Ishq Mein Marjawan has what it takes to keep you at the edge of your seats *Review*

Colors newest addition Ishq Mein Marjawan produced by Beyond Dreams Productions premiered on 20th Sept 2017 and I have to say the show definitely has the potential to spark audience’ interest and it has. From the very first teaser this romantic & revenge suspense thriller has managed to create an air of mystery and intrigue around the story, and the first to two episodes aired has also managed to retain the same mystery element making it an interesting watch.

The show takes off with a wide shot of an extravagant hotel in Shimla. The camera then zooms into the hotel, through the passages finally landing on a woman clad in black (Alisha Panwar). She enters a room which is occupied by another woman and within minutes the former injects the latter with some kind of drug rendering her unconscious. Next the woman in black makes herself comfortable in the room and it is then we see the unconscious woman – all taped up to a rotating mirror. The scene ends with the former killing the letter for committing the unholy sin of adultery; which apparently is unforgivable -PERIOD. The blood splatter makes the woman in black uncomfortable and she decides to take a shower. The scene that follows introduces us to our female lead Aarohi Kashyap (Alisha Panwar) who is in the shower. She finishes showering, dries herself and goes to meet her Bhabhi. Aarohi’s Bhabhi (Sister-In-Law) accuses her of lying and does not believe Aarohi’s story as to why she took a late night shower or where she was and what time she had come home.

The way the scenes are placed makes you wonder if there is any connection between the first and second scene or whether they are two entirely different ones. Wondering why the confusion? Because of the show’s synopsis that was splashed all across the internet which said that the female lead Aarohi has a look like who happens to be a psycho murderess. But the way the episode played out makes it impossible to take that excerpt at face value. If the makers’ primary goal was to keep the audiences guessing then they have managed to accomplish that quite skillfully – Congratulations on a job well done!!! The story synopsis explicitly states two women but the way Aarohi reacts to certain questions, and the way certain scenes are executed gives you the impression of thing being the exact opposite. Club episode 1 and 2 together and your mind races with several questions, the most basic ones being – are there two women? or Is Aarohi leading two lives? or Is Aarohi suffering from Multiple personality disorder? or is there something entirely different going on. Scenes such as Aarohi giving her coat (Similar to the one the murderess wore) to an elderly woman to keep her warm and saying that the coat has served its purpose for more times than she can count or one where she is stupefied when the contents of her bag spills revealing a big knife (Similar to the one the murderess used) etc. sends your mind on a spin.

You may ask ‘Can’t it be that the makers are deliberately trying to make it looks like Aarohi has some secret when in reality it could be nothing?’ – Of course it is possible. It is entirely possible that Aarohi is a sweet-simple girl. That her dialogues, expressions and secrecy etc. are just to mislead the audience and nothing more, but if that is the scenario then you’ve got to admit that the creative team, the writers and the director are doing a rather shoddy job because the whole thing looks fairly unconvincing and unnatural. If Aarohi is indeed a sweet-simple girl and has a secret which isn’t as scandalous as being a serial killer why make it look like one? Why not keep it more natural? But even then this is a win-win situation because it does pave way for the above mentioned confusion which is a definite plus.

The next prominent scene is Inspector Laksh (Vineet Raina) assessing the ‘Scene of the crime’. We learn that there have been other killings in the same fashion in Shimla thereby branding this as a serial killing with a serial killer or rather female serial killer on the loose. Yes, Laksh deduces that the killer is a woman, and is confident of his assessment even when his superior officer points out that no woman wears a size 10 shoe.

The interesting thing about this scene is that the makers dive right into the heart of the matter which makes it quite interesting. Though a suspense thriller we get the basic details right in the first episode which is quite riveting. However the investigation scenes lack authenticity and that is truly something the team should work on. It is a murder investigation, a serial killer is on the loose and even if this is not a crime-drama like ‘The Fall’ or ‘24’, as long as there is an investigative angle to the show it would really enhance the quality of the show if the screenplay was more crisply written and the scenes were executed the same way. For e.g. the banter between Inspector Laksh and his subordinates who had lined up the hotel staff to check for size 10 shoes in episode 2 was so bland that it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It doesn’t have to be all serious but it does not have to be too laidback either. Getting carried away while writing a scene or track or when executing it; is a trend when it comes to Indian soaps but toning it down in this particular scenario would make a remarkable difference. Also is it really necessary that the investigating officer is a douche-bag filled with arrogance? Wasn’t that the reason that an eye-witness managed to escape and ended up being dead?

The introduction of the shows hero or was it anti-hero Deep Raichand (Arjun Bijlani) was shown in a rather elaborate fashion which has become a common trend when it comes to the introduction of a business tycoon-ish hero. He is shown crazily following a woman in his car leading to a high speed chase – the cinematography of which was excellent- which ends with Deep saving the young woman from an imminent threat in the form a thug who lay hidden in the trunk of her car. The woman apologizes to Deep for misunderstanding him as the serial killer and also thanks him for saving her life. The handsome tycoon accepts both, bids adieu and walks past the woman even when she tries to strike up a conversation with him. This is when Deep’s trusted employee Shera provides the audience with the information that no woman has been able to capture Deep’s heart and that he is still searching for his ‘Sapno ki Rani’. But that situation is rectified almost immediately when Deep Raichand sets his eye on the lovely Aarohi.

In a rather interesting shot the hero gets the first ‘jhalak’ of his heroine through a mirror that was being transported. Aarohi manages to grab Deep’s attention beyond a shadow of doubt because the next scene highlights him following Aarohi completely transfixed by her. But what grabs your attention is Deep’s expression(s). It is hard to pinpoint what his feelings are or what he is thinking. Is he enamored by her beauty? Is he shocked? Is he relieved? Is he worried? It is simply hard to tell and dialogues such as “Bhoot nahi, bhavishya dekh liya. Aage bhatakne ki zaroorat nahi padegi” (Not past, I saw my future. I don’t have to wander anymore) don’t make it easier.

Fate brings Aarohi before Deep once again; this time in a restaurant when Aarohi’s food flies from her fork and lands on Deep during the food tug of war at her table. Aarohi apologizes to Deep for ruining his suit and in the process ruins it again. Deep accuses Aarohi of double murder (double ruination of his suit) and asks if she is a serial killer which instantly catches her attention, and just like that the change in Aarohi’s character makes you wonder once again if she is truly a serial killer or the simple girl who was just engaged in a tug of war for food. A normal person would be puzzled by the use of such a term; some may feel it funny or rather rude. But Aarohi doesn’t display any such emotion. Rather it is like somebody has called a spade – a spade. Deep immediately clarifies that he was joking and asks Aarohi out on a date. Aarohi is amused by Deep’s casualness on asking her out on a date but leaves without answering the question.

In an intercut between Aarohi and Deep we see the former telling her friend the reasons as to why she wouldn’t go out with a guy like Deep. She confides that she is not interested in a man like Deep because he is rich; which according to her paves way for arrogance. She wants a man who is simple like her because she feels that such people are not show offs. Deep on the other hand is impressed by the fact that she is a simple girl and therefore not a show off. He is confident that she will not only come for the date but also agree to marriage. Shocking that a first meeting which is not even a meeting has already fuelled Deep’s interest in the girl to the point where he is even thinking about marriage. Why the rush? True, love at first sight is not a novel concept but it sure is suspicious when it lacks the usual conviction that one sees while exploring such an angle.

But Ishq Mein Marjawan sure scores Brownie point for Deep-Aarohi rain scene in the second episode where Deep meets with Aarohi after the latter skipped their date. While Deep puts his best ‘charming’ foot forward and tries to talk his way into Aarohi’s heart be it by stopping her from apologizing for not coming to the date or looking at her as though she is the only woman on earth. Aarohi gets straight to the point and tells Deep that she is not the right girl for him and that he was doing a mistake. Deep counters this by saying that he is happy to commit such a beautiful mistake, but Aarohi is unwilling to be a part of it, and therefore asks him what he knows about her. Deep gazes into her eyes and says he does not know anything but wishes to. She is surprised by his resolve but walks away from their moment by saying that she is not interested in him. Deep however is very interested in Aarohi, and if the synopsis of the show, what we have seen in the promos is true then Deep is all set to orchestrate a fairy tale love; and that is definitely going to be one to look out for whether it is true or fake love because the man is definitely capable of seizing hearts. SIGH!

Coming to the performances Arjun Bijlani impresses as Deep Raichand – the handsome, most eligible bachelor and successful hotelier in Shimla. Despite having essayed a suit wearing business entrepreneur in his last show Pardes Mein Hai Mera Dil; Arjun stands out as Deep Raichand. He is handsome, charming, successful, confident and in search of the ‘woman of his dreams’ and Arjun nails the act. He successfully builds an air of mystery surrounding him where the viewers are unsure as to what they should expect from his character. Alisha Panwar’s nails the ‘Murderess’ act when compared to Aarohi – which truth be told pales before the former. Though the actress needs to work rigorously on both her dialogue delivery and expressions both of which makes it difficult to connect with her characters especially Aarohi; she nails the expressions part when it comes to the murderess. Cold-calculative eyes and demeanor, the bored smirk (More prominent in episode 2) Alisha is more convincing as the vindictive killer when compared to Aarohi Kashyap. Vineet Raina is a wonderful actor but as of now he is being wasted in a show with a poorly written character. As an investigating officer which quick assessment prowess and a smart mouth Vineet plays what is asked of his character, but like I mentioned above it needn’t be limited to just being an arrogant police officer who has serious conversations with his phone app.

Though Aarohi was on her way to meet Deep for their date, she skillfully skips it and goes elsewhere. Where? What did she mean when she said to her friend that her life’s agenda is something else? How did the killer know where to find the eye-witness who was running away from the cops? With so many questions in tow Ishq Mein Marjawan sure has managed to get the viewers tangled in this web of murder, mystery and very soon mohabbat. We sure hope that the forthcoming episodes are as intriguing and the show will truly be a breath of fresh air when compared to the same old drama which dominates the Indian Television scenario.

What about you? Did you find the show interesting? Leave your comments in the box below.

Author : Vijitha R.

One Comment;

  1. Tazeen said:

    Well penned review which has piqued my.interest . Thanks to Vijita R I’ve started watching the show which seems to be different from the rest .