MADHUBALA – EK ISHQ EK JUNOON review: Very filmi!

It’s a world of cinema explored by television. Colors’ new daily soap Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon catches your attention with its name. Initially, when the promos were aired, speculation was rife that the show was based on the yesteryear actor Madhubala

A few episodes into screening and we learn that the story is completely different.

The Gist: Madhubala- Ek Ishq Ek Junoon is the story of a girl (Drashti Dhami) who is born on a Bollywood set, but has no affection for it. Circumstances force her to take up acting and to everyone’s surprise she has a talent no one had to hone. Madhubala sets out to achieve a dream that was originally her sister’s (Aarti Puri).

Latest Update: The first two weeks narrate a prelude to Madhubala’s birth. Balraj Chaudhary (Raj Zutshi) and Padmini (Pallavi Purohit) are expecting a baby. Balraj and his mother, Badi Chaudhrain (Shagufta Ali) rejoice as Dai Maa (Sushmita Mukherjee) predicts the future heir – a boy. But in reality, the family is destined to have a girl child. A prophecy made by their Guruji states that if it’s a boy Balraj would prosper, but if it’s a girl he is destined for doom. On learning about the girl child, Padmini flees to Mumbai, but Balraj follows her. A helpless Padmini is taken in by small time actor Roma (Rakhi Vijan) and stuntman Shamsher Mallick (Bhupinder Singhh). Padmini works as a junior artist in films to support herself. Due to unavoidable circumstances, she delivers her child on the sets of a film – a girl she calls Madhubala. In order to escape the wrath of her husband, Padmini fakes the death of her daughter and herself. Balraj takes the bait and returns home. The story then fast-forwards to a grown-up Madhubala as a responsible adult, taking care of her family.

The Good: The setting of the show seems authentic. It’s interesting to learn what goes on behind the camera and to see the film sets. The story from the start has been engaging, reminiscent of movies from the 80s. Some characters seem larger than life and manage to draw your attention, while a few are jarring. It’s a delight to see Drashti Dhami (of Geet Huyi Sabse Parayi) back doing what she does best – acting. After playing a gazillion negative characters, Sushmita’s positive role, though brief, comes as a breath of fresh air. Raj Zutshi plays the perfect baddie. From his scary laughter to his precarious behaviour and wild hair, he adds extra zing to his character.

The Bad: A woman who is almost nine months pregnant running to escape goons is a tad too much to digest. In spite of being tortured by her husband, Padmini continues to keep her married status, which is hard to believe. Madhubala’s elder sister Aarti Puri behaves like a young and immature teenager; we’d be okay if it was just limited to her behaviour, but the actor looks younger than Drashti. Rakhi Vijan is intolerable. Her over-exaggerated acting even without dialogue is unbearable. Pallavi Purohit seems out of her element as the mother.

The show is still at an average level. And we are eagerly waiting for Vivian Dsena to make his entrance to speed up the pace. Guess the high point will come once Vivian and Drashti come face to face.


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