For all the millennials and the early Gen Z kids, Jaaved Jaaferi holds a special place. Back in the ’90s, not only was he winning hearts showing off his dance moves in Boogie Woogie, but also making everyone go ROFL with his hilarious commentary to the dubbed Japanese game show, Takeshi’s Castle. Now, he is back to do the same with the Netflix show, Lava Ka Dhaava.
Jaaved Jaaferi’s voice is terrific even today, and the way he modulates his tone with varied accents is sure to crack you up. His usage of the Marathi dialect mixed with a bit of Gujarati and a tinge of Bengali, makes it even funnier. Chances are that you would catch yourself being engrossed in his commentary rather than keeping up with the chaotic goings-on on the screen. With just his multi-faceted voice, he makes this game show come alive. He is really fantastic.
But, can I say the same about the game show? Sadly NO! It’s an old and dilapidated concept of a game show, which even the ’90s kids wouldn’t want to see today. To add to that, the same game show is available on Netflix in its original form titled Floor Is Lava. So, if I have to even see this 3-decades-old concept of a game show, at least I would watch it in its original form!
The traps and the obstacles shown in each episode get too boring after you’ve seen the first team perform. By the time the second and the third team are performing you’ll be left yawning. While the show wants to make you relive the joys of Takeshi’s Castle, it fails miserably. That game show had members of different teams participate side by side so that you’re also brought into the mode of competition. Seeing the other team perform better you are bound to make more mistakes and thereby create funny situations for the viewers.
In Lava Ka Dhaava, one team is performing alone, and therefore, the winner is just going to be decided at the end on how much time you used up in the entirety. The swiftness of Takeshi’s Castle is missing. Contestants are not running constantly and falling into the water aka Lava. They’re sitting or standing and taking long pauses to think whether or not they should make a certain jump. This makes the episodes long and boring.
Lava Ka Dhaava is a boring game show whose concept is still stuck in the 1980s. Indeed Jaaferi’s tremendous dubbing boosts the show, but for the fans of Takeshi’s Castle, this is a big let-down; and for the rest, why even bother? Maybe hear it as a podcast just to enjoy Jaaved Jaaferi quirky commentary; sadly Netflix doesn’t give you that option.
I am going with 1.5 stars, just for Jaaved Jaaferi’s brilliance.
Title: Lava Ka Dhaava
Cast: Jaaved Jaaferi
Rating: 1.5 stars