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Kala Pani, Water Way To Go



Kala Pani(Netflix , 7 Episodes)

Kala Pani(Netflix , 7 Episodes)

Rating: ** ½

Like the  muddy  poisonous waters  that the characters on the Andaman Nicobar Islands—and  that includes  hundreds of tourists who have descended on the island for a local festival—the intentions behind this  interesting but  over-populated series are never clear.

 Is this a cautionary tale  or  survival drama, or maybe both? The  mood  suggests considerable research has  gone into the project. Dates and data  are dropped into the dialogues to suggest  the writers(Biswapati Sarkar, Nimisha Misra, Sandeep Saket, Amit Golan) ar  not in this for fun and thrills. But the overall feeling is that of  a survival  drama with various  characters being torn apart and  others coming together in  permutations that afford a dramatic surge.

Somehow the territory  opened  by the  cautionary drama  remains under-explored in spite of so much space(seven episodes) and actors who know how to  bring their  characters  alive without much ado.

The  scale  required to make the drama look impressively epic is  largely  missing. The crowds  brought together for the  festival  fiasco seem to be running helterskelter  in search of  lottery prizes rather  than searching for a  way out of  a grave  medical crisis.

Making matters  worse  is the contrivances in the plot. A former nurse Jyotsna(Arushi Sharma) sees  red(literally) each time she remembers  a gruesome  incidence of a mob lynching  from the  past. Her redemption is  so manufactured , it feels like factory-made.

A spirit of spontaneity  would have gone a long way in  taking the characters to that stage of selfrealization that the plot craves to achieve. Still, it is not all  a loss. Some characters rise above the water level, thanks to the fine actors who seem determined to make the series  slightly  more special than it seems.
I especially liked  actor Vikas  Kumar as a simple  godfearing doting father  trying hard to  bond with his son during a holiday under the sun. He has a well-rounded character with a graph unlike many other characters who seem caught between the Devil and the Andaman-Nicobar sea.

Worst hit is  Mona Kapoor who appears in the  first episode as a physically disabled  doctor who is on to something major . After her death, the plot  loses  its grip. We  never get to know why Sukant Goel’s  taxidriver character is  involved in a crime that he wants  no part  of , or why Ashutosh Gowariker’s character feels so   morally superior when he  is clearly blinded  by the same emotion as  the writers of this series: ignorance and  arrogance.

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