Aar Ya Paar
Thank God It Is Friday, the last Friday of 2022 and what a year it has been for Popcorn Reviewss. We have been operating from Friday to Friday, week after week, and have been showered with a lot of love and support throughout the year. As we are on the brink of 2022 and on the final Friday of the year, we extend a small moment of thanks to our readers and in a hope that 2023 will be bigger and better! And with that I have finished watching the new Hindi series Aar Ya Paar which is streaming on Hotstar on a weekend which doesn’t have too many releases to boast of. I was looking forward to this series particularly due to the maker involved, Sidharth Sengupta, the brain behind thrillers like Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein and Apaharan. So then does Aar Ya Paar manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Aar Ya Paar follows the story of a conniving businessman wishing to take over a forest land which is home to a tribe that is cut off from humanity. What happens next? The story here is predictable but pretty good that makes for a gripping watch. The screenplay standing at 8 episodes of roughly 30 to 40 odd minutes each ensures that the series doesn’t overstay its welcome.
The drama has an interesting setup of a protagonist who is a tribal turned vigilante, hunting down people as been instructed. The drama does shift to a flashback that tells us about the tribe that the protagonist was a part of, and also introducing the viewers to his nemesis very early on in the drama. The connection between the tribe and the natural surroundings that they reside in, is nicely established. But the drama, as expected, is also a tussle between the rich and the poor over the ownership of the forest land wherein the former does throw in multiple obstacles for the latter.
The drama is fairly predictable for most of the runtime although the grip on the narrative is always maintained. The drama doesn’t rise above the script at any given point of time but at the same time it doesn’t dip as well. If anything, the proceedings are slightly repetitive in the middle and something which could either have been trimmed out or been a little more eventful. But one thing that I did like about the drama was the urgency in it. There were no real moments of lag and that did allow the users to be invested in the drama throughout, although there were no shocking twists in the drama. So the grip in the drama was maintained throughout.
What the drama does suffer from is the over the top nature of some of the proceedings. Some of the action sequences are far fetched which wasn’t warranted in a drama like this. Instead, I would have liked the writing to explore a little bit of the politics that goes into the forest land, an area that remained untapped. It was surface level treatment which in turn did not allow the audience to connect to the characters on an emotional level. The final act comprises of an interesting twist but not before an elaborate combat sequence which was fun to watch yet quite over the top as well. So overall, the drama is slightly middling although quite gripping throughout.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are effective with attention being payed to the dialect of some of the characters which was good to witness. The Music and BGM are good they blend well with the drama. The cinematography is good coupled with a pretty good level of VFX considering the budget of the series. The editing is a mixed bag, good in places and patchy elsewhere. The director’s chair is shared by 4 individuals – Sidharth Sengupta, Ankush Mohla, Glen Barretto and Neel Guha which is honestly a crowd! But the direction is good here, maintaining the pace in the drama throughout although not springing a surprise in any manner.
The performances are good here and how I wished the characters were better etched here because there was potential for the same. Aasif Sheikh as Wasim and Nakul Roshan Sahdev as Kisna have their moments to shine. Vaarun Bhagat as Goldie is pretty good although his character has little to do(he though maybe a key in season 2). Shilpa Shukla as Kala is intimidating particularly towards the end. Sumeet Vyas as Dutt is such a fine actor with a style unique to himself. And he does an incredible job here. Patralekha as Sanghamitra is such a natural onscreen and I really wish to watch more of her often. Dibyendu Bhattacharya as Pullappa is outstanding and it is always a pleasure watching him onscreen. Ashish Vidyarthi as Reuben is chilling with the right amount of madness to his character in a phenomenal act! Aditya Rawal as Sarju is absolutely brilliant here. He reeks of innocence yet is brilliant in combat sequences in addition to an incredible screen presence which he possesses. After Bamfaad, this is a nice little kickstart in the digital space for him!
Despite being predictable, Aar Ya Paar is a gripping drama with good performances that can be watched once. Available on Hotstar.