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It’s the era of web series and Ranjish Hi Sahi is the latest show to hit the streaming platform Voot Select. Created by Mahesh Bhatt and directed by Pushpdeep Bhardwaj, the series appears to be inspired by Bhatt’s infamous relationship with yesteryear star Parveen Babi.
While the makers haven’t confirmed the same, it can’t be denied that the show borrows heavily from the much-publicised relationship between Bhatt and Babi.
Ranjish Hi Sahi stars Tahir Raj Bhasin as Shankar Vats, a struggling filmmaker who’s looking for his big break. Amala Paul, on the other hand, takes on the role of famous actress Amna Parvez who’s constantly taken advantage of by her partners and men in the industry.
Amrita Puri enacts the role of Anju, Shankar’s wife who’s supportive of his dreams and works hard to sustain her family while Shankar tries his luck in tinsel town. Last but not the least, Zarina Wahab deserves a special mention for playing Shankar’s mom and doing justice to the character.
Together, the cast makes a formidable team but where Bhasin and Paul lack consistency and conviction, Puri and Wahab shine in their roles and manage to evoke empathy as two women suffering silently.
Apart from the characters, the production value, the cinematography, and the narration transports you to 70s and 80s Bollywood which marked the beginning of glamorous on screen roles for mainstream actresses.
As the series progresses, Shankar and Amna fall in love with each other and have a tumultuous affair much to the chagrin of their families and the industry. While it works out in Shankar’s favour, Amna slowly goes on a spiral as her mental health deteriorates.
Now where have we seen or heard that before? A famous director’s extra-marital affair with a mentally ill actress? In Bhatt’s 2006 film Woh Lamhe that featured Kangana Ranaut as a schizophrenic actress.
Even his 1982 movie Arth is a semi-autobiographical account of his torrid affair with Babi. Ranjish Hi Sahi doesn’t go beyond what’s public knowledge. Despite having a run-time of 30 to 40 minutes per installment in the eight-episode series, the show doesn’t delve into Amna’s psyche to portray the depth of her mental illness.
Once again, her personality, history, and illness serve as tools that aid both Bhatt and Shankar’s stories.
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