Posted: 14 August 2013 at 3:28am | IP Logged
Just writing some random thoughts on last few episodes of Mahadev. After somewhat few shoddy episodes, I liked yesterday's episode. There was an improvement in execution and treatment of the story. So here it goes - likes and confusion about various character. I am not writing about characters that are shown as one dimensional - Raavan and Meghnad.
Sita & her family
1. As I have written before, I am liking Sita's characterization the best in this version of Ramayan. She is gentle and soft as has been described in various versions. Yet her character is spunky who enjoys moments. Also they have depicted her falling for Ram very well. So I like this Sita who answers back Ram even if in a gentle manner when he tries to lecture her.
2. I liked the scene where Urmila and Sita went for deer sightseeing. But then Sita promptly forgot both about deer and Urmila when she spotted Ram instead. So Sita had actually gone for Ram sightseeing while telling Urmila that she wanted to see the deer. So instead of searching for Urmila or waiting for her, she decided to let Ram walk her to her palace. Thank God Urmila had her knife to protect her from intruders.
3. I liked yesterday's depiciton of Sita's family the way they showed a natural relationship between Sita and Sunaina or between Urmila and Sita. This is a close family where blood relationship is not important. So liked the scene of how Sita was lying with her head in Sunanina's lap or the way Urmila was teasing her slyly in front of Sunaina. Nice scene between a mother and two daughters with a natural worry of a mother. Also the scene between Urmila and Sita was nice when Urmila was teasing Sita about looking for Ram in Swayamvar hall. Then Sita's crestfallen expression after coming to know that Ram was not going to try to string the bow as he had just come to swayamvar as a tourist.
Urmila is an important but a neglected character in Ramayan. In that sense, she is like a blank canvass where a writer can fill in the gaps depending on his/her perception. Some have shown her character as a strong one who survived 14 years of lonely life. Here that is how her character is interpreted.
What I like so far is the freshness of her relationship with Sita which instead of being shown in a stuffy manner is shown in a very natural manner - the way two sisters close in age are. Also I like how they have shown her as a vivacious somewhat hyper character who is a perfect foil to Sita.
But knife wielding Urmila????? I was feeling for this new gentle Lakshman (more on this later) on what Urmila will do to him when he decides to keep her in Ayodhya and decide to join Ram and Sita in their exile expedition. When she can show him knife for just stealing some fruits, imagine her ferocity later on when Laksman makes more serious mistakes. Not that I would mind her showing that knife to Manthra and then Kakayi.
I had only seen one episode where kid Ram was shown as I just started watching this Ramayan from an episode prior to Mahaepisode onwards. So far I had liked kid Ram more than adult Ram. I have liked Ram's characterization in parts, but he has confused me in some places.
But after watching Mahadev from scratch, I am beginning to understand Ram's characterization. As I am watching a lot of Mahadev simultaneously (current and past), I am dividing Mahadev serial into three parts in my mind - Mahadev I (Sati era), Mahadev II (Parvati era) and Mahadev III (Ramayan era).
There were similarities and circles in Mahadev I and Mahadev II (prior to his marriage with Parvati) in how he was resisting the relationship with both Sati and Parvati. Mahdev III is Ram where Ram is also acting like Mahadev lecturing Sita about duties and responsibilities while trying to stay away from her. That's why I liked Sita's answer to Ram that how does wishing for a partner whom she desires but who would also lift the bow and string it deviates her from her duties.
Anyway, Mahadev is Ram's buddy who is approving of his ways. Well why shouldn't he? He too behaved in the same manner two times - first with Sati and then Parvati. So Mahadev is calling Ram thinking of interests of others over his own, while Sita only being interested in her own issues. Hmm...are they setting grounds to justify Ram's behavior after he became king?
Lakshman is the character who is confusing me the most. Just as Ram is Mahadev, Lakshman has become a combination of Ram and somebody else (cannot think of anybody at the moment). Lakshman who was hot tempered but ethical is taking short cuts to pluck fruits. He is also getting tired after a small jaunt in the garden when he was able to walk with Ram for 14 years and gave up on sleep to look after Ram/Sita.
Then on top of that, he is such a gentle soul that he is trying to placate Urmila after she shows him the knife. So far he has not shown even a tiny flash of anger. So I am beginning to worry about what will happen when Parshuram comes raging after the breaking of bow. Who will argue and fight with him? Maybe it will be Mahadev who will appear in front of Parshuram and does his shastrath with him. Maybe that's why Lakshman is now so gentle and sweet. Or maybe it will be Mahadev and Urmila who will be arguing with Parshuram. Urmila can always show him her knife for daring to question Ram - the husband of her beloved sister.
The antics of Hanuman:
I like how they are showing these events in flashback with Shiv narrating antics of Hanuman to Parvati. The kid playing little Hanuman is very cute. But something is not gelling for me - the execution or script or something despite stories being aunthetic. Maybe I have seen better animated versions of little Hanuman that this part of the show is not coming up to par for me.
Yay, Sita got a better costume and makeup for Swayamvar. The more I see earlier episodes of Mahadev, the more I am having trouble with how they were showing characters of Ramayan. It looked like as if CVs are now trying to save money the way shoddy costumes were given to everyone especially Sita. Her jewelry was tacky and so was the makeup. Rubina is a very pretty girl who looks the best in less or subtle makeup. Here the makeup, jewelry instead of enhancing her beauty was reducing it instead. The same can be said of Mandodari who is much prettier than how she is presented in the show.
Thankfully, yesterday they changed the makeup/jewelry etc. So she looked pretty as Sita should. Even Ram/Lakshman seemed better despite having the same clothes. The execution also looked much better than what was shown in the previous week. If they are introducing a new track and that too Ramayan, they need to improve the execution if they want to attract new viewers.