Created by: Shailendra Jha
Director: Ranjan Chandel
Starring: Zoya Hussain, Pawan Malhotra, Wamiqa Gabbi and Anshuman Pushkar
Written by: Shailendra Jha, Anu Singh Choudhary, Navjot Gulati, Prateek Payodhi and Vibha Singh
Streaming on: Disney+ HotStar
GRAHAN is the latest Hotstar Special Series to be released which is Based on Satya Vyas’s novel Chaurasi. The story of the show connects the two worlds which are about three decades apart but connecting them together will bring out the truth. Amrita Singh (Zoya Hussain) is a righteous IPS officer who believes in using her power to uplift the society and do better for it. Posted at Ranchi, she lives with her Sikh father (Pavan Malhotra), who wants her to marry and move to Canada with her fiancé Karthik (Nandish Sandhu). At the same time, she is tired of the constant interference from the higher ups. Hence, she plans to resign. But when she is about to, she is asked to reopen investigation into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Bokaro. Her world comes crashing down when she finds that her father Gursevak is the prime suspect in the case. As things unfold, we are taken to the 80s. We are told the love story of Gursevak’s Rishi (Anshuman Pushkar) and Manu (Wamiqa Gabbi). The two meet in an unlikely situations in Bokaro, and as they sneakily try to write their love story, the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi wreaks havoc in their world. What happens, forms the rest of the show.
The series starts out on a slow note, but slowly picks up the pace after the third episode. The story has been etched out decently, and surprisingly, as much interest is created by the love story as has been by the investigation. Once the show picks up the pace, the episodes are engaging enough. The toughest job for the director and the creators had to be to write and execute the non linear aspect of the series well, which they aren’t able to do very efficiently. A lot of things get factored in for that, and not everything is taken care of properly. Not to mention some loopholes in the show, which makes you think the series should have not only had a bit more time on the edit table but also on the creative board.
Technically, the show is great. Cinematography by Kamaljeet Singh is brilliant. He captures the essence of the 80s very well. Editing could have been better, there are a few things that could have used the improvement. The writing is good but they could have used more time on the creative board. Although I might add the characters are etched out well.There is music in the series and surprisingly it works in the show. The background score doesn’t really add to anything. The production design has been done well, especially for the 80s scenes. The costume design had scope for improvement.
Performances are the best thing about the series. Anshuman Pushkar and Wamiqa Gabbi have tremendous screen presence. Their chemistry is to look out for. They really bring out the nuances of a small town romance in a very cute and adorable way. Zoya Hussain puts in a wonderful shift and delivers a fantastic performance. Pavan Malhotra is good and dependable as ever. A strong and effortless performance from both him and Zoya.
Director Ranjan Chandel delivers an engaging series although it leaves you wondering things that could have been better instead of that rare satisfaction of watching a great story.