Karnsangini is based on a book called Karna’s Wife by Kavita Kane- a commercially successful work of fiction that came out a few years ago. Before I write about the merits of the show in terms of entertainment, it’s important to note that it cannot be considered a mythological work, since Mahabharat makes no mention of Uruvi or any conflict of love interest between Arjun or Karn. Categorising it in the genre of mythology will make it only seem frivolous and even scandalous.
Since the book failed to impress me, I watched the show reluctantly, ready to dismiss this new star plus offering quickly. But surprisingly,I ended up watching all five episodes at a stretch only to admit that the content was pretty engaging.
So the story is about Uruvi, princess of Pukhiya, in the neighbourhood of Hastinapur, who falls for Karn, even though fancied by Arjun. The script and screenplay has scored in terms of consistency and pace. A brief narration of Uruvi’s and Karn’s birth is used in the beginning to lead viewers into their youth without wasting any time, where the story is ripe to begin. However, the contradictions in their up bringing have been well outlined in expectations of a love story that might send sparks flying.
Uruvi is reminiscent of Reign’s Mary– a princess that’s too headstrong for her times, cares less for protocols and has a highly unconventional penchant for driving chariots.
If that doesn’t impress you enough , she friend-zones Arjun, the most eligible bachelor of her times.It turns out they are childhood friends and everyone expects them to marry. Not one to do things everyone expects, she has kept her options open and waits for a man who can live up to her highly unrealistic standards of love. But well, she does enjoy Arjun’s flirting and they have some very engaging banter.
As for the most influential sequences in the first week, I would pick that of the Rangbhumi. It’s the day of Pandavas’ and Kauravas’ graduation – and the town has assembled to witness a display of their skills. That’s when Karn, by challenging Arjun , makes an impressive entry into their world.
The palatial crowd is shaken, with biggies like Bheeshm, Dritrashtra and others shocked into inaction. Uruvi is moved , intrigued and wants the challenge to take place, but her words fall on deaf ears of a very stunned Bheeshm PitaMah.
Karn a classic tragic hero, has been portrayed as majorly stoic. He frees Duryodhan from a humiliating prospect and jumps into the arena to propose a challenge to Arjun. His battle of words with Dronacharya is stinging for everyone as his truth rings way higher than Drona’s pitch. This version of Karn does not invoke pity, but rather a kind of fear, like a a volcano does, ready to erupt unannounced.
With a seething Arjun in background, Drona tries to deflect this challenge but that’s when Duryodhan steps in and secures an eternal loyalist in Karn by giving him a kingdom and making him eligible to fight Arjun.
The battle is predictably interrupted before any conclusion but is enough for Uruvi to get smitten. In driving Arjun’s chariot during the challenge, she gets a close look at Karn’s grit and focus and can’t stop thinking about him.
The Arjun-Uruvi-Karn triangle is given a contemporary touch through a chemistry that is modern and straightforward. Arjun is more of a teenager who is still growing up, proud of his skills but quite insecure too. He can be easily instigated like your typical neighborhood stud and he hates the possibility that he might have been defeated by this suta-putra.
As the show progresses, here’s hoping that Karn is given a greater scope to perform – the stoic expressions have worked till now but being the protagonist , it would be expected to watch him cover a wide range of emotions from love to rage.
Uruvi has been played convincingly by Tejasswi Prakash, with just the right amount of haughtiness and playfulness. She carries the pride in her character as naturally as the new found love she feels for this reticent fighter.
Aashi Gulati’s Karn tugs at your heart without invoking pity and looks full of potential. Kinshuk Vaidya fits perfectly as a seemingly adolescent Arjun who is prepared to fight for love and fame.
The VFX leaves some scope for betterment , given that now TV industry is using cutting edge technology for quite a few shows. Uruvi’s chariot race didn’t leave much effect as only one other chariot was shown racing with her. For the rest, we had to resort to imagination.
On the whole, So far So Good. I hope they keep the pace going and make important scenes look more believable than Duryodhan’s cosmetic abs!