is 4 Lions Films' latest offering, Nazar
, the Star Plus
show comes from Gul Khan
's production house which is popular for shows like Ishqbaaaz
. Supernatural fiction shows are trending currently (Naagin 3
and Laal Ishq and the likes) and the time is rife to give viewers another show with supernatural elements. It also turns out to be a time for Bigg Boss Season 10 fame Monalisa to make her fiction show debut on TV. And boy, are we surprised at this choice for a lead role. We're keeping an open mind to bring you a review of the new show.
The story so far...
The show opens with a lonely railway platform in ... where the witch makes her first kill. They waste no time in revealing the dark powers of the protagonist (Antara Biswas
, popularly known as Monalisa). She sucks the life out of her victims rendering them old and frail. This feeds her youth and makes her strong. Nazar
plays with typical 'daayan' stereotypes; she has long hair tied in a braid, feet facing backwards, yellow eyes and long nails. She is also obsessed with youth and beauty as she preys on victims' life spans. Most importantly, her nazar on those she has cursed never wavers.
We are quickly introduced to the Rathod family who is having a prayer meet. They are a superstitious bunch and we find out it's because of their encounter with a daayan years ago. The younger generation of the family joins in on the prayer and Vedashree makes a huge fuss about Ansh's (Harsh Rajput
) safety. A little later, Ansh is seen in a competitive car race by the end of which he almost gets into an accident but is saved by his supernatural strength. He has a yellow glow in his eyes, the same one the daayan had.
It is revealed that Ansh and his sister Kajal are children of a daayan who went by the name Mohana and Mridul, one of the brothers of the family. After the daayan entered the house, the family's wealth increased but she fed on the lifespan of her own husband and he ultimately dies. In the present day (18 years later), the daayan tries to invade the house at a jagrata ceremony and Vedashree detects something is wrong, so she hinders her progress into the house by spraying gangajal on the guests who scuttle to leave. However, she believes the daayan will now come for Ansh as she saw someone with a long braid in the crowd.
In a series of flashbacks, we are shown that Vedhashree had taken help from her friend Divya who knew how to cast spells to lock away the daayan once and for all. With Divya's lead, a huge mob gets the daayan tied up and burnt but the daayan warns them that her nazar will always be on them. Vedashree is reminded that a girl with a devi symbol on her body is the only one who can save Ansh from the daayan. We later see that Piya (Niyati Fatnani
) is the daughter of Divya and has a devi symbol which works as an amulet. Piya comes to the city in search of her mother. When Ansh bumps into her, his powers are activated and it is obvious they have an inevitable connection. What will it all lead to?
First things first, we were blown away by Monalisa's performance in the show. The former Bigg Boss contestant has been in the Bhojpuri industry and those who may be skeptical about her acting chops should see her in the first few episodes of Nazar
. She is convincing as a Daayan and it is rather scary to watch her crawl up trees and walls. She keeps her expressions reasonable and doesn't go overboard.
We also like the mystery elements as the fate of Ansh and the Devik are interlinked. It leaves us with a cliff-hanger as we are now curious about the plot twists her presence will bring. There are a bunch of local myths, histories and supernatural elements to keep viewers hooked. The use of popular Indian horror tropes is spot-on! While we wouldn't go as far as to say that the vfx was great, it was definitely not a letdown, the scenes we saw looked legitimate and it is better than the current lot of supernatural dramas.
On the basis of performances, Harsh Rajput
fails to impress. His portrayal of the character looks forced and it makes us think he hasn't quite settled into the role. Performances of the other Rathod siblings aren't great either and as a family, they are unable to bring to the screen the paranoia they are going through.
In terms of plot, the show relies on a few cliches that can be used to an advantage, but what concerns us is the treatment of female characters with supernatural powers. The plot puts emphasis on the mother figure and how Mohana cannot fulfill her role as a mother and it also uses the devik (Piya) as someone who must serve as Ansh's savior. We hope these characters don't regress into being stereotyped or defined by typical feminine traits and the plot reveals more about their powers instead.
While the show, in its disclaimers, puts emphasis on the fact that they don't support superstitions we cannot help but wonder how it will be perceived by an audience that is easily influenced by what they see on TV. The Verdict:
is a pretty good supernatural thriller. For a first time in a really long time, we are seeing supernatural elements on screen that don't look artificial. The special effects are done pretty well and visually, we have no complaints about the show.
The show rides on the fantastic performance of its protagonist and its a credit to Monalisa's name. We also like the plot and where it's going. For as long as it doesn't fall into the pattern of predictable plot-lines we so often see on TV, the show should do pretty well as an entertainer. This one definitely has what it takes to keep the audiences hooked.
Ratings: ****/5 (4/5)