Kunal Nirmal Kothari
Cast - Kritika Kamra, Gaurav Khanna, Sudesh Berry, Chandan Anand, Harsh Vasishta, Abhishek Awasthi, Puneet Vashist and Ankit Arora.
Produced By - Nikhil Sinha
Story So Far...
The saga begins with Maricha (Sudesh Berry) chasing Queen Chandrika (Kritika Kamra) who is trying to escape with the Book of Powers. However, her attempt is a fail as Maricha captures Chandrika and mentions that though he is alleged to be a traitor, it's Chandrika's husband, Harshvardhan (Gaurav Khanna) who is a traitor.
And as you must have already expected, the damsel is in distress, so it's a given that the hero will come and rescue her. Enters Harshvardhan in the most shoddy and eye-popping VFX supported graphics to rescue his wife. After a hilariously unbelievable chase sequence and a mini-battle, Harshvardhan captures Maricha and orders his men to hide the book in the most secretive chamber of the realm.
What follows is some 'Ooh La La' romance and sensuality, post which Harshvardhan and Chandrika sit for the puja for the book to be hidden in that chamber. However, things are not going to be that easy, are they?
A captured Maricha somehow manages to escape and directly attacks Chandrika when she is assembling the book. A spear is carved right through her and Harshvardhan is shocked. What follows next is a massive battle, where Harshvardhan thinks he has won, but unfortunately, he hasn't.
A beheaded Maricha suddenly plants his head back and launches an arrow at Harshvardhan. But thanks to a still-somehow-alive Chandrika, who puts the book as a missing piece in the puzzle, the arrow cannot touch Harshvardhan and leads to destruction otherwise.
In the most 70's filmy style, a dying Chandrika is in the arms of Harshvardhan, who just puts a spear through himself just to fulfill his promise, 'jeeyenge saath saath, marenge saath saath.' They are dead with the words, "See you in the next birth, dude." Well, not exactly the same words!
Now, Chandrika is the beautiful and desirable princess Chandrakanta who is hot, sensuous and has a bathing scene to prove that. In a parallel world of Chunargadh, we are introduced to Harshvardhan-reincarnated, Virendra Singh (Gaurav Khanna) who is under the wings of an old Maricha now, where he can even kill for Maricha. Maricha orders him to go and kill Maan Singh and Virendra happily obliges.
After a series of the proof of how desirable Chandrakanta is and how brutal Virendra is, the duo has an anticipated face-off. Virendra, who is about to kill Maan Singh stops at the call of Chandrakanta and their eye contact makes both of them feel rather awkward. Apparently, this happens to be the first time when Virendra has lost and he fails to accept his defeat. A furious yet perplexed Virendra, who was returning home now goes back and kills Maan Singh.
On the other hand, Chandrakanta's father is unwillingly planning to get his daughter married to Shivdutt (Ankit Arora), a cunning playboy. The 'bad man' is on cloud nine on learning that he is going to get married to Chandrakanta. Back home, Chandrakanta is upset learning about the fixation of marriage with Shivdutt. While her father tries to coax her, Chandrakanta neither fully agrees nor disagrees to the proposal.
Will Chandrakanta get married to Shivdutt? Or will she realize that Virendra is her soulmate? Only time will tell.
When we talk about a fantasy show being presented on celluloid, how can we not talk about the opulent setting that it has to offer! 'Prem Ya Paheli? - Chandrakanta' is a visual spectacle when it comes to the treatment of the sets, costumes and even jewelry. You certainly feel that you are in 'Fantasy Land.'
Apart from the grandeur, the background score adds to the thrills and chills of the scenes. Be it high-octane action sequences or mellowed emotional scenes, the background score is soothing.
While the visual treatment is fantastic, the VFX is a shoddy piece of work. Indian TV space is finally growing on this factor, but 'Chandrakanta' is miles away from 'believable' special effects.
Also, while the background score is a treat, the actual soundtracks in the show lowers the interest percentage drastically. There is an original soundtrack for the show which really needs to be worked upon.
Before we get to the actors' performances, there are instances when the quality of voice an actor mouth's is being tampered with. Be it Gaurav's voice sounding huskier than usual or Kritika's voice sounding toned down than usual. The actors are known for their personalities and this tampering is not welcoming.
Kritika Kamra is the prime reason to watch the show. Her presence in the show is enigmatic and startling, to say the least. In a matter of a couple of episodes, she has already played so many shades of her character and aced convincingly. The core requirement of the show was to have an actress playing Chandrakanta who would swoon over one and all. And oh boy! Kritika does manage to do that. She looks like a dream and is absolutely fantastic at her job.
Gaurav Khanna has also managed to give in a solid performance by playing a brave and romantic king to a fierce and heartless warrior. His eyes do the talking and his portrayal of emotions has been spot on. With a few off moments, he manages to cover up with a lot of promise.
Sudesh Berry usually doesn't need much to elevate his performance, where his voice does the job for him most of the time. Playing the antagonist, Sudesh is brilliant as the cruel Maricha and does seem like a force to be reckoned with.
The rest of the cast is good, but it is the lead cast that overshadows them.
A grandiose setting, an extravagant treatment and some convincing performances make 'Prem Ya Paheli? Chandrakanta' a show to look forward to. Courtesy the brilliant screen presence and performance by Kritika Kamra, the show certainly gets extra points. Fantasy shows have a twisted fate usually, but if there is a show that can break the assumed success formula of such shows, then it is 'Chandrakanta.' There are several flaws that can be worked upon and the show may look upon it in the near future.