Posted: 20 January 2011 at 11:39pm | IP Logged
A good deal
Though Subramaniam has a towering personality, he fails big time in getting the emotional tone right.
Monday to Thursday, 9.30 pm, Colors
His business strategies are taught at the London School of Economics, yet I M Virani (Ishwar Virani) falls for a clichd strategy (where the opponent deliberately bids higher so that you end up paying more) a rookie business woman, Devki uses and ends up paying a cool 100 crore more for the 450 crores worth piece of land.
Mukti Bandhan, Colors' latest offering, based on a Gujarati novel by the same name and written by Harkishen Mehta, is also drawn from the Ambanis or so they say. Virani, a multi-millionaire businessman, who came from a small village in Gujarat with one rupee in his pocket, is a well-known name in the business circles. He walks tall, he has scant respect for familial relations, doesn't have the time to see his parents who live under the same roof (once when his old father complains of not seeing him enough, he merely says, 'Phone kar diya hota!'), is more concerned about his business deals and is a globe trotter, alright. His two sons, Siddharth and Vaibhav are worthy heirs, but while the older Siddharth doesn't have his heart into his father's business, Vaibhav knows the importance of his second name and the legacy he will inherit! Interestingly, Mrs Virani who runs an old age home practices meditation, wears cotton saris, has her values intact and knows to assert herself. She has all the comforts "par sukh nahin". Now, while she has her eyes set on Devki for her younger son, Vaibhav, her husband has already made up his mind to marry him off into a business family which will obviously pay rich dividends in the years to come. What's worse, Devki and Virani have started off on a wrong footing. The auction experience has left a bitter taste in his mouth as he swears revenge! There is another Virani, Ishwar's brother but we haven't yet seen him yet.
Produced by Shobhna Desai (who made the long running Ek Mahal Ho Sapnon Ka years ago on Sony), Mukti Bandhan is decent fare. The whole money versus values, quality versus quantity, materialistic versus spiritual battle makes for an interesting watch. The cast is led by some able names like Utkarsh Majumdar and Meenal Patel, who play Virani's old parents. The younger lot is fairly new while theatre-film actor Shiv Subramaniam plays Ishwar Virani, the man who calls all the shots.
Though Subramaniam has a towering personality, he fails big time in getting the emotional tone right. His deadpan look and his deep baritone, he doesn't seem to believe in voice modulation, are probably keeping in mind with his stiff, no-nonsense character. Sadly, they hit a wrong note. You don't feel his power, his charisma, his magnetic personality and his achievements, the operatic background score (that plays every time he comes on screen) seem to indicate. But these are early days (three episodes to be specific) and one hopes, he will loosen up…We also wish a better actress was cast as Devki. As someone who is going to give Virani a run for his business empire, Esha Kansara as Devki is a little thanda.
However, the dialogues are impressive and a couple of other performances like the older Viranis and that of Surbhi Zaveri as Ishwar's wife — we love her, she is no wash-over and has a quiet dignity to her - are the plus points.
All said and done, Mukti Bandhan does free you of the bandhan of watching sundry other soaps on rival channels. Also, since the writer Vipul Mehta has penned many a popular soap including Koshish Ek Asha and Kyunki… Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi to name a couple), there is still light at the end of the tunnel. And of course, to see a male protagonist calling the shots and TRPs on prime time is a fair deal, alright!
Don't go looking for a gripping boardroom drama and you won't be disappointed.