ALTBalaji has been bringing home brewed content for Indian audiences since a while. Their concepts and ideas have been markedly different from the stories that were prevalent on their TV shows. They started out with horror, and then with extra marital affairs and all that – but the content began sliding into the well-known territory after a while. Now, the platform is home to Dil Hi Toh Hai, the brand-new series that has created quite a buzz online. The first two episodes are out now and here’s our review of what the show is currently.
Dil Hi Toh Hai tells the story of a rich family, who has made their fortunes in bio tech. the family comprises of the grandmother, her daughter, his wife, and their children. One of their children, Ritwick (Karan Kundra) is apparently the hottest thing in town and women are swooning over him. But he is a known womaniser who has already ditched someone – the female friend of that someone wants to avenge the insult and unwittingly meets him at a party – the party where Ritwik’s father is announcing retirement and passing the mantle to the son, Ritwik.
What’s Wow: Nothing
What’s Blah: Dil Hi Toh Hai, to put it mildly, is different from all the other series that you will ever see on a streaming platform. This is the same concept of old and is so typical Balaji that you wonder whether this was a series that was supposed to be on TV and they decided to put it up on the streaming channel.
The credits tell us the concept is Ekta Kapoor’s. Did she really come up with the story of a doctor falling in love with the son of a business family in 2018, for the streaming audiences? Like, seriously?
It’s 2018, and three women go all screechy because of a pregnancy scare. That scene is handled with all the understated art of a bull rampaging through a China shop. Then, there’s this scene where a woman refuses a marriage proposal because the man says that he will allow her to work (emphasis on the word allow).
We get it, all these things have happened and will happen, but do we really need scenes portraying these to be handled with the 90s directorial skills?
The screenplay plays out every tv cliché – the female protagonist saving a patient’s life, the head of the family over possessive – in a cute way – of the women of his family, all that and so much more – the mind boggles. Muzammil Desai, the director, needs to relook at the craft that’s needed to make a concept work on the streaming platforms.
What really stands out is the art direction. The ALTBalaji web series seem to be shot in a place that’s clinically clean. In Dil Hi Toh Hai, the audience cannot differentiate between the living standards and conditions of a super-rich family and a nurse/doctor who’s decided to work for four more years before settling down.
The performances don’t help too. All the people playing the characters seem to have walked out of a Balaji teleserial – right off. Karan Kundra, Yogita Bihani, Asmita Sood, Bijay Anand, Poonam Dhillon – none of them are streaming ready.
The background music is cacophony. When you understand that the director wants an ear-splitting soundtrack to denote the emotion of the sequence, you know the amount of confidence he or she has in the material or their directorial skill – or what they think of the audience’s intelligence. You literally cannot hear the dialogues 70 percent of the time because of the ear-splitting background soundtrack.
Parting Shot: Looks like ALTBalaji wants to bring the TV trope to the streaming platforms.
Cast: Karan Kundra, Yogita Bihani, Asmita Sood, Bijay Anand, Poonam Dhillon
Director: Muzammil Desai
Dil Hi Toh Hai is streaming on ALTBalaji now.
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