Review: 'Ghulaam' is a SLAP to the 'Eye-Candy' concepts with several discomforting elements!

Women suppression portrayed like never before with an emotional tale of a 'Ghulaam'Rating- ***1/2 (3.5/5)

Kunal Nirmal Kothari Thumbnail

Kunal Nirmal Kothari

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Welcome to the world of violence, ruthlessness and extreme debauchery. Indian television has not witnessed something like on this on the commercial level and it gets even grittier with every passing day.

Life Ok's latest offering 'Ghulaam' is an attempt to break several notions and a lot is riding on not only the channel's expectations from the show, but also on several careers attached to the show. Now 5 episodes old, I critique the show and the several aspects attached to it.

The Story So Far..

The cruel and violent city of Behrahampur is introduced to us with the macho, strong and virile wrestler, Veer (Vikas Manaktala) who is the son of Bheema Pratap Chaudhary (Bhagwan Tiwari), a tyrannical man who rules the city with his atrocities. Veer, being the strong man he is, wins a fight after some impressive moves ('Dangal' inspired apparently) and flaunts his chiseled body and six pack abs for the ladies to drool over. However, that is the only aspect that will probably get you drooling over him, as once you know him, you may not be really look forward to be with him.'

The immediate setting is about how Bheema's men forcibly abduct a girl, Rashmi (Sareeka Dhillon) from the road to get her to marry Veer and that is their norm. However, Rashmi becomes a rebel and acts against the atrocities refusing to back down and warning the Chaudhary family, that she will be rescued by her fiance, STS Officer, Raghav Rathore (Indraneil Sengupta).

And cut to Raghav knowing about Rashmi's abduction and planning to invade the city and rescue his lady, the flash shots are quick and grasping. On the other hand we are now introduced to two women, Oops! Lets say vicious and cunning women. i.e. Veer's mother, Gulguli Chaudhary (Zahida Parveen) and his sister-in-law, Maldawali (Ridhima Tiwari) who was once a victim like Rashmi but has now gracefully adapted to this life.

While, we would think that Maldawali would be of some support to Rashmi where she would empathise with her, we are made to realize that living with cruel people has made her equally cruel where she throws away the 'help card' Rashmi gives her to make it possible to reach Raghav.

However, as fate suggests, in the most filmy way, the card does manage to reach Raghav (don't ask how) who is already plotting his strategies.

And just then out of nowhere, there is a mention about Veer and Bheema's 'Ghulaam', Rangeela (Param Singh). With one of the most breath-taking and epic entry sequences, we are introduced to Rangeela, who is a strong and powerful man but turns to a complete baby who is dedicated to his master, Veer.

After some absolutely thrilling and jam-packed action sequences, Veer and Bheema loose to Raghav's military skills and are extremely irked about it. However, the trump card was yet to be unveiled and that is Rangeela. Veer's shouts for Rangeela and in another mysteriously heroic entry he comes and flies (yes, flies!) with his scooter and hits Raghav and the tables have turned.

After Rashmi's insistence to surrender to the Chaudharys on the condition to set Raghav free, Bheema sets Raghav free which is not accepted by Veer, who secretly tells Rangeela to finish Raghav.

Then we are introduced to the master-slave bond of Veer and Rangeela, where Veer punishes Rangeela and captures him with a noose at his feet for not going to rescue them early. Amidst all this we are also introduced to the fact that Rangeela was an orphan since birth and the Chaudharys took him under their shelter only to make him their 'Ghulaam.'

Enters, Shivani (Niti Taylor), a demure and skeptical girl who can actually give extreme competition to all the Bigg Boss cry babies of all time (Rupali Ganguly and Monalisa, for eg). She has to cross the road, she cries, she interacts with people, she cries, she follows the road directions, she cries, she keeps on crying. However, amidst being a cry baby and a scared girl, Shivani is also a sweet, innocent and docile girl who is an alien to the world's ruthlessness and lives with her uncle and aunt.

After several instances of more violence, cruelty and turpitude, we are known to the fact that Veer has to marry in 101 hours or else it will be mayhem in the man's life. And this meant that Bheema calls Rangeela who is on the mission to meet Shivani and tells him that it is his task to find that girl for Veer.

Rangeela immediately considers Shivani for Veer and promises Bheema that the marriage will happen in the stipulated time. But there is one problem and that is the girl has to marry an animal or a tree first to get the 'trial' in place and make the girl available for Veer. Hence, Bheema tells Rangeela to marry Shivani first and the same happens. Thus begins a new and dangerously scary phase for Shivani who has now entered the sinful city of Behrahampur.

How will Shivani manage to face all the malicious Chaudhary family? Will Rangeela fall in love with Shivani and betray his master? Only time will tell.

Rating - *** (3/5)

What's Good

The scale of the show is fairly opulent as it proposes a fictional city which is absolutely believable and is an absolute treat.

The dialogues are totally worthy of whistles and cheers as the timing of every powerful dialogue is bang on! From the catchphrases to the prose lines, the depth of several dialogues is absolutely brilliant.

While the visual effects of the show are a disappointment, the action is an absolute winner. The high-octane sequences which proposed immense action and adrenaline are fantastic.

The music and background score is another positive addition to the show, where the fact that is a rural backdrop is being taken into consideration. And the treatment is done in the same way as the music is raw, gritty and there are absolutely mesmerizing electric guitar tunes to it.

Rating - **** (4/5)

What's Not-So-Good

The biggest flaw of the show is its treatment to the track. From being one of the best opening episodes where the pace is fast and gripping to being an extremely slow second and third episode; the graph is very fluctuating. And overall, the track of the show has been really quick, which can be too overwhelming for the viewers to soak in.

While, the concept of the show is about the sheer rancorous happenings, the makers might have to mellow down on the execution. The Indian audience is subjective and doesn't take a long time to despise a show if they get disgusted by a a particular aspect.

Rating - ** (2/5)

The Performances

Vikas Manaktala aka Veer can be one of the prime reasons to watch this show. From being the chiseled and intimidating man to being the ruthless, malevolent and autocratic master, Vikas aces the role of the antagonist with full conviction. Apart from assimilating himself into the character, the man has given the dedication that of an actor who does so for a Bollywood film.

Param Singh aka Rangeela has beaten all odds and is fantastic as Rangeela. The actor has been mentioned about having a 'chocolate boy' look initially and there were apprehensions about him being cast in this show. However, all this has been completely destroyed as Param is brilliant as Rangeela. From emoting his best in the mellow scenes, to portraying different shades when with Veer and when with others, Param as Rangeela manages to impress.

Niti Taylor aka Shivani is the perfect accompaniment to the massive action and drama with the other two men in the frame. Adding that component of innocence and a bit of comic element, Niti as Shivani is a delight. Breaking the image from Nandini in 'Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan', Niti is here to stay and impress.

The rest of the cast which includes Bhagwan Tiwari, Zahida Parveen, Sareeka Dhillon, Ridhima Tiwari and Pradeep Duhan manages to impress with their performances; with special mentions to Bhagwan as Bheema and Zahida as Gulgili.

Also, Indraneil Sengupta's short cameo as STS Officer Raghav was fantastic and one to be remembered for a long time.

Rating - **** (4/5)

The Verdict

Amidst extreme debauchery, callous acts and jaw-dropping action, 'Ghulaam' certainly has the components to become a winner on the Indian television scenario. Backed with fantastic performances with an aptly put cast, the show has the look and feel of being a rating topper. However, it will come down to how this delicate' topic is being treated on television, as such a topic doesn't take much time to be written off.

Rating - ***1/2 (3.5/5)

Your reaction

Indraneil Sengupta Thumbnail

Indraneil Sengupta

Vikkas Manaktala Thumbnail

Vikkas Manaktala

Zahida Parveen Thumbnail

Zahida Parveen

Bhagwan Tiwari Thumbnail

Bhagwan Tiwari

Niti Taylor Thumbnail

Niti Taylor

Param Singh Thumbnail

Param Singh

Sareeka Dhillon Thumbnail

Sareeka Dhillon

Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan poster

Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan

Ghulaam poster


MTV India thumbnail

MTV India

Life OK thumbnail

Life OK

Comments (66)

Good review IF.
Watching the show for Niti Taylor & I must say she is absolutely brilliant & exceptional in portraying Shivani.
All other cast Veer Rangeela & others are doing excellent.
Ghulaam is exciting

7 years ago

param singh loving u as rangeela which showing eery aspect of shades a person can havve

7 years ago

Niti Taylor Queen of expression, with his acting skills and natural charm conquer.

7 years ago

Niti Taylor slayed today as Shivani !! Shivani's inner turmoil,betrayal, hurt, confusion everything was beautifully expressed by her !! Way to go girl, keep smiling and shinning like always :)

7 years ago

Niti Taylor is like a breath of fresh air in world of GEC! She would surely take this character to a level where people would relate to her through her portrayal of it.
Great review, India forums!
Well summed up write up!

7 years ago

Param singh u r totally brilliant anyone can be innocent , goodie goodie bt not all can be multilayeree as ur character rangeela

Loving all the cast param -niti -vikas trio r amazing

7 years ago

Param Singh made it an awesome show with his awesome performance and expressions.

7 years ago

Loving Niti Taylor
Niti nailed Nandini Murthy very beautifully, a girl who had guts to punch the rock star of the college. The strong girl image.
Shivani, who is as innocent like a swaying leaf is too weak to handle the current situation. All I'm waiting for is her journey from being weak to growing strong!
Love you Niti Taylor.
Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan, best show everrr
Ghulaam is different from other shows.. But don't ya know that bas ek Ghulaam hai? It stands out in the crowd yo.

7 years ago

watching Ghulaam For Niti...She is Amazing love U Baby...keep Slaying...

7 years ago

Yes Ghulam is definitely rocking n main reason is The Stellar Casts...Niti-Vikas-param...
Loving bNiti Taylor/b as Shivani...Loving Ghulam

7 years ago

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