ALTBalaji Original Baarish Review: Television tries to take over streaming with it

29 . Apr . 2019
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Balaji is one of the few Indian content creators who are sailing in several boats. One, it has a successful business providing content to Indian television channels. Two, it is producing films and third, what was their bread and butter for the longest of time, producing TV series. Somewhere along the line, came ALTBalaji, the content creator who exclusively creates content for the streaming audience. They came with a bang with web series like The Test Case, Bose: Dead Or Alive and others. This past week, ALTBalaji launched their newest web series, Baarish, starring Sharman Joshi and Asha Negi. Here’s our complete review of the web series, Baarish.

Asha Negi plays a young, Maharashtrian woman who works in a jewelry shop. She lives with her parents, a young sister and another young, unmarried brother. As fate would have it, she marries the boss of the company that she works for, the too-good-to-be-true Anuj Mehta, he of Mehta Jewelers. Anuj Mehta has a younger brother, Rishi Mehta, who’s a stark contrast to Anuj’s life and life style.  The 20-episode series is about the various trials and tribulations that the couple face.

What’s wow : Baarish is an interesting look at the DNA of television entertainment that rocked the audiences in the nineties and early noughties. Sharman Joshi does a great job of bringing his character on screen. His character is too good to be true, so it requires a Sharman Joshi to make it believable. Asha Negi plays the strong-willed woman who’s on the cusp of eking out an independent life. The concept of Baarish is thought provoking as well. A woman from a poorish family marries into a rich one, with the husband having a chip on his shoulder. The premise lends itself to some interesting scenarios. If only the creators had decided to use it to its full potential.

What’s Blah : In the end, the series comes across as too much TV on the streaming platforms. Right from the screenplay to the execution, this is prime time tv at its best, or its worst, whichever way you take it. The director could have done a much better job with the art direction, but the reality isn’t going to change in an ALTBalaji web series.

The director has a penchant for blurring the reality and concentrating on the characters, creating an artificial look for everything. That, and the frustrating habit of the art director of looking – or creating – a clean, visually appealing Mumbai takes this series right back to the world of TV.

It is 2019, and the characters as well as the characteristics are too good to be true. We remember the Bade Acche Lagte Hain hype, about the consummation of the marriage. But in 2019, in a web series, setting up scenes where the newly wed husband and wife have awkward moments while sewing kurta buttons are passe and just not needed.

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This creates a problem for the audience. With the rich and poor contrast here, it’s amusing to see that none of the scenes even shows three walls of the house, whether it’s the Mehta’s or the poorer relative’s.  Any other director would have painstakingly created two different worlds – one, the cacophony of suburban Mumbai and the other being the rich and the well heeled one. Sadly, that’s not happening in an ALTBalaji web series.

Parting Shot : This is TV. If you paid for it, you are watching it.

Cast & Crew: 

Creative Director: Baljit Singh Chaddha

Dialogues: Raghuvir Shekhawat

Cast: Sharman Joshi, Asha Negi, Priya Banerjee, Vikram Singh Chauhan, Shubhangi Latkar, Benaf Patel and Sahil Shroff

Watch the trailer here :