stay the course?

Most TV serials begin with great panache, but eventually fizzle out. Hope something similar does not happen with the Jennifer Winget and Harshad Chopda starrer, Colors show, Bepannaah, which has really held our attention in its first week.

This Cinevistaas production opens with an accident that took the lives of Yash Arora (Sehban Azim) and Pooja Hooda (Namita Dubey), who died holding each other’s hands. Interestingly, both were married to Zoya Arora (Jennifer) and Aditya Hooda (Harshad), respectively.

Thankfully, in this grief-stricken environment enveloping the Hooda, Arora and Siddiqui clans, there are no regular TV devices, i.e. over the top melodrama. Agreed, Zoya is seen wailing 24*7, but then, that is justifiable, given that she has just lost her loving spouse suddenly. Jenny brings out this distraught state very well.

Pilot Aditya, on the other hand, epitomizes the hurt husband, who does not know whether to hate or to love his now-dead, unfaithful wife. The clashes between Zoya and him are perfect. They keep bumping into each other; we wonder how.

Aditya completely melts down when Zoya shows him the mirror, and nearly ends up killing all the passengers of his plane. Harshad’s great acting chops will certainly be challenged by this complex character. It remains to be seen how his hatred for Zoya, whose mere sight now rekindles the past, transforms into love.

Aditya’s rich father, Harshvardhan Hooda (Rajesh Khattar), himself a marriage cheat, is more interested in bad PR, than in his estranged son’s emotional trauma. This often happens, but is it wrong? For, with the dead not coming back, why wash dirty linen in public?

Parineeta Borthakur is also impressive as Aditya’s mom, Anjana, caught between her husband and her son. Although Zoya had married against her parents’ wishes, yet, her Abbu, Waseem Siddiqui (Iqbal Azad), protects her from broke Yash’s sister (Vaishnavi Dhanraj), who tries to take away of all her shares. This also begs the question, why did Yash not confide in Zoya about his debts? Is there more to the story than what meets the eye?

Vaishnavi Dhanraj is doing a good job of Yash’s sis, who naturally hates Zoya, given the Hindu-Muslim wedding. There is just one issue though- her shift from hate to grief (losing a sibling) is too jarring. One character that has so far remained in the background is Pooja’s mother. Her back story will also open up in due course. She lives with the Hoodas.

In a bid to maintain the cohesiveness of the plot, Colors allowed the week 1 episodes to go break-free. They must be hoping that the revenue losses incurred, will be compensated with greater stickiness down the road.

Old TV hands, Jenny and Harshad, will surely bring their huge committed fan following. Social media is already buzzing, and Colors will be hoping that they pass the all-important TRP test as well. Jenny’s costumes have always been a talking point; it is no different now. She always maintains a subtle grace.

In most TV shows, loose ends do crop up inevitably. But Bepannaah has enough source material, from what we have seen till now, to have a strong, engaging narrative– i.e. if the duration is kept limited, as promised.

Last, but not the least, as the channel had harped a lot on the concept of extramarital affairs and second chances, in its heavy pre-launch publicity, would it not have been better had they shown Zoya and Aditya coming to know about their spouses’ infidelity when both were alive? Dealing with that mess sensitively would have better suited the maturity which the channel claims to serve in this show. As now, with Yash and Pooja dead, the waters are muddied. Or would doing that be too revolutionary for core GEC audiences?

Overall, credits the show Bepannaah with 3.5 out of 5 stars.