Thank God It Is Friday(officially so) and with it come a spate of new releases. So lets dig into them one by one. First up I finished watching the new Hindi series Karm Yuddh streaming on Hotstar. Off late there has been a rise of political dramas which have been nicely balanced in terms of steering away from controversies yet weaving a solid story with some good detailing. But I was looking forward to Karm Yuddh particularly because this seemed to be a power tussle within a single family with almost no real background of politics. Yet its mood and feel from its trailer did promise for a solid twisted political drama. So now that I have finished watching Karm Yuddh, here are my two cents on it.
Story & Screenplay
Karm Yuddh follows the story of a power tussle between members of an influential family following an incident at their factory. The story is interesting and compelling which has all the ingredients of a layered drama. But it is the screenplay which has its share of issues although the drama is consistently watchable. Standing at 8 episodes of 30-40 odd minutes makes it a brisk watch.
The drama opens on a wobbly note. I strongly believe that layered dramas should first focus on the world building and character dynamics which allows the audience to sink into the drama. This was something which was brilliant done in Maharani. But here, a quick voiceover does give you the strained relationship between certain members of the Roy family before jumping directly at the shootout at the factory. What that did was that you did throw open the event even before audience could form judgements on certain characters. And so from the very onset, you as a viewer are always playing catch up as you constantly look for answers(which are revealed later on).
Credit to the writers who slowly start building the world tactfully by the introduction of many characters, each of whom have hidden motives. This is when the drama does keep you engaged when it wishes to showcase the dynamics between characters and the ongoing investigation. The issue though lies when the focus is on one of the subplots involving a romantic angle between a couple of characters. It just did seem quite superficial and not organic at all. In fact it was problematic in so many ways. One of the characters was a stalker and a physical assaulter to begin with yet the BGM ensures that it is just blossoming love wherein the girl eventually falls for him. It was rather uninteresting and hugely problematic.
The proceedings are partially interesting when the drama begins to reveal some of its layers. None of the events are shocking but the writing does enough to hold your attention. A couple of flashbacks bring the drama back to life although the investigation part could have been executed better to make it a little more thrilling. The main issue in the writing department is that it doesn’t rise above its written material. You can predict the dynamics here easily apart from a couple of twists which I did not see coming(although the drama is indeed watchable). The final act though is pretty good when all the dots begin to connect and this is where the drama scores. The logic is in place and I was definitely convinced about the reason behind the shooting. Also, a nice little subplot sets up brilliantly for season 2 wherein I do hope the makers correct some of the flaws which are prevalent here. Overall, the screenplay is good but could have been better.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are decent here but definitely could have been a little more sharper carrying a little more weight. The music and BGM are adequate, nothing much to shout about here. The cinematography is good, the editing is slightly choppy especially at the very beginning and it could have been crisper. Even the sudden blackout of the screen at various intervals did not add to its cause. Director Ravi Adhikari does a fair job here. While certain sequences could have been executed better but he is able yo create a sense of mystery and intrigue around the drama which was good to witness.
The performances are excellent here. Amy Aela Kauler as Isabella, Rituraj Singh as Viral and Aashit Chatterjee as Kannu have their moments to shine. Satyajit Sharma as Iqbal, Nitin Mirani as Raghveer, Akash Dhar as Allu and Rajesh Khattar as Vardhaan are first rate. Shruti Chauhan as Rashi looks pretty and does a good job. Soundarya Sharma as Payal definitely manages to leave a mark. Tara Alisha Berry as Fiza is outstanding and does a wonderful job. Madhurima Roy as Hunar has a charming presence and does a good job although her track with Ankit was problematic at the very beginning.
Ankit Bisht as Abhi is quite good here. Anjana Sukhani as Mounisha delivers a solid act. Chandan Roy Sanyal as Adesh is brilliant and refreshingly well restrained in a role which could so easily have been a caricature. Veterans Satish Kaushik as Bhisam and Ashutosh Rana as Guru are brilliant and quite impactful. Pranay Pachauri as Samar is stupendous here and hardly puts a foot wrong. Also his screen presence is immaculate! Paoli Dam as Indrani is a character which will always keep you guessing and she does a brilliant job in what was a rather shrewd and cunning character.
Despite its flaws, Karm Yuddh showcases an interesting power tussle comprising of strong performances making it a decent one-time watch. Available on Hotstar.