Opposites attract. Well, this seems to be the leitmotif of new Colors romantic comedy, Shubharambh. The casting of Mahima Makwana as the confident street-smart and take-no-shit Rani, and Akshit Sukhija as the good-natured unconfident pushover Raja seems spot on.
The Gujarat backdrop flows effortlessly in the narrative. The reference to local culture and customs are an ode to the unity in diversity matrix
The hour-long opening episode (flash back part) brought into sharp focus the powers of conditioning, i.e. their world views being shaped by their parents and circumstances. Poor kid Rani was pushed by her mom to grab her place in the world. Raja was forced to submit to his extended family by his mother as she had already ceded a lot of space with the sudden death of her husband.
Having said that, we did not get one thing – normally, when you are pushed around, you get resentful. But here, he is Mr Goody Two-Shoes. Guess the main lead is white as a lily.
Rani’s character, on the other hand, is given much more nuance by the writers – the way she deals with clients at her temple shoe-storing place. She does every other odd job to make ends meet.
Her arguments with God remind us of ourselves when we too fight with the lord if things go awry.
As fate is to have it, both will constantly clash, and yes, eventually, love will bloom. Back to it a bit later. The torn shoe which might turn to gold will have lots of emphasis down the road.
Raja’s family is controlled by Mota Papa (Jiten Lalwani) and family, who treat him like a servant despite him being the real heir. Raja is shown to be a smart sari salesman (they have a huge store selling the eternal Indian outfit).
The biggest villain of the piece is the greedy and foul-mouthed mota mummy, who mistreats Raja and his mom. Interestingly, Raja’s mom too had behaved with her the same way when she held the purse strings. Even now, she hopes that if Raja gets married to a rich girl, they can come back into contention. She even steals from her sister-in-law as they don’t get enough. This in turn puts Rani into trouble.
We like the gradual building up of the onscreen chemistry between Raja and Rani, for example, the mannequin track. It was cute when he was hesitating to touch her. Also, the scene where he put the box over his head so she could change was sweet.
The background playing of the title track adds to the moments, but hope they have more songs.
In keeping with the genre, they have kept it light and this is appealing. We don’t want OTT drama.There will also be a third wheel in the form of who he digs.
Mahima is doing a swell job as Rani. The challenge is to bring out the innocence from her hard demeanour. So far, she is good.
Akshat has the normal TV good boy role, but yes, he does add a personal touch, endearing him to the audiences.
Full marks to the producer Shashi Mittal for creating a good product. So far, they have ticked all the boxes, with a good story, screenplay and moments. The challenge will be to be keep it going, as TV shows face ratings pulls and pressures.
If Shubharambh works, it will give Colors more ballast after the super success of Chhoti Sardarni. Also, Bigg Boss’ high ratings bode well for Colors, going into 2020.
Personally, I am not a big fan of family shows, but yes, Shubharambh did bring a smile to my face.
Coming to the support cast, the actress playing the Mota Mummy is apt as the bad mother, bringing out the required emotions with aplomb. Her takyaa kalam makes me want to choke her.
Raja’s good for nothing cousin adds to his troubles, yet he keeps him out of trouble, eg. he takes the rap for boozing during pooja time.
In an attempt to play safe, besides the romance, they even have the angle of a dark-looking bhabhi, a card that can be invoked if ratings demand more drama – smart move.
3/5 is our rating for Shubharambh