RajuBen: Gripping Drama

I have been following the very interesting episodic tele-film which I thought I should share with all! Shilpa Shukla, yes the 'Chak De' tough nut, is extremely GOOD! I really wish Shahrukh focussed on her to promote instead of those bimbo girls.. but then, :-) :D I guess Shilpa wouldn't want to be dancing around trees, would she???? [ Shahrukh, if you be reading this, please ponder! ]
Monday, 10.00 pm, Sony TV
Kshama Rao Posted: Mar 20, 2009 at 1242 hrs IST
It’s an experiment, alright. Specials @ 10 on Sony is a 12-episode series presented by directors Anurag Kashyap, Vikram Bhatt, Mahesh Manjrekar and Madhur Bhandarkar. For viewers weaned on endless, mindless episode after-episode of prime time sagas, you need a different palate for Specials. But rest assured, Kashyap’s Rajuben, is just what the doctors recommended.
So we will first look at her. Her journey from Rajashree, (Shilpa Shukla) born to a Gandhian father (K K Raina) to Rajuben, the widow who takes over the reins of her husband Rohit’s (Rajesh Shringarpure) underworld gang. It’s only two episodes-old but Rajuben has already told us the story of 20. Shot like a film, the story moves back and forth, taking viewers through Raju’s pre-marriage, sepia-tinted days to her short-lived married life and her coming to terms with her gangster husband, to her taking over the underworld, her rise in the gang and finally to the present time when she is now an MLA and contesting an election. Witnessing her rise and fall, her trials and tribulations and even accompanying her on her sonography visits when she is pregnant with her twins, is Tabrez, her husband’s close aide and confidante. There is Joshi (Harsh Chaya) too, the seniormost member of the gang, who grudges Rajuben’s rise in the party, plots and ploys against her and her two grown up children. The children, a boy and a girl have got their first taste of their mother’s clout and nature of job as the boy gets kidnapped and the girl sees her mother manipulating the system, the media as she uses the incident to her advantage, especially with the elections around the corner. Rajuben makes for an interesting, gripping watch. One can’t afford to chop vegetables while the series is on because it constantly commands your attention as a viewer. Secondly, since we assume it’s shot in sync sound, one has to strain one’s ears to hear the dialogues. It’s a wee bit difficult to go back and forth to the three different eras in which the story is set but it’s a marvel to be part of this roller coaster ride - the nervous energy, the tension, the drama, the love (Raju and Rohit’s courtship days over a glass of sugarcane juice are tender) and the power games, there is everything. Shilpa Shukla as Raju, Rajesh as Rohit, Raina as her idealist father and Chaya as Joshi pitch in with near-perfect performances and the supporting cast Raj Arun who plays Tabrez and Neeraj Kumarwho plays Melwyn are first rate. One teeny-weeny complaint is only if they could go easy on the make-up especially that overdone but unconvincing effort to make Raju and Joshi look old and haggard with their wrinkles, crow’s feet etc. However, Rajuben makes for a refreshing viewing alternative. Lalit Marathe (he’s the director), take a bow!
Verdict: Isko dekho.


Colors said...

That sounds like an interesting watch! I wonder if its available on Youtube.

Ricky said...

A very interesting premise for a tele-film. The story actually reminds me of a very interesting serial that used to come about a manipulative woman politician. I will have to look for it on the Internet :)

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