It is good to see desi fantasies and supernaturals rise up the ladder. The monster in new Zee TV show, Haiwaan, is just what the doctor ordered. Having said that, the other superhuman reminds me a lot of Hulk, but we always prefer to ape hit formats, nothing new there. I doff my hat to Zee/Balaji Telefilms (producers) for putting their money where their mouth is, regarding CG (computer graphics) budgets. Hope sister channel, &TV show Laal Ishq also follows the above template, for they too have all kinds of creatures, but are hit by low budgets.

The story is quite simple – a do-gooder scientist Deepak Agnihotri (Hiten Tejwani) creates a superhuman for crime-busting. However, his evil associate Govind (Nikhil Arya) injects the above lab product with evil genes and takes control of it. Deepak and his wife (guest appearance of Daljeet Kaur) are killed, leaving young Randhir, who is saved from certain death by his friend Ansh.

Uber-smart scientist Randhir (Param Singh) acts as a good for nothing, alcoholic and womanizer, while he secretly works on a project to develop his superhuman (fathers last words) to take on Haiwaan, who over the years has terrorized their fictitious hill station. Interestingly, in this world of selfies and long distance lens, how come no one has seen Haiwaan come and go.

Only Ansh (Ankit Mohan) knows Randhir’s secret, and both are thick as thieves. Wheelchair bound Govind, who goes on to become a phrama giant like Deepak, is succeeded by evil daughter Jia Grewal, who uses Haiwaan to commit insurance fraud, i.e. gets it to loot her own medicine consignments.

In the meantime, new city SP (Superintendent of Police) Amrita Sharma takes charge. She is the daughter of Randhir’s loyal family driver, who has taken care of him since childhood (poor driver has got a huge pad). The other relatives/partner (Manini Mishra) in Randhir’s family company are just out to get his money.

Here, the creative seem to be in a kind of bind, for most of Amrita’s scenes seem to be of the love interest type (love triangle between Randhir and Ansh), than a kickass cop. There is just one scene of her. in uniform.

She has several sequences getting into tiffs with Randhir and Ansh, who can’t tell her that he digs her since their childhood.

There will be one more triangle with Randhir’s cousin Nisha (Heli Daruwala), who has the hots for Ansh, but he spurns her. Does Manini’s character not encourage incest when she asks Nidhi to focus on her rich cousin Randhir rather than his pauper friend?

The character of vamp Jia (south film actress Gayathri Iyer) has been well etched out (kudos to the writers again). She is only driven by power and money. There are several men in her life, but they don’t mean a thing to her.

Jia ill-treats her younger brother, repeatedly slapping him around and then tells him to put an ice pack.

After Randhir and Ansh kill the old Haiwaan, Jia tries to seduce the former in an attempt to get his father’s dairy, which holds secrets to the monster’s longevity. Her own prototype had a very short shelf life of just 15 minutes.

By then, Randhir finally conjures up his superhuman potion, which Ansh drinks, being sure that if things go south, Radhir will save him. Lo and behold, he becomes a desi avatar of Hulk, with a remote control watch to change into Ansh and superhuman at will.

However, we feel that very soon, all hell will break loose when superhuman Ansh finds out that Randhir loves Amrita and she too has taken a fancy to him, seeing his actions (saving her life). Ansh might join hands with Jia.

So far, the story has proceeded pretty quickly, with the character graphs being established without much ado.

Param is good as Randhir; we like his bro banter with Ansh. Also, his flirty scenes with Amrita are easy on the eye.

Although the joking gay scene was fun, there was just one fly in the ointment with Ansh saying we are normal, rather than straight.

Riddhima is doing a good job as Amrita, but like I said above, we would have liked to see her more as a cop. Guess hinterland audiences still prefer female leads sitting at home. Don’t sweet girls next door also dress in western attire? (costume designers please note).

Ankit is apt as Ansh. So far, we have only seen his + side. It would be fun to see how he brings out the jealous superhuman to the fore. Who says women are weak? One gal causes destruction to the world.

I was the most impressed with Gayathri. There is a kind of underplay, normally not seen in OTT vamps. She also looks hot (cleavage), as required by the character.

The 1.5 TVR opening rating must have come as a sigh of relief for Zee, as their weekend band was faltering, both in the fiction and nonfiction space (DID and Aghori).

Interestingly, both Aghori and Haiwaan are in the same space, yet the numbers tell a different story. A decent start will give the makers breathing space to tell the story at their own pace.

Hope writers come up with fantasy concepts, as then we are not restricted to the mytho templates, letting our imaginations run riot.

We rate – 3/5