Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Sony entertainment television

A still from Seven
The New Year’s going to be springing a whole lot of surprises for the Indian viewer. With YRF’s Seven India is all set to get its first science fiction action adventure series from January 1 at 9 pm on Sony Entertainment Television. It’s the ultimate battle between good and evil (the Asthavamedha prophecy), but the twist in the tale is that the good forces unifying to fight the evil are revisited in the modern day context. It’s kalyug and we have seven super-gifted people who come together to fight the battle. The show will see some fresh faces like Shirrin Faarooq, Kashmira Irani, Himanshu Malhotra, Raashul Tandon, Meherzan Mazda, Nushratt Bharucha, Shivan Sood, Shama Sikandar, and Raquesh Vashist. Seven is directed by Sidharth Anand Kumar. The show promises to be an action-adventure with a unique mix of Indian mythology and cutting edge action. It hopes to create a new benchmark for visual and sound wizardry.
BOMBAY TIMES (December 30, 2009)

SMALL IS BIG: YRF TV and Sony Entertainment Television bring fresh content with five new shows from January 1, every Friday to Sunday, 8-10 pm. Seen here are Yash Chopra with Karan Johar and actors from the shows — Shruti Seth, Kavi Shastri, Manish Chaudhary, Geetika Tyagi, Rahul Bagga, Pankaj Tripathi. Raqesh Vashist, Pushtie and Shama Sikander
Bollywood movie mogul launching 5 new TV shows from Jan 1

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 28, 2009)

YRF TV is set to give telly programming a twist! Come January 1, and it will launch five shows on Sony Entertainment Television. Producer Yash Chopra is excited about his company’s foray in tellyland. “TV is getting bigger and bigger by the day,” remarks Chopra, who’s given the Indian film industry some of its biggest hits over the past many decades.

His busy schedule may not permit him the time to watch TVserials, but his wife Pammi gets her daily dose of entertainment from the small screen. “There are some serials that she likes and ardently watches every day,” he says. The Chopras had been planning to get into television for the past couple of years. “It was my son Aditya’s idea. After the release of his film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, he started concentrating on TV. This whole year he has been focussing on this; he has put in a lot of effort,” reveals Chopra Sr.

Talking about their television foray, he says, “YRF TV is an initiative to engage and entertain the entire family through content which combines high-quality production values with contemporary story-telling. The characters, language and environment in our shows are the kind that today’s Indian families can relate to. We are happy that Sony has shown the commitment to back our content.”

This collaboration marks another milestone in the long standing relationship between the two companies, says NP Singh, COO of Sony Entertainment Television. “Yash Raj Films has been making feature films for almost four decades. Television is the biggest mass medium in India and this collaboration will bring the very best in TV entertainment,” adds Singh.

The shows, scheduled over the weekends, promise to be distinct in their look with fresh, contemporary and engaging storylines that reflect the dreams, aspirations and passion of today’s young India. This brand new line-up of five shows, one non-fiction and four fiction, will air every Friday to Sunday between 8 and 10 pm. Here’s a little brief on each of the shows…

Lift Kara De: Touted as the mother of all reality shows on Indian television, 20 of India’s biggest super-stars will be on one platform. Each week will feature one super-star and his biggest fan. The show is hosted by Karan Johar.
Seven: This is a sci-fi drama series, where mythology is revisited in the modern day context. The show will see seven ordinary people, with extra-ordinary powers, fight the ultimate battle of Good vs Evil.
Mahi Way: A contemporary representation of a young girl on Indian television. Real, relatable, imaginative, unapologetic, happy in her skin.
Rishta.Com: Today’s take on the most traditional institution of marriage. Isha and Rohan have formed a company to find perfect matches for people.
Powder: This is about two men on two different sides of the law who take a fight all the way to the end. This fast-paced, high octane drama moves from murky by-lanes to glitzy high rises.

Hindi entertainment channels are nowadays mostly dominated by family melodramatic soaps and rigged reality shows! At this point of time, Sony Entertainment Television came up with an interesting concept. Titled ‘Specials @ 10’, the series consist of 4 different tele-films, each produced/presented by renowned filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap, Vikram Bhatt, Mahesh Manjrekar and Madhur Bhandarkar.Anurag Kashyap-presented Rajuben took away the cake as it managed to keep the viewers at the edge of the seat and moved at a fast pace, both of these qualities which other serials on TV lack!

Rajuben2Rajuben started on March 2, 2009 and ended 12 weeks later on May 18 (last Monday). It was aired only once in a week on Mondays at 10pm and each episode was an hour long. Unlike other serials on TV, Rajuben was shot in a different format and had a film-like visual quality.

The plot of the serial: Rajuben is the story of Rajshree (Shilpa Shukla), daughter of a staunch Gandhian (K K Raina). The serial focuses on three different points of Rajshree aka Raju’s life which is as follows:

Year 1986: Raju is an electrician and one day goes to Rohit’s (Rajesh Shringapure) place to repair his fan. Later, she learns that he is a gangster. But still, she falls for him and Rohit too starts liking her. Raju’s father gets the biggest shock of his life when he learns this. He tries hard to explain Raju that falling in love with a gangster can be dangerous but she stood adamant. Finally, she marries him and Raju’s father breaks all ties with her. As Rohit’s wife, she took time to adjust, given his husband’s profession. She tried to persuade Rohit into leaving the underworld. Rohit tried but his plan backfired.
Year 1990: Raju is pregnant. Rohit is all set to escape to Malaysia, to escape the crutches of police, much to the annoyance of Raju. By this time, Raju has understood A to Z of ‘bhaigiri’ business and she takes Rohit’s place in her absence. All of Rohit’s colleagues including Tabrez (Raj Arun) accept her. But Abu Miya, Rohit’s godfather and Abu’s close aide and corrupt politician Joshi (Harsh Chaaya) is dead against this idea and they tried to ward off Raju. But Rajuben has acquired too strong a position to feel threatened by anyone.

Rajuben
Year 2009: Raju is now MLA Rajshree and all set to contest for elections. Joshi is also in her political party and both are rivals. Rajshree’s twins, Sameer and Shraddha return after completing their studies and upon their arrival, some unknown gunmen attack them. Shraddha escapes unhurt but Sameer is kidnapped. Some hours later, Tabrez (who is still with Raju as her confidante) find Sameer unconscious in a gunny bag. Rajshree now tries to find out who could be behind it. On the other hand, Shraddha tries to strike a chord with Rajshree’s father, who still hasn’t talked to his daughter and after she married. And as for Rohit, he died in 1993 in Malaysia in a police firing.

What sets Rajuben apart from the rest of the soaps is its wonderful treatment. All these above mentioned three eras of Raju’s life move simultaneously as parallel tracks and intersect at several points, a laRang De Basanti style! Although these three tracks may seem to be poles apart at times, there’s a constant coordination between all three of them. For instance, when Raju’s son Sameer starts taking drugs, the story moves back to 90’s era and the viewers here learn how Raju had started selling drugs in order to make money. Even though the story constantly moves back and forth jostling between three tracks, the story doesn’t become confusing and complicated at all. And that’s the biggest achievement for the makers!

Some of the characters are very intriguing. Raju’s daughter Shraddha has feelings for Tabrez but is mature enough to understand that her mother deserves him more than anyone else. Shraddha equally loves her mother but is angry at the way she plays politics and takes wrong advantage of the media for her gains. On the other hand, Raju’s father, a Gandhian, wanted his children to follow the eternal Gandhian principals. But his own daughter married a gangster while his other two children used wrong means in their business, which was unacceptable to him. So he disowned all his children and lived alone with his wife. This raises a question-Does being a Gandhian also implies that we should not be supportive of our children, no matter what they do? Should a Gandhian be very ‘ziddi’ and angry-types? But at the same time, should a Gandhian give up his Satyagraha mentality just because everyone around is corrupt?

Tabrez

But the most favourite of all has to be Tabrez (see pic above)! He spoke little and when he opened his mouth, he won’t utter anything nonsense. He obediently carried out Raju’s orders without questioning her. He was unmarried but always loved Raju a lot and yet, didn’t marry her after Rohit’s death. Everyone around used him as a punching bag to vent their frustration. Yet, he was always loyal to Raju and her family and would see to it that nothing untoward happens with them. He is a guy who can be trusted anytime. Tabrez, you rock!

Performance-wise, everyone was perfect. Shilpa Shukla who had already proved her worth as Bindiya Naik in Chak De! India, does an amazing job as Rajuben. She gave a perfect performance in each of the three tracks. She impressed a lot in 90’s track. Eight month pregnant Raju, having fruit salad and ordering her men to finish off members of a rival gang-wow…what a scene!

Rajesh Shringapure too does a great job. It was difficult to accept in the beginning that he’s the same guy who gave a rocking performance in Sarkar Raj as Sanjay Somji! Raj Arun as Tabrez was undoubtedly the best performer! His wonderful role coupled with his natural performance made Tabrez the most adorable bhai of the story!

Harsh Chaaya did a great job as the villain. K K Raina left a mark as Raju’s father. Ritu Dutta as Shraddha was fantastic. Others did a great job too.

Amit Trivedi who created waves with Dev D album, composed the title track of Rajuben which suited the mood and theme of the serial. Editing was perfect. Screenplay was gripping and of course, the biggest winner! Lalit Marathe, who also directed the upcoming film Shabri (*ing Ishaa Koppikar; produced by RGV) directed this serial and did a wonderful job. Some of the scenes were truly memorable. My most fav was when Raju kills Abu Miya. She disassembled parts of her gun, hid all its parts including in her hair and inside her sandal. Then she went to Abu Miya’s place and proceeded towards the loo. Inside, she assembled all the parts together and came out and killed him! Brilliant!

On the whole, Rajuben was a slick and very interesting concept that succeeded in keeping the viewers engrossed and entertained. Those who have missed it, there’s a good news-Anurag Kashyap is going to release its DVDs soon! So all those interested in this wonderful one of its kind serial, grab your copy and do watch it!

My rating-***** out of 5!