Not many times do you find a show, which is so intricately written and well-crafted that it transports you to the era shown on screen. Grahan manages to encapsulate that feeling.
Anshuman Pushkar and Wamiqa Gabbi have tremendous screen presence. Their chemistry is palpable, intense, and too cute to miss out. They are able to bring forth the nuances of a small-town romance in the sweetest possible way. Their characters are written with subtle finesse. Anshuman’s dialogue delivery, personality and body language are absolutely apt, while Wamiqa’s charming face is coupled with her effortless and natural performance.
Zoya Hussain has put a lot of effort into building her character, and that detailing shows in the way she walks or talks or even gives a speech amidst a raging mob. The strife in her mind about her father, played by Pavan Raj Malhotra, has been expressed brilliantly through her emotions. There is no doubt that Pavan is a tremendous performer, but here his performance in the first seven episodes is too subtle and subdued. All that pent-up emotion and aggression come out brilliantly in the final episode in an intense courtroom scene, and Pavan takes the cake away with his fantastic dialogue delivery and emotional outburst.
Ranjan Chandel’s direction is spot on. The way he has presented the screenplay shows his in-depth grasp of the story of the 1984 Bokaro riots. The writing by Navjot Gulati, Prateek Payodhi and Vibha Singh brings out intricate details of the time, which is wonderful to watch. Amit Trivedi’s music is mellifluous. Songs like Chori Chori and O Jogiya stay with you even after the web series is over. Kamaljeet Negi’s cinematography is apposite and brings out the era with absolute perfection. From the supporting cast, Teekam Joshi and Sahidur Rahaman are superb.
The editing by Shan Mohammed is a big shortcoming for the show. Some scenes were unnecessary for the flow of the story and could have been chopped to save some time. A cut of 10-minutes per episode could’ve made this more fast-paced.
In closing, Grahan is one of the very few well-written shows of this year so far. The minutely detailed portrayal of the 1984 Bokaro riots is terrific and engaging. The love story, which forms the backdrop of the story, is too adorable to let go of. Also, the brilliant performances keep you hooked, booked and glued till the last scene. It’s definitely a MUST WATCH.
Cast: Pawan Malhotra, Zoya Hussain, Wamiqa Gabbi, Anshuman Pushkar, Sahidur Rahaman
Director: Ranjan Chandel
Rating: 4 Stars