Fireflies - Parth aur jugnu
Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi series Fireflies – Parth Aur Jugnu which is streaming on Zee5. Such is the diversity of content this week and Fireflies is a live action drama featuring kids as the protagonists. And there is something about dramas featuring kids – it always does have a touch of nostalgia(provided it is done well) and it does make for a leisurely watch too.
India is a land full of stories and I have always been vocal about getting mythology as a genre in the mix. The amount of stories in the genre continues to remain untapped but I am kind of hopeful given that a few filmmakers are gently tapping on its surface. To come to think of it, the parallels that the stories could draw to the modern era, would not only be a learning for everyone but also a way forward in many ways. And I was the happiest that Fireflies was trying to tap into the genre through the lens of the kids. Let me put things right here – I wish the poster of the series was better to generate a little more curiosity. It is important to grab eyeballs, given the amount of content which is on display currently. That said, I always enjoy a little bit of magic in a drama(a sense of nostalgia to the shows like Son Pari or Shaka Laka Boom Boom that I had grown up watching). That said, does Fireflies manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Fireflies follows story of a young teenager who discoveries the magic and mysteries of the area where he resides. And that is all that I can reveal about the story which unfolds like a folklore – a bedtime story which you may have heard from your grandparents and parents. The mix of mythology and magic does make for a supremely compelling watch. The screenplay standing at about 10 episodes of roughly 40 odd to 50 odd minutes does make for an engaging watch despite its daunting runtime.
The drama does open with a folklore on how the land is considered to be sacred and magical through a series of animated images that make use of the mythology so well. Soon, you are introduced to a 14 year old teenager who is dealing with a conflict of his own, having to repeat the 9th standard. I did like how honest the writing was with respect to the people around the young kid and their reaction to his failure. The story continues with its terrific form of world building with the introduction of multiple characters and their antics that add a sense of mystery to the drama. Speaking of which, the mystery here acts as a myth which may have been spread in a small town obilivious to everyone on how powerful it actually is. There are multiple threads that keep the drama afloat including the track of the kids that reminded me of the Enid Blyton book – ‘The Famous Five’.
The proceedings are interesting with a dash of innocence and sincerity to the drama. The mythological event does kick in about 3 episodes into the drama and it does contribute to several heartwarming moments in the screenplay. The friendship which is explored through the lens of the kids did take me back to my school days which were just so pure and simple without much complications. Another aspect of the drama was some of the life lessons which were imparted through a series of stories that did remind me of the stories which my grandma used to tell me when I was a kid. Ahh those good old days! Yet, the focus never drifts from the narrative that had me invested throughout. Each little event did lead to another and it was impressive to witness all events tied together beautifully.
The drama does slightly get repetitive in the middle but what consistently makes it watchable are several individual moments that tug the strings of your heart(along with several twists and turns). At certain places, I was smiling away to glory while witnessing the proceedings, that does not lose its innocence almost right throughout its narrative. Keeping in mind the demographics of the drama, it definitely was entertaining as well. The events leading up to the final act do raise the stakes a bit but it is in its finale act that the drama does falter. The heavy hand which is used at the end does make things slightly over dramatic culminating into the final act which is underwhelming(with a prospect for season 2 perhaps). But taking nothing away from its journey which is filled with magic and mythology that serve up an interesting cocktail.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well written and they keep the magic, mystery and innocence intact. The music and the BGM do blend really well with the drama. The cinematography that captures some of the most beautiful frames of the hilly landscapes, does add to the ambience and mystery of yhe drama by creating a mood for it. The editing is quite good too. The VFX does leave a mark given the budget of the show. Director Hemant Gaba does a fabulous job by keeping the audience invested right throughout. He is able to create moments that make for a heartwarming watch.
The performances are quite good here. Riva Arora as Shilpi, Harminder Singh as Chunky(excellent), Anuj Kurana as Rawat and Anaya Shivan as Heema, all have their moments to shine. Kavita Ghai as Dr. Vineeta is first rate as is Hitesh Dave as Edison. Harshit Bhojwani as Robin is the cutest kid and he does make his presence felt beautifully. Rahul Singh as Professor Hooda is such a delight to watch and I really wish to watch more of him going forward. Vineeta Joshee as Anamika(aka Anu) is excellent and does a wonderful job. Priyanshu Chatterjee as Arjun is stoic in his demeanor and puts forth a dignified performance.
Varun Kapoor as Laffu is sincere and endearing. Zoya Afroz as Nyasa looks pretty and does a wonderful job. Luke Kenny as Mrityunjay is superb to watch(despite some poor prosthetics) and there is a sense of intimidation which he brings to his character. Akshat Singh as Johnson is confident and his comic timing is spot on. Madhoo Shah as Naani is such a wonderfully penned character and she does full justice to her character. It was an absolute pleasure watching her onscreen. Aekam Binjwe as Jugnu is such an endearing and heartfelt character and beautifully performed too. Meet Mukhi as Parth is brilliant. He had so many emotions to play with and he does a wonderful job by showcasing his acting chops with utmost sincerity.
Fireflies is a heartwarming mix of magic, mystery and mythology that makes for a spectacular watch. Available on Zee5.