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The Broken News

Farhad Dalal
By-
Farhad Dalal
Rating
4 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

The state of the Media in the country is at its lowest. Instead of showing its viewers actual news, the game is about TRP and how to rake in numbers and sponsors. There was a time when we as children were encouraged to watch news channels to keep up with the latest state of affairs. Now at the time when the social media is on the rise, it becomes even more imperative to show the actual news and not some manipulated fiction stories which have no relevance. But the news channels do not seem to stop there also! There have been instances of abuses being hurled on national TV in debates which is absolutely ridiculous. In other words, the media is an absolute joke(although the digital media is still doing its bit, please do read between the lines here) and it is starting to reflect amidst the common man too who is slowly losing its trust on them. And with that small rant, I finished watching the new Hindi series The Broken News streaming on Zee5. Does it do enough to expose the various news channels, lets find out.

Story & Screenplay

The Broken News is the story of two news channels with different ideologies fighting for the game of TRP and power. The story is a relevant one and something that needs to be told to spread the awareness about these vultures. The screenplay standing at 8 episodes of roughly 35 minutes each means that you can binge watch the series in a single go! Very early on in the series you are introduced to the world of the two media houses and the difference in their ideologies. One wants to focus on the truth and bring the real news out and the other would go to any extent for a few TRP numbers.

There are multiple pieces of news which are tackled here. The format is similar to the Amazon Prime show Guilty Minds where a new news piece is discussed on. This while there is a slender connect between episodes. What really was fascinating to watch was some well fleshed out characters which allowed you to invest in them. The proceedings move at a brisk pace and are filled with twists and turns some of which are unpredictable. For someone who has been privy to all the media techniques(from the outside) to gain TRPs, none of it came as a shock except for the final act which indeed was scary and shocking. But instances like the fight for survival when your ideologies don’t allow you to cook up stories or on the other hand, the extent at which you would stoop to for gaining numbers is just so well shown.

Which brings me to the final act! There was a news doing the rounds recently on which it is based on, but nevertheless it is shocking and terrifying if that were to be true. The breach of privacy is something which needs to be addressed and questioned. But that often leads to consequences which is shown aptly in the series. The screenplay is brilliantly penned although some instances are slightly exaggerated which I will pass given the message which they were trying to convey.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are cerebral but slightly simplified as well for the audience to grasp. The music is good as is the BGM and both of them suit the narrative pretty well. Director Vinay Waikul  who had last directed the series Aranyak is in great form here. His direction is unapologetic and he goes all out with the material in hand. Often with a material like this, I wish that the filmmakers go all out and not try to be politically correct. If they can’t then they should not be making it in the first place. But thankfully, the direction is pretty good here.

Performances

The performances are top notch here. Mohun Kapoor, Sharad Kapoor and Mugdha Godse add a lot of star power to the series with their presence. Sharvari Deshpande, Deepali Pansare as Nazneen and Anujaa Jha as Nidhi have their moments to shine. Shreya Mehta as Lisa is first rate, Sukhmani Sadana as Arunima is terrific. Taaruk Raina as Anuj is a vital cog in the drama and he is quite good. Good to see him making some smart choices with his roles be it Jugadistaan or Sharmaji Namkeen or now The Broken News. Dinker Sharma as Nandan is absolutely brilliant and it is a pleasure watching him onscreen everytime. His calm and calculative nature is for everyone to watch and admire. Sanjeeta Bhattacharya as Juhi is quite a natural onscreen and I really wish to watch more of her going forward. Faisal Rashid as Kamal is the surprise package here who is brilliant in a very meaty role. Indraneil Sengupta as Pankaj is well restrained. Sonali Bendre as Amina was just excellent and it was so good to watch her onscreen after a very long time. She magnetic persona ensures that she owns each scene which she features in. Jaideep Ahlawat as Dipankar Sanyal is an absolute vulture here which is the best compliment which I could give him. It was a difficult role considering the fact that it was easy to get carried away with the histrionics(modelled on a famous TV anchor). But on the contrary, he is well measured and conniving which makes his character immensely interesting. Barring one factor, there is no redeeming quality for the character and he does a phenomenal job. Shriya Pilgaonkar in probably her purplest phase of her career is probably the pick of the actors for me here. As Radha Bhargava, she lives every bit of her character. The fiesty fury and unabashed quality which she brings to her character with a touch of vulnerability, it is for everyone to see and admire.

Conclusion

The Broken News is a riveting expośe of the media industry which honestly would be an eye opener for many. Available on Zee5 and Highly Recommended!

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