A superlative effort to demystify blind faith
In a country where there are many beliefs, castes, and religions, people tend to get misguided by some self-centered individuals in the name of God and religion. This is where the conmen enter the scene to build their umpires on the pillars of blind faith and fearfulness of people turning the whole system into puppets in their hands as portrayed in the latest web series Aashram by Prakash Jha Productions which is streaming now on MXPlayer.
Pammi (Aditi Pohankar) who concedes defeats at a wrestling competition due to the highhandedness of upper caste people has to face their wrath once again resulting in grievous injuries to her brother Satti (Tushar Pandey) during a wedding procession.
Doctors in the hospital were prevented from giving treatment to Satti as Pammi approaches police station to lodge an FIR on charges of attempt to murder. Here enters the savior of the poor, Baba Nirala (Bobby Deol) of Kashipur to rescue Pammi and her family and teach a lesson to the upper caste coterie.
Baba attracts people from all walks of life by his sugar-coated discourses and grows into an indisputable power capable of changing the course of politics. He with his trustworthy lieutenant Bhopa (Chandan Roy Sanyal) spares no one that comes in their path as they had their ways and means to deal with any kind of problem or an individual and scrape through any kind of difficult situation comfortably.
But a human skeleton discovered during the excavation of a project site sanctioned by the Government opens the can of worms. Sub Inspector Ujagar Singh (Darshan Kumaar) went on to investigate this case with the assistance of Akwinder (Rajeev Sidhharth) and Dr Natasha (Anupriya Goenka) as he confronts many challenges to unravel the truth.
The skeleton continues to ring danger bells in Aashram with Bhope and his men try to come out of this mess they created with Ujagar Singh emerging as a thorn in their path which needs to be pricked out to keep their path smooth and clean.
Performances of Actors
The towering performance of Bobby Deol is the biggest asset of this series. He is equally supported by Sanyal in a well-conceived character of an executioner par excellence. But it’s Bobby who mesmerizes in a difficult character with precise expressions and hypnotic modulation of dialogue delivery that made this character stand tall among all others. His balance and composure in the exterior and the tinge of cold-bloodedness present inside him which was conveyed through his gestures, eyes, and body language are a treat to watch.
Almost all other actors lived in their characters. Pick among all these are Rajeev, Vikram Kochhar, Sachin Shroff, Anurita Jha, Adhyayan Suman, and Jahangir Khan are extremely commendable and they contributed a lot in adding the right kind of momentum to the whole narrative by their incredible performances. In addition, the performances of Aditi, Darshan, Tushar, Anupriya, and Tridha are adorable and they stand apart in steering Aashram to the next level.
Direction & Technical Aspects
Prakash Jha’s conviction to present a socially relevant subject deserves full honours. The story by Habib Faisal is an amalgamation of many such socially relevant issues like blind faith, caste discrimination, corrupt political system, and exploitation of weaker sections. Prakash Jha has explored all these layers with great clarity and captivating narrative which was supported by a gripping screenplay by Kuldeep Ruhil.
There are many sparks of brilliance in the whole series which stand as testimony to the expertise and extraordinary taking of Prakash Jha which is visible in every frame of Aashram.
The music of Advait Nemlekar who is riding high on success after composing mesmerizing music for Pareeksha is simply amazing and his background score is an added attraction to the series.
The cinematography by Chandan Kowli is a treat to watch aided by top-notch production designing as a result all the frames look bright and colourful.
The editing by Santosh Mandal is crisp without a single moment of lag in the whole 9 episode series which is quite remarkable keeping in mind the magnitude of the series with many intertwined layers and subplots.
Verdict & Rating
An out and out binge-worthy experience. Though the ending has left everyone on tenterhooks, there is a lot to devour in this season and undeniably this is one of the best series in recent times which has explored a different avenue to demystify the blind faith and create awareness among people. The follow-up season looks more promising and it is poised to add many more dimensions to this ‘Bhakti Ya Bhrashtachar’ series unveiling more dark secrets in the process.