Critics Corner review

‘Bhanwar’ Deserves Applause for The Sheer Attempt of Making a ‘Full-Packaged’ Show in Lockdown

Two fugitives, Ranvir (Karanvir Bohra) and Kanika (Priya Banerjee) manage to find a lavish house to stay with 20 crores rupees of cash where they witness the weirdest of occurrences and even experience time travel surrounding a mystery.

2020-08-20T11:12:00Z

We are in testing times and it is no secret that everybody is trying their best to make the most of this uncalled spare time in their hands being stuck in lockdown. However, to be able to ideate, write, shoot, and present a web series in this period is indeed a feat in itself.

Actor Karanvir Bohra, who needs no introduction in the telly world made his directorial debut with the recently released sci-fi thriller, Bhanwar on Zee5. Having watched all the episodes, here’s what we thought about it-

Two fugitives, Ranvir (Karanvir Bohra) and Kanika (Priya Banerjee) manage to find a lavish house to stay with 20 crore rupees of cash where they witness the weirdest of occurrences and even experience time travel surrounding a mystery.

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Having now crossed almost six months of being in lockdown, to be able to even envision a story that is not about it, and shoot it accordingly is a feat in itself. It isn’t that we haven’t seen presentations shot in lockdown, about lockdown coming in; but as we know, all of them have the obvious limitations being highlighted. We can see actors shooting like it is a skype call, we can see that they aren’t actually present with each other in all of them. So, with Bhanwar, not only does the show becomes one of the first ones in the Hindi language exploring the concept of time travel but also to be the first ‘fully-packaged’ show that even though shot and presented entirely in lockdown doesn’t remind you that it is.

Coming to the show itself, having such a juicy concept that is of time travel, the script doesn’t do any justice to it and it ends up being a constantly questionable plot with unsolved mysteries. Making his directorial debut, Bohra deserves applause in attempting something so brave and edgy but none of that can shadow the limitations and challenges that the storyline possesses. The acting, dialogues, and even the base plot is too shoddy to be taken seriously except for some good moments.

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The background score, setting, and ideation deserve more recognition because one can only imagine the absolute challenge it must have been considering it is shot with minimal crew and just five actors (majorly, just two actors) inside a house. While we understand and applaud these aspects, it isn’t a surety that the viewers will, and for them to be watching this show as an independent one may be a divided experience. Another debated aspect of the show is the runtime of its episodes where some might love the fact that any episode is not more than 12 minutes long (one even being just under 10 minutes) while some might wonder why not cram it into a lesser number of episodes and make a more complete experience.

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The show ends on a cliffhanger with a mystery and possible Season 2. Ultimately, while it is a brave attempt indeed but that isn’t enough to hide the obvious issues with the show leaving it entirely upon viewers to decide for it.

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