Prakash Jha, who made the best film ‘Exam’ for G5, is back in the same bog, in which he has lost his charm on the big screen as a director. Whenever his stories have tried to move forward with the attraction of the star, he has not been successful, ‘Aashram’ proves this once again. In the name of the free-to-watch web series, soft porn is served on MX Player and Alt Balaji, which is the image of both these OTTs. Bobby Deol allowed his series to come on such an OTT, this could be his compulsion. But, Prakash Jha must have been such a compulsion about money, it is difficult to understand.
The problem with the ‘Aashram’ here is the unnecessary expansion of each intercept apart from the length of its episode. This story is about a self-proclaimed God whom his devotees identify as Babaji. He hides his past the most. Promises to shine the future of others. Just can’t handle your present. With all the fuss, Prakash Jha brings his Baba to the audience and then goes back eight years. An upper caste overshadows the talent of a Dalit. The one who lost is Pummy. You have seen him in Imtiaz Ali’s web series ‘She’. Her presence is enough to tell what she is going to do in the series, what she is going to show.
Babaji Nirala is a miracle of Kashipur. Maintains an ooze on the face. His performances are far more deadly, deadly and tragic than the devotees in front of him. He keeps smiling. His special disciple Bhope continues to work for everyone. The real highlight of the series is the performance of Chandan Roy Sanyal. He proves to be twenty-one whenever he appears in the frame with Bobby Deol. The problem while watching the series is that sports viewers of all such babas have already seen the revelations on the news channel. The name may be a news channel but their crime shows outperform good non-fiction shows.
The real challenge before Prakash Jha is to not let the audience miss these shows. There are nine episodes in the series, each episode is of one hour. Watching all episode bins is another major challenge in itself. When the story goes into flashback by showing the present in the beginning, its authors Habib Faisal and Kuldeep Ruhil try to explain one thing. The original sources of both the narratives are forgotten that if anything needs to be told, then the script keeps going. He repeats some things again and again. Everything is being told by speaking to the audience. The dialogues of the characters have been written by Sanjay Masoom and are very sharp and effective.
Caste discrimination, caste politics, power play and oppression are the same in the ‘Aashram’, which is prevalent in most states of the country. What is the purpose of those who consider themselves to be the Messiah of the poor and are widely publicized, if not understood till now, then this series can be understood again. The series misses to tell just what caused the change of heart of Pammi and her brother. As the story of the series opens, its characters begin to spread.
Seeing the performance of Darshan Kumar in the role of Io Ujjala, who is trying to find the skeleton, it seems that he is trying to get into the character, but the excitement that is on the face of a real police officer is not seen in his character. Rajiv Kochhar also finds it necessary to give a workshop on the functioning of the police. Anupriya Goenka, who plays the post-mortem doctor, does not even know that a doctor does not appear by putting green cap on the head and green mask on the nose mouth, he has to keep all the buttons of the shirt closed. Rajiv Siddhartha continues to impress in installments. Among the minor characters who made an impact are Sachin Shroff and Tridha Chaudhary.
‘Aashram’ is a hastily made web series that can be edited and reduced by every episode by at least 15 minutes. This will also streamline the story and save the audience time. Releasing on Friday, ‘Road 2’ also has the story of a Baba. Hindi cinema has loved Baba very much anyway. Simply, every Baba forgets his Baba in the course of biting another’s ear. From Manoj Kumar’s film ‘Sanyasi’ to Netflix’s series ‘Wild Wild Country’, these hypocritical ghats of devotion have confused the audience many times but now it is time for mobile and it does not take much time to distract from weak content. If the intention is for its Season 2, then the creative team of MX player will have to tighten their nappies and get into the arena themselves.