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Aarya(Hotstar) Is Ram Madhvani-Sushmita’s Ode To Feminine Rage

Aarya(Hotstar,  9 Episodes)

Starring Sushmita Sen, Chandrachur Singh, Ankur Bhatia, Namit Das, Sikander  Kher

Directed by Ram Madhvani,Sandeep Modi, Vinod Rawat

Rating: *** ½ (three and a half stars)

As  a bereaved  wife and  a protective  mother who  would go to any lengths for her family, Sushmita Sen towers over the proceedings as only she can. Thankfully,  the  series– a clever, canny altogether cool but not always crisp adaptation of  the  Dutch series  Penoza— is a stirring  enticing  mixture of  crime and family drama  blended in a heady brew  which doesn’t always  stand steady on its feet.

Even when the narration stumbles, there is a  certain grace to the fall.Luckily even at  its lowest ebb  Aarya never hits the ground. Like its supremely  inviolable survivor-heroine, the  series   keeps afloat even when it has serious length  issues.I feel  the same story  if told in  5 instead  of  9 episodes would have been  much more  alluring with a  landscape that exuded unrest without diversions.

 Some  subplots such as  the one  featuring Aarya’s  wrong  right-hand man  Namit Das’ messy home life with his punk-hairstyled wife ,  just seemed  to be saying the same thing in different ways  over and over again.  The  subplot  about  the girlfriend  of  Aarya’s eldest being  blackmailed ,  also keeps coming  into the way  of  the  business on  hand, though into a ruinously  distracting way.Another  extremely sensitive subplot about Sushmita’s daughter developing an unhealthy crush on  her  Mausi’s Caucasian husband(Alexx O Neil) seemed like burdening the heroine and the plot unnecessarily when they already have so  much to deal with  with.

 I wanted  more of Sushmita ‘s Aarya Sareen, the devoted wife,  the  protective  mother, the patient  daughter(trying to keep her warring parents, played with wizened  elan by Sohaila Kapur—an aside, she is Shekhar  Kapur’s  sister—and Jayant Kripalani) and the  clever  entrepreneur saddled with the  business  of dealing with her husband’s enemies after he’s slain  suddenly.As all slaying happen.

Aarya’s husband’s  death sequence in the hospital  is filmed with a remarkable grace,  muting as it  does,  the melodrama to the minutest scale, letting the gorgeous  Ms Sen preside over proceedings with a blend of  bewilderment and wisdom…thisis   a woman who won’t rest easy until her husband rests in peace.

 This is a woman no man  or woman would want to mess with.Sushmita Sen stands  tall , quite literally,  liquidating her enemies  with a  shrivelling glance that is  something far  beyond contempt. It’s a look of  urgent  repair in  a world that  just won’t let a happy family be. Luckily  for  her Sushmita has some  super-efficient  support from Sikandar Kher,Ankur Bhatia and Namit Das, all playing her sidekicks .Among the female supporting cast I  was  taken up by Sugandha  Garg as a hairstylist who is cleverer than  people around her  think. I wanted to know  about her.  In Season 2 perhaps?

Welcome back, Sushmita.And see  you soon again.

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