Multiple marriages that occur for reasons ranging from honour, to contracts, to compromises (never love, mind you); love polygons that make one shudder and thank their stars that Ekta Kapoor isn’t God and cannot unleash such romantic complexities in real life ; a highly inept Yamraj who can never seem to kill a person without a minimum of three failed attempts ; female protagonists that re-define (and re-divine) the awful “Bhartiya Nari” stereotype until your brain dies of exposure to too much inhuman goodness ; male leads who spend their screen time playing Superman and saving the damsel, who is naturally and very becomingly, always in distress.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re sick and tired of slaying your common sense at the altar of such thoughtless entertainment, now is the time to welcome redemption.
Now is the time to let your jaws drop, shed tears of happiness and put your hands together for Rishta.com, a Yash Raj Telefilms and SET India venture that – lo and behold – not only entertains – but also – hold your breath- makes sense!
Isha Mirchandani (Shruti Seth) and Rohan Mehra (Kavi Shastri), opposites to the hilt but sharing a knack for matchmaking, run a successful matrimonial bureau called Rishta.com.
While Isha is sincere, straight-laced, and serious, Rohan is carelessly naughty, bitingly witty and quite flirtatious. Add to them the eternally nervous, work-obsessed and yet childlike Huzefa Ali, CEO of the company and the sassy ,gorgeous and exciting Ruchika Mehra, Public Relations and Marketing Head – and we have a delightful potpourri of characters that are remarkable as well as relatable.
Every one hour episode covers their encounters with interesting clients (ranging from a psychic woman to a single mother to a bar girl and so on), even while building up to the main climax.
Rishab Seth’s deft direction and conceptualization more than compensates for the lack of herioc moments, earth shattering twists or storylines that keep you prancing in curiosity. While other serials fling you into a tornado of loud music, over the top dialogues, bewildering morals and overwhelming stupidity, Rishta.com is a breeze of mildly blowing wind that caresses the soul and the senses.
The novel simplicity of treatment, the artfulness with which each scene ties to the climax, the subtlety with which undercurrents of thought-provoking messages have been woven into the episodes, the shades of grey that peep out from every character, the complete lack of any thing larger than life, the understated humour, the absence of blaring, inappropriate background music, the freshness – makes this show a masterpiece that must not be missed by anyone who
does not have a detachable brain and hence, cannot be entertained by other serials, yet, wishes to be entertained.
The acting is refreshingly realistic and powerful. Shruti Seth of Shararat fame is restrained and impactful in her rendition of Isha, while Kavi Shastri brings the cynical wit and hidden large-heartedness of Rohan Mehra to life effortlessly.
Kavin Dave is terrific in his comic timing and Kiren Jogi plays the part of the woman who has sex appeal as well as a brain, with perfection.
Even the cameos are well-cast and leave an indelible impression. The viewers are pulled into the story right from the first scene of the first episode.
Anyone who watches the show, lives six months of their time with Rohan, Isha, Huzefa and Ruchika, shares their joys, sorrows, amusements and difficulties.
There is absolutely no opportunity to flinch at conspicuous fakeness, as with other soaps. The characters are credible and the actors dexterous, a rare combination that is fatally addictive!
Script and Dialogues
For the first time in the not-so-glorious history of Indian Television, happened shows that have bound scripts for 26-episode seasons. Rishta has been conceptualised, written and conceived by Rishab Seth, and this singular unity of treatment further enhances the neat meaningfulness of the “romcom”.
The script is not scarred by bloopers, unnecessary deviations, random introduction of characters, or anything that might not happen in real life, to real people. The dialogues and the reactions are very flesh-and-blood, and hence all the more enjoyable.
Another first that YRF gifts to the Indian Television is the use of high-quality red cameras for shooting the serials, which further refines the look of the show. The corporate setting is natural and plush and certainly amplifies the charm of Rishta.
Rishta.com is a bold attempt to revive quality television, of the league of Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai, Hip Hip Hurray, DekhBhaiDekh, Love Story, etc.
Anyone who holds any claim to being a couch potato, MUST give it a shot and rest assured, the last episode shall leave you not just satisfied and entertained, but also bettered as a person. [Now off-air, all the 26 episodes of this show can be accessed on youtube.com/setindia. Do yourself a favour, GO WATCH!]
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