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Web Series Review | Grahan: An emotional knockout

Grahan is a relevantly human & dramatically moving piece of art with refined performance

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The ‘Grahan’ web series review is here. Inspired from Satya Vyas’ novel ‘Chaurasi’, Grahan is presented by Jar Pictures. Created by Shailendra Jha and directed by Ranjan Chandel, Grahan will premiere on Disney+Hotstar Specials on June 24, 2021. Grahan stars Pavan Malhotra, Zoya Hussain, Anshuman Pushkar, Wamiqa Gabbi, Teekam Joshi and Sahidur Rahman in pivotal roles

Grahan Web Series Review

An inhuman holocaust, dark secrets, two worlds, politics and almost three decades of life stitched through a pious truth with tapestry of love, faith, fate and humanity.

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Smartly titled Grahan (which means both eclipse and acceptance), the web series Grahan created by Shailendra Jha and directed by Ranjan Chandel is an emotional knockout that scores high with its striking humanity amidst the horrific devastation of 1984 anti-Sikh riots in a dramatically moving 8 episodes show that showcases some brilliant acting as well.

Aaaj bhi wohi haalat hai, ya toh hum unke saath ho saktein hai ya unke khilaf (today also the situation is the same, either you are with them or against them), says Chunnu aka Sanjay Singh (Teekam Joshi) to Guru Sevak (Pavan Raj Malhotra). The dialogue is the mirror of truth even today. You can either be ‘left’ or ‘right’ there is no middle path.

Inspired from Satya Vyas novel ‘Chaurasi’, Grahan is set during the early 80’s, it’s the story of Rishi Ranjan (Anshumaan Pushkar) and Manu (Wamiqa Gabbi) in Bokaro. The situation in Punjab is tense and one day the shocking news of the assassination of Madam Ji (Flora Jacob – modelled on India’s ex PM Indira Gandhi) creates a turmoil in Bokaro. Nearly thirty years later, circumstances force young IPS officer Amrita Singh (Zoya Hussain) to land in Bokaro and things don’t remain the same.

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The team is of eight writers for this eight episode period drama. The writers Anu Singh Choudhary, Navjot Gulati, Prateek Payodhi, Vibha Singh, Ranjan Chandel, Shailendra Kumar Jha and consulting writers Karan Anshuman and Ananya Modi with captain of the ship – the director Ranjan Chandel create a touchy and disturbing picture in a finely narrated tale which is full of melodrama and nostalgia.

Detailing is noticed – radio, the songs of movies actually released in those times – Hero, Himmatwala, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, etc. those who relish the old retro times and are fans of Bollywood action romance drama will love it.

Performances

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Pavan Malhotra once again proves that he is an actor par excellence. Zoya Hussain as SP Amrita Singh is commendable.

Anshumaan Pushkar as Rishi – an interesting cross between late Mazhar Khan and Amitabh Bachchan in different angles is amazingly natural.

Wamiqa Gabbi as Manu is charming. Teekam Joshi as the cunning fox Chunnu is fabulous.

Sahidur Rahman as DSP Vikas Mandal is marvellously realistic.

Technicalities

The production designer Wasiq Khan creates an apt era of the 80’s. Cinematography by Kamaljeet Negi is outstanding. Editing by Shan Mohammad is smooth. Songs by Amit Trivedi are in sync with the momentum.

Flaws

Grahan, at times gets unnecessarily repetitive and easily falls prey to escapism. It had the potential to be a much better art, maybe even a masterpiece and has a terrific pre climax but falls into the populist escapist track. Some things go unexplained.

Final words

Holocaust has been a worldwide phenomenon. There are many things made for screen on holocaust. Some are good, some are bad and yes, they do remind us of those wounds which trigger debate. But only few of them are able to use the holocaust as a relevantly human and dramatically moving piece of art with refined performance. Grahan is one of them.

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