In a time when there is such a saturation of content that most stories are predictable, it is only the execution that will hold the attention of the viewer. First things first, the eight-episode series is certainly binge-watchable and there are few to no dull moments. Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein is, however, far from perfect, but let’s start with its positive aspects.
Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein tells the story of a man whose life is turned upside down when the daughter of a powerful politician falls in love with him. Vikrant is a simple boy who dreams of working a simple job and marrying his long-time girlfriend, Shikha. His father has worked as an accountant for Akheraj, the local politician, all his life and considers him his God. According to the story, it is due to Akheraj’s recommendation that Vikrant got into a good school and college, and therefore, his father now wants him to work for him for the rest of his life.
Akheraj’s daughter, Purva, went to the same school as Vikrant, and we see that she instantly takes a liking to him, though Vikrant considers her to be his “bad luck”. Years later, when they are grown up, they meet again, and while Purva is still in love with him, Vikrant wants nothing to do with her and just wants to move ahead in his own life. But this time, Purva is not ready to be rejected. She is a girl standing in front of a boy, telling him that he belongs to her and anybody who gets in her way will meet a painful death.
What To Expect From ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’?
The powerless man in “love stories,” especially ones that come out of India, is a rare phenomenon. He is either someone very capable in his own right or another example of hyper-masculinity who can beat up twenty goons single-handedly. In this story, however, he is extremely average. The creators of the show have attempted to put a funny spin on Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein, and it has worked to a large extent, but it stops just short of hitting the mark for a number of reasons. We are not denying the wacky and funny nature of the show; we are just stating that it is not as funny as the writers tried to make it.
The first reason is the very jarring use of expletives. Not to sound like a conservative Indian uncle, but the expletives felt forced, as if they were used only for comedic purposes and not as a natural part of conversations, and this is especially felt in conversations between Vikrant and his father.
Next comes the best friend of the main protagonist, Golden, who has made a career out of porn films. There is no depth or dimension to his character other than the quintessential Bollywood best friend who we have seen and heard multiple times over. We see that Golden is weirdly unsupportive of Vikrant throughout, and though he helps him with his schemes, he believes that Vikrant should break up with his girlfriend and just get married to Purva, against his wishes, to live a life of luxury. And when Vikrant is pushed into a corner and has to make a few drastic decisions for the protection of his loved ones, he is chastised by Golden for turning into the very people he hated, people that Golden was insisting Vikrant accept as his relatives. Watching this particular scene makes us realize that the characters of Vikrant’s family and his best friends are so one-dimensional. They literally do only one thing throughout the series. Vikrant’s father worships Akheraj and shuts up his son whenever he expresses anything, while simultaneously cursing him out a lot. His mother is the naïve wife who supports everything her husband says, and his sister is just a trouble-maker.
Golden was the smart-mouthed friend who gives Vikrant a tough time but helps him to an extent with the trouble he is in. None of these characters are particularly endearing. The attempt at comedy through the nature of these characters just comes across as irritating, though we have to admit, it’s not enough to disengage us from Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein.
The Good and Bad of ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’
The character of Akheraj, played by Saurabh Shukla, is your typical villain with a giant ego but a soft side for his daughter, an archetype Bollywood has seen quite a few times. He plays it perfectly, with restraint, and is one of the few characters we understand in the whole attempted comedy of errors. A bone to pick with the show, however, is that they did not explore the character of Purva enough. It is understood that she is aware of everything Vikrant is being subjected to and is herself an active participant in trying to eliminate the girl she thinks he might be in love with, but we still see so little of her actual character. She plays the part of the perfect daughter and a devoted wife, but the fact that she has a manipulative, psychotic side to her is only understood because of the premise of the story and not because we actually see it. This seems rather unfair considering that the whole story starts because of her.
Throughout Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein, we see Vikrant desperately trying to reclaim his life so that he can spend it with Shikha, the girl he truly loves, but it would have been truly unique if he had gotten a better glimpse of what Purva actually did in the whole scheme of things instead of just leaving it to the viewer’s imagination. And in this whole “done dirty” aspect of her character, we cannot help but think how underwhelming the character’s wardrobe was. When it comes to content on a visual platform, the hair, clothes, and makeup of the characters go a long way in telling us what they are like, and this assignment was understood for every other character except for Purva. Her clothes were less than basic and did nothing to add to her mystery. Her character needs to be better handled in the coming seasons.
Tahir Raj Bhasin as Vikrant is perfect in playing the desperation of the ‘man against the world’ and you feel that despite the quality of the show being on the higher side, he still manages to be a little too good for it. His progression from the simple small-town boy to the guy who is callous enough to put others’ lives at risk for his benefit is impressive and makes you want to see more of the actor. Shweta Tripathi Sharma as Shikha is one of the characters you genuinely feel for and you just want her to have a happy ending, with or without Vikrant. And can we give a special mention to the character and the actor who played the man Shikha is about to marry, who impressed us all with his poetry and rap and respect for his future wife. Hoping to see him again in Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein Season 2.
Also Read: What Happens to Purva In The End?
The way the story progresses is through its simplicity. It is the most instinctual thing to look on the Internet for whatever we want to know, be it how to fix a tyre or how to hire a serial killer. And subsequent investigations are also conducted through such basic checking of call logs and recordings. This lack of fool-proof planning is a testament to the actual fish-out-of-water circumstances of the characters, and that’s what keeps us engrossed, because we know that that’s what we would do too if we were in that position. It is ultimately a good show and a surprisingly easy watch, despite the kind of content it deals with. For that reason, we expect there to be a lot of discussions around this show in the coming days. It has the capacity to be a cult-classic depending on how it handles its future seasons. For that reason, it is a must-watch. It’s been a while since we truly anticipated anything, and we can only wait to see what game Vikrant and his bad luck are going to be playing next.
Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.