Director: Ram Madhvani, Sandeep Modi, Vinod Rawat
Release Date: 19th June 2020
Streaming On: Disney+ Hotstar
Star Cast: Sushmita Sen, Chandrachur Singh, Vikas Kumar, Ankur Bhatia, Sikander Kher, Namit Das, Manish Chaudhary, Jayant Kriplani, Sohaila Kapur, Maya Sarao, Priyasha Bhardwaj, Sugandha Garg, Alexx O’Neil, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Jagdish Purohit, Flora Saini, Virti Vaghani, Viren Vazirani, Pratyaksh Panwar, Joy Sengupta
Plot: The nine-part series centres around Aarya Sareen (Sushmita Sen), a woman from a royal family of Rajasthan. She portrays the role of a homemaker, who is married to Tej Sareen (Chandrachur Singh) and is a loving mother to three teenagers.
Aarya’s family possesses one of the largest pharmaceutical companies which was selling illegal medications internationally and is looked upon by Tej and her brother Sangram (Ankur Bhatia).
When Aarya’s husband is murdered by a masked man, she takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of the truth and bring the culprit to justice, which leads her into discovering some bitter truths about her family and her family business.
Review: Sushmita Sen’s big OTT debut ‘Aarya’ is a crime drama-thriller created by Ram Madhvani, based on the Spanish series ‘Penoza’ - where family turns back on the family over money, power and control, and friends turn foes at the drop of a hat.
The execution of the Hindi counterpart is stealthy and mind-freezingly slow, as the catalytic murder is planted in the first episode itself and the chase begins. What happens next is a nine-episode long incessant rambling on the fractured family ties and broken friendships. Watching Aarya will remind you of how well the classic phrase ‘even in the best families’ is incorporated. Yes, under all that glitters there's dirt and grime.
You wouldn’t miss much of it, even if it is fast-forwarded! As ‘Aarya’ gains momentum only after the first four episodes. Therefore, the story could have been trimmed down to a six-seven parts miniseries. However, barring the dearth of a few much-needed Jump Cuts and Match Cuts, ‘Aarya’ stands out for a reason - a big pleasure of this series is being able to watch all the good actors getting something substantial to do.
When it comes to performances, Sushmita Sen - the leader of the pack portrays the soft, motherly side of her on-screen persona and that of a situational drug operative in equal measures. While Chandrachur Singh, though his is more of a cameo, makes a comeback as the mildly unethical businessman and lover of retro songs - is a performance to watch out for. Whereas, Sikander Kher as the ice-cold killing machine Daulat is a gentle reminder of that iconic character of Bob Biswas (Saswata Chatterjee) from the movie ‘Kahaani’ which was released way back in 2012. He surely stands out for this offbeat portrayal.
The constant bickering between Sen’s parents serves as comic relief in this otherwise dark and intense crime saga. There are other parallel characters as well that leaves a mark in their respective lanes. It is their natural, energetic, and lively performances that will make Aarya a complete package to watch for.
When it comes to the technical aspects, the background score aptly supports that idea. But the cinematography is a bit of a downer - as the series was shot in Jaipur, except for a few shots of the heritage places and a fleeting mention of the Rajaji Mahal Museum, it fails to capture the vibe of the visually rich city and its culture.
Overall, the criminal thriller drama that begins with its protagonist, saying, “Violence is not an answer. It is never an answer,” sticks to it till the very end. Apart from a few dips, contrived scenes, and loose ends, Arya sets up quite a pace with a strong emotional core, and that’s straight away a win.