Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein Review: Tahir Raj Bhasin and Anchal Singh’s Netflix Series Is Dark, Twisted and Highly Engaging! (LatestLY Exclusive)

Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein Review: If the title of this Netflix show is borrowed from a popular Shah Rukh Khan song, then the premise of Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein bear faint semblance to an SRK movie, albeit not a popular one. In Mahesh Bhatt’s 1996 film Chahat, the protagonist is lusted after by the villain’s sister, though he is in love with someone else; the result being they get hounded and troubled by the antagonists. In Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein, it is the villain’s daughter who has a dangerous and stubborn fancy for the troubled protagonist Vikrant (Tahir Raj Bhasin). But unlike Shah Rukh Khan’s character who at least got a happy ending, that seems a mirage for Vikrant, who stumbles into one life-threatening roadblock after another. Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein: Tahir Raj Bhasin Shares His Experience of Working With Shweta Tripathi, Anchal Singh in Netflix Series.

In the opening sequence of the series, we see a bearded, almost defeated Vikrant holed up in a dilapidated building somewhere in Ladakh before he faces a barrage of bullets from cops, countering them with his own. Then of course, he takes us through his life story, of how he ended here (SPOILER: Season 1 doesn’t return to this scene, though).

The reason for all of Vikrant’s misfortunes is Purva (Anchal Singh), the daughter of a ruthless and powerful politician Akheraj (Saurabh Shukla, formidable and terrifying). Purva takes a fascination for him since their childhood days, though Vikrant believes she is nothing but trouble, refusing her offer of friendship. It also doesn’t help that his father (Brijendra Kala) works as an accountant for her father, and is like a lapdog for him. Purva leaves town for a few years after that, convincing Vikrant his problems have gone away.

He passes college with good marks, is awaiting a job in another city and is in love with a fellow student Shikha (Shweta Tripathi). However, Purva returns to his town, now a beautiful but dangerous woman potentially more vicious than her father. What’s more, she is still obsessed with Vikrant, first trying to get him to work for him and then persuading her father to get her married to him. Before he realises what’s happening to him, she begins to cut off all the other things that made him happy till now, from making him lose his job offer to putting his lover in mortal danger.

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Sidharth Sengupta who had directed the series Apharan and has been the writer for Undekhi, brings the nihilism and the darkness – along with some cast members – we saw in the aforementioned shows into this twisted love triangle. The idea is to present through Vikrant’s woes, how an entire machinery bow and bends itself to a powerful few while the commoners get screwed up. Which is a tale that has been told many a time on screen – Undekhi itself a prime example of this – though the situation around us hasn’t shown much improvement.

While the setting may feel familiar, Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein engages you with its dark, twisty and pulpy screenplay, as it puts its harassed protagonist from one wringer to another. It also helps that the focus is only on a handful of main characters, which also includes Akheraj’s nephew and right hand man Dharmesh (Undekhi’s standout Surya Sharma lending his menace here)  and Vikrant’s sleazy but faithful bestie Goldi (Anant Joshi). Arunoday Singh appears later in the series in a character crucial to Vikrant’s dark turn of taking matters in his own hands, and not exactly pulling them off. OTT Releases Of The Week: Human on Disney+ Hotstar, Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein on Netflix, The Tragedy of Macbeth on Apple TV+ and More.

At times, I felt the events got repetitive, and at times I felt that since the show is mostly observed through Vikrant’s perspective, a couple of other characters get shortchanged. Like Shikha for example. She becomes an unfortunate collateral damage in Purva’s obsession with Vikrant, but we are only made passive observers of her turmoil. The spunk we saw in her character goes missing later on, as she and her family keep being on in mortal peril. There are certain aspects of the storytelling that made little sense. Like, for example, Akheraj, Purva and Dharmesh keep tabs on Vikrant, but there are occasions where the former two let him go off the radar, despite his dicey behaviour.

Ultimately though, Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein comes across as thrilling enough a dark series, as it explores Vikrant’s descent into darkness in trying to plot vengeance on a woman determined to get him at all costs. Tahir Raj Bhasin, who is ruling this week with another of his series Ranjish Hi Sahi already out on Voot Select, is fantastic in the role. His character is may be hot-headed and determined but is gullible and not as devious as his enemies, which makes him jump from one setback into another. His character is easily the one that makes you stick through the series of events, often handling the dark situations like a hapless rookie. From trying to seek assassins on Dark Web to learning how to cry through YouTube videos, it is a miracle that he even makes it through the first season. I really loved Bhasin’s performance in the scene in the finale where he preps himself to cry, breaks into tears and then faces an unexpected revelation that shatters his pretense. Undekhi Review: Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Surya Sharma Impress in SonyLIV’s Arresting Crime Series.

Equally impressive on the other side is Anchal Singh, playing a character that owns being evil while looking the calmest on screen. Purva is someone who believes she own her chess-board, or at least her dad is, and that she thinks she knows all the moves that her opponent is playing. Most of the times, she is right. She is a goddamn manipulator, and even though like Vikrant, we want to see the end of her, we don’t mind that moment getting pushed because how interesting the character is. The dynamics between Vikrant and Purva, with the looming presence of Akheraj and Dharmesh over them, is what makes Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein a winner!

PS: Is it me or does it feel like Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein is something that turns out if someone like Anurag Kashyap got his hands to direct David Dhawan’s Main Tera Hero? Interestingly both star Arunoday Singh!

Yay!

– The Performances

– Quite Engaging

Nay!

– A Couple of Main Characters are Not Well Rounded

– Some Writing Loopholes That Can’t Be Ignores

Final Thoughts

Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein is about very flawed characters doing very flawed things all in the name of love, or so they think, and it makes for a pretty arresting watch at that. Quite recommended, if you like your tales dark, twisted and fun! Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein is streaming on Netflix.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 14, 2022 01:48 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website leakherald.com).