I would like to call this a review but fair warning- this might turn into a love post by the end, because that’s how much I am enjoying this new show on Star Bharat that was launched on 1st October.
Six episodes have been telecast as I write this and they have all been delivered with a surprisingly perfect concoction of varied elements that make great TV.
As far as I know, the story of Radha Krishn has not been told independently on TV before. Sure, it’s been mentioned in passing in past shows but they have relied mainly on Krishn’s exploits in the times of the Mahabharata. So who is Radha, always worshiped along side Krishn as his other half? Why is a God who married 16000 women in his earthly incarnation has his name tied eternally to someone he never espoused? What happened to Radha once Krishn left Gokul ?
Picking a theme like this, previously unexplored, gives the creators an edge that not many mythologicals have. Radha’s story is spread across multiple purans, traditions and folklore, which makes it a creative playground that yields enough scope to imagine and recreate. It’s been well exploited and the result is a treat to watch. As the unique tale unfolds, it seems poised to teach the true meaning of love to the modern world by promising to revolve around a love that does not rely on gratification or possession- a love that transcends all worldly boundaries because it’s selfless, joyous and unattached.
Besides good content, the show can also boast of a cinematography so stunning that you wish you could watch it on a big screen at a cinema. It’s a first in terms of a theatrical production- they play cleverly with light, colours and motion, like on a stage and complement it with a grandeur and elaboration at par with big budget movies. The background tracks are strategically played at most moving junctures and they are so good that the compositions deserve an independent release of their own.
It’s also rare for a mythological show to have a storyline that progresses dynamically.In only six episodes, Radha Krishn have travelled from one world to another, have transitioned from babies to very attractive sixteen year olds ready to commence the task of teaching the world how to love in the true sense.
It all started with a visually stunning pilot that featured Himanshu Soni and Shivya Pathania as Krishn and Radha in their eternal abode of Goloka, who faced the wrath of a jealous Sreedhama, resulting in a curse to incarnate on earth, with all memories of Krishn wiped away.
Thus establishing the premise, the story quickly moved to Mrityulok, which witnessed the birth of a visually impaired Radha ( she didn’t open her eyes) followed by a glowing Krishn in a Mathura cell. The baby Radha and Krishn have been cast as perfectly as the older ones and the two episodes they were featured in, were a heart stealing joy ride. Brilliant editing made these infants look professional actors as their expressions changed in every frame as per the demand of the script.
Quality CGI is another winner for this show. Whether it was Krishn magically parting the Yamuna in the middle for Vasudeva to cross over or Putna transforming from a beautiful woman to her demonic form- all the sequences requiring special effects have been executed without any compromise on the technical front. The graphics also make for a beautiful make believe world that is pleasing to senses.
Radha Krishn has also played with the element of curiosity quite well, keeping key events and revelations at the end of episodes to keep you watching. In the Goloka, it’s strange when Sreedhama seems to be right in calling Radha’s name inauspicious till the revelation at the end. Similarly, an aura of something not being quite right is depicted when Radha is born, and it’s only in the birth chamber that we are told her eyes wouldn’t open. Also, Putna has been used as a tool for Krishn to travel to Warsana to see baby Radha, to get her eyes open, a seamless amalgamation of the Putna legend in this love story.
In the fifth episode, the main leads are introduced. Radha, played by debutante Mallika Singh, looks straight out of heaven yet has something very grounded in her aura. She carries innocence like second skin, and her character has been given a clear head, compassion and a soft defiance, depicted through her decision to sell stuff for potters exiled by Kans.
This is where she meets Krishn, played by Sumedh, who fits the bill perfectly. He brings Krishn’s Gokul years of mischief, fun and frolic alive with an all knowing smile and eyes that twinkle during witty conversations with Balram and later, Radha.
Krishn is “chill” -He is someone who has come down on earth to play a part and is therefore unattached, able to look at all events around him as of little consequence. He stops time during the attack on Radha & her friends , not to save her as much but to admire her in leisure- to appear in front of her strategically when things resume.
He makes no qualms about the fact that her is here for love only and lets Balram do all his fighting. When Radha questions him, he wittingly replies that his brother hates interference when it comes to food and fights.
In the few episodes he has appeared Sumedh has been able to show quite a few shades. His banter with Balram is engaging and he wins with one liners, but equally impressive is the flicker of emotion that crosses his face when he watches Radha or when she tells him her name.
As with any great love story, the element of pathos embellishes the storytelling. Radha forgets Krishn while he remembers. There’s a longing on both sides, one is unaware and the other too aware. Radha’s soul knows something is missing from her and she is haunted by the flute that Krishn keeps playing in neighbouring Gokul. When she sees him for the first time, she experiences a strange joy before she is snapped out of it. This is a great vantage point for the audience and the makers should get credit for creating it.
A rare show which seems to have gotten almost everything right and here’s hoping there’s no compromise on the quality of content even as it completes 100 episodes.
A thumb’s up to Swastik Productions for this one!