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Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen: Insanely fast-Paced Crime Thriller That Has You Hooked



Yeh Kali Kali Aankhen

Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen(Netflix, 8 Episodes)

Starring Tahir Raj Bhasin,Aanchal Singh, Shweta  Tripathi, Sourabh Shukla,Surya  Sharma

Directed  by Siddharth Sengupta

Rating: ***

If you have seen  Siddharth Sengupta  Undekhi  for Applause Entertainment  you know  he  is  most comfortable in the world  of ‘unorganized’ crime. Selfappointed ganglords and their thoroughly bratty children, powered by rudderless  goons who  think they can get away with murder, literally, make Sengupta’s blood boil.

 There is  an undercurrent of simmering spleen  in  Yeh Kali Kali Aankhein(named after  a  hit song from the Shah Rukh Khan starrer  Baazigar  for no particular reason)  a looming resentment against  the  things people with money and power  can do to  the  powerless. This is  a  series about the  abuse of power of wealth ,about lawless gangsters  forcing their  will on the helpless: a  favourite theme  in  our cinema for years.

But wait. There  is  a twist to the tale here. The bully patriarch , played with unerring  pitch-perfection by Sourabh Shukla, has a  lovely daughter  and she is  in  love with the poor little pretty-boy since school. Purva,played by  the lovely Aanchal Singh, is  no walkover. Nor  is  she  the vampish Bindu of yore  slithering and slobbering  all over her  object of desire. She is a  moneyed classy  chick who wants  the  hick  with the…never-mind.

The writing  is  unabashedly pulpy and the twists in the  plot, specially from midpoint are  mindnumbing  in their  presposterousness. To  his   credit  screenwriter  Siddharth Sengupta  sustains the pulpy momentum  right till the end. The frenetic  pace, often literally  staged with goons chasing law-abiding god-fearing  citizens  to   their death, never slackens.

Seen in the spirit  of  Sidney Sheldon’s fiction-in-motion. Yeh  Kali  Kali Aankhein is a  sock-in-the-tummy entertainer . It is  set  in  a town by the  Ganga named  Onkara (a stand-in for  Varanasi or Allahabad) . The last two episodes which turn dark and  murderous ,are  shot in Ladakh with the change of visuals  serving a specific function.

I saw no compromises  in  production values just because the size  of  the screen has shrunk. The  series  has  an eye-catching look and  a lived-in feeling.

All the actors  from Tahir Raj Bhasin(so ridiculous   in his bewigged  Mahesh  Bhatt avatar in this week’s  other  series Ranjish Hi Sahi)  and Shweta Tiwari, playing the  simple-minded  couple whose  togetherness is  shredded by the murderous machinations  of  the rich bitch(these  moneyed  types, I tell  you)   to  the  typecast Brijendra  Kala(as   Bhasin’s  cocky domineering father) and Surya Sharma  as   Purva’s borderline psychotic brother(almost a repeat  of what this talented actor  played  in the same  director’s  Undekhi) all do well for themselves.

But the real catch  of the serial is Aanchal Singh as  the  won’t-take-no-for-an-answer lovergirl. She  plays the part in  dignified measured  tones  giving  Purva a  kind of grace that perhaps  the  character  doesn’t deserve.Alos watch out for Anant Joshi as  Vikrant’s best friend . He is the comic relief and  a welcome one  for a change. And Purva’s  rapper-suitor  played by Nikhil Pandey is  a hoot.

I wish the  narration was not  so  anxious to take  audiences  along  . A kind of desperate  breathlessness does seep into the storytelling at times.  But that’s okay. Better than  10 episodes of languorous  tedium that we’ve been subjected  to in some  recent serials .

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