Give Yash Chopra’s Shah Rukh film Darr a gender change, have a powerfully-connected woman lust obsessively for a guy since their school days, play the strains of ‘Yeh kaali kaali ankhen’ from a second Shah Rukh film in the titles, put in a reference to ‘Palat, palat’, the scene from yet another SRK film DDLJ, and then go berserk with chopping heads.
There’s a ‘Sex nudity language suicide’ warning right on top.
But created and directed by Sidharth Sengupta, a mound of killings and goonda power are more frequent than any of the other elements mentioned in the warning.
‘Will you be my friend?” asks schoolgirl Purva, daughter of politician Akheraj Awasthi (Saurabh Shukla) who abuses, kicks, maims and kills cops and other sundry officials with impunity. Vicky, the boy she fancies, says ‘No’.
What Purva wants, her father gets for her.
Vikrant (Tahir Raj Bhasin) grows up with dimples, an engineering degree and a streak of independence. Purva (Anchal Singh) and her desire for Vicky grow together.
Standing between Vicky and his modest dream life are the political mafia and parental pressure. Vicky aspires to break free from Akheraj’s oppressive town and settle down elsewhere with Shikha (Shweta Tripathi), the girl he deeply loves. But his sycophantic and indebted family, piloted by father Suryakant (Brijendra Kala), Akheraj’s loyal accountant, push Vicky towards Purva.
That’s the plot.
In Rome, you don’t take on the Pope. Surrounded by her ruthlessly scheming father and male cousin Dharmesh (Surya Sharma) who doubles up as a henchman, Purva’s machinations bring heaps of grief to the love story of Vicky and Shweta.
People are hacked to pieces and thrown in the river, Purva’s obsession can’t be doused, and Vicky looks hapless most of the time. Anahata Menon’s story with Varun Badola also pitching in as writer-director, isn’t sure of its characters as a sidekick called Golden (Anant Joshi) hovers between loyalty to Vicky and obsequiousness before Akheraj Awasthi.
Vicky’s family, easy targets for Akheraj, are brought in and out of the screenplay at convenience. Left largely and inexplicably untouched in several episodes, they suddenly surface in the David and Goliath war between Vicky and the Awasthis. Or bandook versus hawai chappals, as this Netflix puts it.
Nowhere in Vicky, sorry David’s grandiose plans to take down the Goliaths, is there a semblance of engineering precision. He plans without a rupee in his pocket. It’s like planning from the guts without a thought in the head.
When new devil Arunoday Singh arrives with acid, guns and knives for more killings, who’s killing who no longer counts. With complications that don’t add up to a gripping watch, it’s general clumsiness all around. Criminals muff up, an assassin has breathing problems not acclimatised to heights, Vicky is more naïve than heroic, a slipshod accountant who’s been around for decades doesn’t know a CCTV camera is watching him, and nobody has a clue that there are things called google history or call record data.
Add shots of a TV anchor doing a poor imitation of Arnab Goswami.
By the time you get to the last episode, you can’t help wondering that with all that Vicky ends up doing to get Shweta, what’s the difference between him and Purva?
Usually, when a show starts as a flashback, it returns to where it started. But Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhen does not go back to the first scene, it’s saved as a spillover to the next season.
But yes, the cliffhanger in the last scene is a good hook.
Watch Kaali Kaali Aankhein Trailer: