Critic's Rating: 19/5
Friday 10 August 2001
Review / Arshiya Kapadia
Picture this: A newly married woman, Aarti, wakesup one morning to find her husband Sudhir missing.What happens next? Has Sudhir `disappeared` of his ownaccord? How will she cope with this? Does her searchfor Sudhir prove fruitful? All this and much, muchmore on Antaral, a new serial on Star Plus thatexplores a gamut of human emotions and relationships.
Produced and co-written by actress and theatreperson Aparajita Krishna and directed by Jogi Dayal,Antaral`s plot revolves around three charactersAarti (Arundhati ), Sudhir (Joy Sengupta)and Shreevee (Om Puri). What works in Antaral`sfavour? Its strong storyline and a committed team ofworking professionals who believe in their product.
?Antaral has a beginning, middle and end. Itis not about a relationship, but many relationshipswithin a plot," says Krishna who co-wrote the serieswith Gulan Kriplani. "Our show is different. It`s notbased on any novel or story idea - it`s purely aproduct of our imagination."
The serial is set in a small town calledShahjahanpur and then moves to big, bad Mumbai - thecity of harsh realities and broken dreams. Om Purireturns to television after a long gap with his roleas the new age-guru, Shreevee, the mastermind behindthe lives of Aarti and Sudhir. There`s a realisticjuxtaposition of the past with the present. What makesShreevee so ruthlessly manipulate Sudhir`s life? Wesoon learn that he has a past; a past that isinadvertently linked with Sudhir`s present and future.
Puri, on his part, loves his role and even goes tothe extent of calling it a landmark one. "Shreeveeorchestrates the lives of those around him. He iscomplex, yet believable. He is not a villain orpolitician but a new-age guru who markets the fine artof living. He himself is trapped in his own dilemmasand a past that threatens his future," states Puri.
According to Krishna, Puri was the unanimous choicefor Shreevee`s role. She adds, "Arundhati was chosenas Aarti as she has a soft, gentle demeanour and is asensitive performer. Joy Sengupta plays Sudhir whodreams of becoming a filmstar and Joy has added hisown touch to this character`s multi-facetedpersonality," says Krishna.
Antaral means a gap in time - a gap from onepoint to another in which actions takes place, livesare changed and myths are shattered. "It also is aboutthe choices we make that have long-standingrepercussions. Aarti comes to Mumbai in search of herhusband and in the bargain, she discovers herself,"points out Krishna.
The serial has novel theme and a fresh ring to it.The hidden nuances are left for the viewer to discern.The makers have done their job - a good story coupledwith an excellent cast and teleplay. All they ask ofthe viewers is committed viewing. Is that, however,too much in a remote control society?