At a time when we talk of women breaking the glass ceiling and getting sexual equality, shows like Roop – Mard Ka Naya Swaroop (Colors) serve as a reminder that there is still a lot to be done.
Cop Yash Tonk plays the male patriarch (Shamsher Singh Vaghela), who believes that women are inferior to men. He always humiliates his wife Kamla (Mitaali Nag) and their three daughters, and wants his son Roop (Afaan Khan) to be an alpha male. However, the latter seemsto be more interested in what are perceived as female attributes, i.e. playing with dolls and dancing.
The setting is unabashedly rural, i.e. Rajasthan (local accent), which, even now, is one of the more traditional parts of India.
Normally, we always rightly accuse saas-bahu shows of living in a world of their own (Sasural Simar Ka, etc.), but here, whatever Shamsher does happens in most desi houses, albeit in a less dramatic way. There is a world of difference in freedom given to boys and girls, even in bigger cities.
Ace producer, Rashmi Sharma, surely wants to continue her pro-woman march, which beganwith the super-hit film, Pink.
Super-talented kid, Affan Khan, is bringing out the resultant emotions of a loner (he is unlike most of his peers) well. Just wonder how he will balance both studies and work. There needs to be some kind of industry self-code, regarding kids’ working conditions.
Yash, who has been around for years, is doing a good job as Shamsher. You want to slap him and tell him- dude, wake up and smell the coffee, this is 2018. He is so archaic in his thinking that he even embraces suspension willingly, rather than salute a senior woman officer.
Mitaali Nag (Afsar Bitiya fame) is playing the prototype wife, who blindly follows the husband’s orders with elan. She is always under ghoonghat. The scene, where he forces her to eat dropped food, was highly emotional. We sure hope that, down the road, Mitaali does a few, more modern characters, giving a fillip to the talented actor within. She was last seen in Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon 3.
Shamsher is supported in his actions by sister, Kaushalya Singh Vaghela (Vaishali Thakkar), who always eggs him on.
Actors Ashish Kaul, Anil Dhawan have been added to take the drama a notch higher. We will like to see their characters growing in strength.
The writers make Roop question the notions of gender inequality by asking why, if a girl does a man’s job, she is praised, and not vice versa? Shamsher’s boss supports Roop in doing the stuff he likes (making tea, stitching, helping his mother and sister, etc.). What is wrong in the above?
Are not most fashion designers and chefs male? (my view).
In an attempt to make his son more male, Shamsher makes him join a gang of boys that steals, thus pushing his son on the wrong track.
Roop’s progressive views are also supported by his teacher, Falaq Naaz, who tells him not to give up dance by pointing out at Lord Shiva’s Natraj avatar. Hope her character has meat.
We can surely expect lots to happen with Roop’s elder sister, Himani (Nikki Sharma), where Shamsher will not help. Here, Kamla and Roop will do what it takes.
There is just one issue– too much drama right from day one; certain lighter elements should have been added for emotional relief.
Ratings-wise, Roop is getting decent traction, meaning that the child track might continue for a while. However, there have been few reports about the leap happening earlier than expected. So let’s wait and watch..
The real challenge would be when Roop grows older, how his adult character will unfold. Now, the stuff that he likes as a child is fine, but if that carries forward, he might be branded as effeminate. And let’s face it, a male lead on TV needs to be macho.
Tailpiece- If more boys were like Roop (considerate and understanding), then our future generation of girls would not have to face rampant rape and marital torture. Mindset change is required, and that can only be done from childhood. Here, parents will have to step up to the plate, moulding their kids the right way. But for that, they will need to avoid similar actions, something that is easier said than done, given their own wrong conditioning.
IWMBuzz.com credits the show 3 out of 5 stars.