Sony Television’s new show Beyhadh gets better with each episode. The promos promised a show about a poor little rich girl who is obsessed over a guy. Not a Meera Bai kind of selfless devotion (that I personally love), but apparently a more evil kind of fixation in which a death or two is of no consequence. Turns out I love this latter kind of wild craziness as well.
Maya Mehrotra is a nuanced well thought out character that Jennifer Winget manages to capture with surprising elegance. Am not sure if it’s Jennifer’s regular way of talking, but she has a downward inflection and thickish voice that’s pleasing to the ear and works really well here. Maya looks rich. Not over the top villain/vamp rich. More classy and restrained.
Enter Arjun played by the actor Kushal Tandon. Arjun is decidedly middle class. Loud, pushy and a bit crass. He is lazy, not very ambitious. Happy go lucky. He is scared of Maya, but also fascinated by her.
No one has challenged Maya in her way of life. No one has broken boundaries and her rules this way. No one until Arjun makes his mark in her office and in her life. He is talented. He takes risks like using unsuspecting Maya as the model for his photo shoot. He is smart. He understands her hi-flung conversations on limitless crazy love.
Saanjh is Arjun’s best friend. Their families are friends and wish the two would get married. Saanjh is in love with Arjun, but hasn’t told him yet. I find her irritating. Sometimes too much part of the boys’ gang and sometimes too girly. Compare her to Maya and I find the allure in Maya stronger.
Were you surprised to see Maya declare her love to Arjun? She does not hide it like Saanjh (whom I don’t like at all.. Team Maya all the way!). Arjun and Sanjh were both quite irritating to start with, but with time Arjun has grown on me. Sometimes I get the feeling that the actor is selected for the hunk element on the show (which itself is novel because the heroine unabashedly can focus on it), but the character has its moments.
If the heroine can walk into a police thana and rescue the Hero’s brother (and slap the insolent police officer) then the hero paired opposite such a girl needs a certain self-assurance. With time Arjun has carved that. He is quick to yell at Maya. Equally quick to defend her… Am wretchedly hoping against hope that he is falling in love with her.. Sometimes, he looks at her and you get that he is mesmerized by this enigma.. Maya Mehrotra is fiery, intense and compelling. But also vulnerable, feminine and endearing..
More on Maya.. There is something particularly awful about her past and it’s hinted that it is to do with her heinous father. Her mother is also an apt casting. Don’t know the heroine, but she gravitates to her husband even though she knows he has wronged her daughter. We don’t know how… Weak parents often are the primary cause for weak children. Jennifer captures that helplessness in one moment, then segues to vulnerability and wonder as Arjun rescues her time and again.
The exciting thing is that she does her fair share of rescuing and with undeniable charm and poise. For some reason, Arjun’s mother has taken a dislike to Maya and is matchmaking on Sanjh’s behalf. At the breakfast table, one morning, when Maya is a guest, Arjun’s mother tries to underline the importance of Sanjh in Arjun’s life. Maya is hardly the broken girl here. She can handle all the insinuations and coolly sidesteps the fire. Arjun’s mother is a mere inconsequential thorn in Maya’s grand scheme of things so far.
Maya actually went ahead and told Arjun she loves him (as you can tell I am excited about that)!! The next few episodes had her sitting and eating roadside khana trying to woo the middle-class love of her life. Done before, you say? Well, here she admits it and in style.. “The way to a man’s heart is through the stomach that’s where I am trying to get to“.. she disarmingly confesses when Arjun asks her why the overeating spree. It’s refreshing to see someone in a Hindi Television Serial be upfront about their feelings without drama. Specially, a heroine who is supposedly extremely unstable emotionally.
My premonition is that soon Maya will leave this greyish lovesick territory and do bad things to control Arjun, but as of episode 50 there is a lot of hope. They have spent lovely moments on a terrace finding sukoon. I think Arjun is falling for Maya. Sanjh has lost her chance.
Fingers-crossed, here is my wish for the perfect story. Make Maya crazy if you want to. Make her do bad things if you want to, but make Arjun strong enough to love her despite all. If his family object, let them go to hell. Let him love Maya and redeem her if that’s what it takes. Let the Beyhadh pyar win and let the writers not fall back to the regular best friend love. Nothing wrong in regular.. just, I like the hardly any chance of winning, almost sinful, limitless love more.. Maya ensured that I love it more.
Ps. – The music is good. I do demand a suitable, inspired original theme song.
What do you think of Beyhadh? Am dying to know..
DurgaSDecember 21, 2016 at 5:38 pm
You’re watching Beyhadh too? My daughter is hooked onto it. I wanted to join her too but had been too busy of late. She’s been updating me though. I have watched a few episodes and I think Jennifer is doing a superb job. I don’t think she has done such a role before. About Saanjh, as of now, I feel bad for her. I wonder if her character will go through any changes. You know there are stories where the bad one gradually turns good and the good one becones bad. About the hero, I think he’s continuing to do what he was doing in EHMMBH. Not much change in characterisation. Have to see how this show turns out to be.
rhea sinhaDecember 23, 2016 at 12:22 pm
Soni likes Beyhadh too? Nice! Yes it’s largely due to Jennifer’s acting that the show has a certain depth so far. I have not seen the other 2 actors before, but Sanjh I do find irritating. You know I went to IF Beyhadh forum and a lot of people are discussing what you said about bad and good and roles might reverse. That would be interesting. Hope you find time to watch while the show remains interesting.
DurgaSDecember 23, 2016 at 5:02 pm
Ha ha,, really? They are discussing the same? Cool. I had seen Aneri Vajani (Saanjh) earlier too. She was the lead in Nisha aur uske cousins. Come to think of it, I find the boy more irritating. He was so in the behna show too. ? Beyhadh is all about Jennifer.
indrani robbinsDecember 22, 2016 at 10:52 am
nice read. glad you wrote the review, beyhad is getting some serious attention from serial viewers i get the feeling. pity, i just didn’t take to it. i do agree with you, saanjh is not likable. i think, more than the character, it’s the actress who’s the problem.
rhea sinhaDecember 23, 2016 at 12:32 pm
Haha laad governor indi di not liking what others like… Mostly I enjoy it for Jennifer’s acting. Agree with you, probably Sanjh is not the problem, the actress is. Don’t let IF girls know. There is a full-fledged war going on there about the 2 actress/characters. Glad you liked the post. Thanks..
indrani robbinsDecember 24, 2016 at 12:33 pm
laad governor indi di. ??? now one could write a long ling take on that.
so war has started on if? how reassuring.