I am running late, catching up on Amitabh Bachchan’ TV magnum opus , Yudh on You Tube. I am lagging and done with ten episodes, owing to the fact that work is taking a toll on me. The time, I reach home, I crash on bed to wake up later during the night, reading blogs and making a strenuous effort to blog. Here’s my review of Week 2
Week 2 Review: Yudh
Genre: Psychological thriller
Rating: Three and a half
Creative Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Zakir Hussain, Sarika, Aahana Kumra and Mona Wasu
Director: Ribhu Dasgupta
There is the good and bad in this intelligently woven sit-com bearing the imprint of the explosive duo Amitabh Bachchan-Anurag Kahsyap. The best thing about Yudh is the tight script and screenplay weaved together coupled with brilliant performances that makes it a winner if you believe in intelligent television shows. However, what works against Yudh in Week 2 is that at times, it borrows from tried-and-tested formulas shown in movies which, somewhat, diminishes its credibility. Having said that, the stand out cum stellar performances of all the actors, brilliant execution of scenes and direction hold the audience in sway and manage to sustain the suspense-cum-heart pounding action.
Certainly, Episode 7 is one of the best episodes showcased in Week 2. Amitabh Bachchan as Yudh is simply brilliant during his monologue at the press conference, his voice choking with emotion and body language going in sync with the character when he speaks about his illness. It shows that Bachchan is an institution of acting and the sheer brilliance as well as restrained performance is something one must sit and watch in awe. The intensity in his eyes expression cannot be matched by none as he delivers a power-packed performance on par with any Hollywood actor, if not better. I have always maintained that Indian actors are way ahead than their Hollywood counterparts and the areas where Hindi cinema is lacking are scripts, screenplay and technicalities.
The episode has the right emotional dose and the heart-wrenching scenes-cum-clash between Yudh and Taruni (Aahana Kumra) deserves applause. It remains one of the highlights and best scenes of the terrific episode 7. Aahana is simply brilliant as the doctor and the daughter torn between the love for her father and fiance. She matches the histrionics of the legend at every step and proves her mettle as an actor. Mona (Wasu) is another TV actor that is natural and at ease in front of the camera. Her body language is something to watch for and she looks like a fiercely independent and corporate person. I have a certain prejudice-rightly so-against the debiliating Saas-Bahu crap unfurled on the Idiot box but also against actors. I take back my words. There are actors like Mona Wasu and Aahana Kumra who have done a fine job on Yudh. It shows that, if given the right script, direction and sensible material, they can deliver wonder on screen. A pat on the back for Mona Wasu and Aahana Kumra whose work in Yudh will only up their stock as actors.
Please somebody tell Anurag Kashyap to call the joker off. It’s getting irritating and boring now with the sadistic laugh which is so scary and quite a put off. In the start, it was somewhat appealing but looks like the makers are filling the gap which shows during the episodes. Episode 8 lost its freshness that was so successfully built during Episode 7 and it has gone a bit over-the-top with tried-and-tested formula. At times, the whole narration and sequences seem to have gone wrong. It lacks pace at times, not to say, sunking into dull moments and dreariness.
Enter new villains, political conspiracy and the joker having a ball of its time. Despite the minuses, Episode 10 comes across as a very interesting episode with tight narrative and Bachchan in superb form as the real estate magnate. The way he corners the corrupt minister is one of the forte of this episode which re-affirms his strength not just as an actor but brings us back to the Bachchan of the 70s and 80s where absolute nothing could conquer him. Simply superb. Mona and Aahana are not very far behind. Both actors got their moments to showcase their talent and shine through. Episode 10, I would say belong to Mona (Wasu) and Aahana Kumra who get things rolling up and call the shots, sustaining both drama and suspense. Brilliant.
Despite the minuses and, of course, more editing needed to make the screenplay tight, Week 2 garners the audience interest with Bachchan’s brilliant monologue, Aahana and Mona’s natural performances coupled with suspense that marks the end. Certainly, Yudh is no master-piece but brings alone a dash of hope where makers should dabble with intelligent projects to make sit-com a brilliant affair. Let’s take the positives and hope Yudh goes a long way in changing the destiny of TV.