Sony TV, Monday to Thursday, 8pm
Production House: Trishulla Productions Pvt Ltd
Genre: Romance/ Thriller
Anamika has had a very original and artistic beginning. With simple devices they created a creepy feeling. The opening scene showed the male lead Jeet (enacted by Mudit Nayyar) in a dark and cold night haplessly trying to fix his car which has broken down in a desolate street. The chirping of night crickets add to the uncanny atmosphere. In the dark canopy of the night- the flashlight of the mobile, headlights of his car and the flickering lamp of the lamppost are providing light. The sound of Jeet trampling on dry leaves is highly audible in the sinister silence of the night. A woman's mysterious wail then envelops the ominous silence. Simultaneously white smoke engulfs the whole screen blotting out the dark TV screen- the scene also comes to an artistically unexpected halt.
'Show don't tell' is the foundation of any good fictional work. It is great that Anamika instead of spoon feeding viewers like many shows unfortunately do; leaves very subtle hints and clues. Instead of rushing towards a climactic scene the show is gradually and tastefully building up suspense. The arrival of a ghostly figure or chudail is done with gaudy close up shots, accompanied by a jolting loud sound, blood and gore in many of India's supernatural shows. Anamika is however refreshingly different.
In the Oscar winning movie Jaws, Director Steven Speilberg juxtaposed a frightening scene with a relaxing scene. When the shots of the sea in which the man eater shark was searching for its next human victim were shown; the atmosphere was foreboding. Right after a sinister scene we were transferred to scenes happening on the safe land (shore) where the shark can in no way even harm a hair on the head of anyone.
Similarly in Anamika, an ominous scene is generally followed by a safe and cozy scene. For instance the opening scene of the car wreck cuts into a scene of the busy bustling Chandigarh railway station. It seems for a while that in the merry crowd of the railway station no chudail can ever step in. However if you observe the railway scene carefully you see a little girl Guddi [who is the sister of the female lead Rano (played by Annie Gill)] who is sitting without saying a word and is somewhat awkwardly engrossed with solving the Rubik's cube. The same child is later shown writing as if doing her school homework. There is obviously nothing apparently strange about that; in fact her family doesn't seem to suspect that anything is wrong with her but when I watched it a chill ran down my spine leading me to speculate if the chudail already has an evil influence on her.
Even in the seemingly safe indoor family scenes in which the close knit family members are warmly interacting with one another and freely joking; the camera focuses from an angle from outside the family bungalow to perhaps indicate that some mysterious figure is silently watching them. This was conveyed even more effectively when Jeet is turning on his side in his bedroom at night in his sleep and when Rano fastens the lost bracelet (which mysteriously re-appeared on Jeet's car's rear view mirror) on Jeet's wrist.
Besides the supernatural angle; the USP of this show is also the love story. Rano has gone out of her way so that her boyfriend Jeet could pursue his dreams of being a champion boxer. When Jeet tells Rano that he will dedicate the medal he will go on to win to Rano; it is touchingly romantic. The tiffs that Rano and Jeet have are very realistic and sweetly funny.
The characters are also being etched out very well and that includes the supporting characters too. MadhuMalti (Jeet's grandma) is an endearing matriarch who instead of instigating needless fights with her bahu and indulging in petty kitchen politics; is logging onto a social network site of the likes of Facebook to post amusing status posts and enjoys playing video games.
Regarding the performances, everyone has done a good job. Annie Gill makes a spontaneous debut. Mudit Nayar who is in real life an introvert, plays with elan a very cheerful and extrovert young man. His acting training at Barry John's Acting School has surely groomed him into a very fine actor.
The art direction and cinematography of this show stands out. The bungalow of Jeet's family is looming and shadowy; its exterior sports a slightly haunted look. The interplay of shadows and light is done with panache.
As far as sound effects are concerned; it's refreshing that no loud sounds are used at all. Unfortunately deafeningly loud sounds are often replete in supernatural TV shows which strip the show of artistic merit. The sound effects of Anamika are very sober and far from being amateur.
Anamika on Sony TV at the 8pm slot faces stiff TRP competition from the evergreen show Balika Vadhu also at 8pm on Colors. Devon Ke Dev. Mahadev on Life OK is also going strong however the channel has lower reach. Rab Se Sohna Isshq on Zee TV surely is a far less formidable competitor than Balika Vadhu. The highly popular Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? on Star Plus would have been a tough opponent. However it's ending tomorrow and from Monday the new show Kaali- Ek Punar Avatar will be launched. At this juncture you can't predict for sure what the TRP of Anamika will be when we get the TRP sheets again in mid December. We however know for sure that we have a nice show which will especially appeal to viewers who love to sample the supernatural.
Reporter and Author: Pallavi Bhattacharya