Brahmarakshas Review: The Television Version Of Jaani Dushman Had Me Looking For An Aspirin

Show Title: Brahmarakshas – Jaag Utha Shaitaan

Channel: Zee TV

Timing: Saturday-Sunday 9 pm

Zee TV launched a thriller titled Brahmarakshas – Jaag Utha Shaitaan, which is based on a demon who despises marriage and kills newlywed brides. The show is around 60-minute long and after the first ten minutes itself I wanted to break my TV. Why? Read on.

 

Brahmarakshas (2016)

Brahmarakshas - Show Review
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Episode 1

The show starts with a newly married couple heading towards their house in a decorated car. The husband (Parag Tyagi) is giving his wife (Kishwer Merchant) a brief introduction to his village, Kamalpura. He tells her that in his village man and animal live together and that since he owns the village, he sees to it that nobody harms any animal in the village. He shows her his palace built atop a hill, from a distance and she is eagerly waiting to see his house.

On reaching the palace, the couple receives a warm welcome with the bride having to perform a few traditional rites. But as she steps into the house, lights go off. The grooms’ mother is horrified and exclaims that such an occurrence is bad omen (I haven’t watched an Indian drama in ages so I didn’t know that the ‘apshagun’ thing is still trending). The groom laughs off the incident and carries his bride inside his house. His mother still fearful, runs out to the entrance of the palace, and performs an old method of warding off any evil eye cast upon the newly married couple and boom! The lights are back. (Ha!)  

The bride explores the palatial palace and asks for a tour around his palace. He corrects her saying that the palace is no longer his but its ‘theirs’. He further adds that from now on everything that belongs to him is hers too. He is clearly madly in love with his wife. The playful couple tease and chase each other until they reach a high gallery in the palace where the bride almost trips but he holds her back and saves her from falling. He tells her not to worry as this is his place and she is completely safe with him. She smiles and then shoves him from the gallery. He holds on to the edge asking her to save him but she laughs at his plea and tells him that she married him for his money.(As she is talking to him the vermillion – sindoor, from her forehead sprinkles on his face. How? Please don’t ask me. I wanted to switch off the TV that very instant but managed to sit through it). She throws her bangles on his face and tells him that she will inform people that he was drunk and slipped from the gallery. He loses his grip but manages to hang on a tree branch. She tells him that he always claimed of befriending animals and saving them and that she wants to see his camaraderie with his beloved animals. (It was extremely funny to see the groom hang from tree branch still talking to his wife while she laughed like a monster. It is clearly a stormy weather with clouds thundering in the background but the couple easily manages to have a serious conversation from such distance and with such clarity). The feeble branch is unable to take the bulky grooms’ weight and snaps, dropping the groom in the jungle amidst ferocious animals. He is drenched in blood when an angry-looking gorilla approaches him. The groom is frantically trying to reach out to I don’t know whom. Meanwhile, the bride (her name is Aparjita) continues to mock him by asking him to die fast as she has other stuff to do. The beastly gorilla catches the grooms’ hand and roars angrily.

Cut to 20 years later. Rishab (Aham Sharma) is watching a horror movie with two girls who are clutching his hands. As the scene intensifies, they hug him screaming out of fear. Rishab’s sister-in-law Naina bhabhi switches on the lights and scolds him for being late for his sister’s engagement. Rishabs’ mother, Mohini (Rakshanda Khan) is scolding her stylists for not draping her saree well and buying outdated cufflinks for her husband. (Rakshanda is one of the most beautiful actresses on Indian TV. I loved her in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin and was too glad to see her after so long, looking stunning as always.) More family members are introduced. A girl then comes to inform Rishab that his sister Rakhi wants to see him. He runs to her room and sees her friend Raina (Krystle Dsouza) cribbing over the price of a dress that Rakhi asked her to wear. Rishab stealthily approaches her from behind and ties her dupatta around her face. As she struggles to free herself, she hits a plate full of rose petals that inadvertently shoots up in the air. The face of the heroine is revealed amid a never-ending shower of rose petals and the ‘saathiya tune kya kia’ background tune (OMG! Do they still do that? Why do they have to introduce main characters in such a clichéd way? I am hating this show already.)

Rishab and Raina have a typical love-hate relationship. They have a typical cat and mouse fight and Rishab leaves the room without talking to his sister who looks worried as she has something important to tell Rishab.

Rakhi’s would be in-laws arrive. The father-in-law starts discussing supernatural stuff. He talks about human spirits entering animals body to fulfil any unfulfilled desires. He tells them how such souls are cursed and known as Bramharakshas. The women around look disturbed by the topic especially Raina who gasps at the word Brahmarakshas. The topic is diverted after Rishab scares Raina who screams and curses Rishab for troubling her. Raina’s father works as a manager with Rakhi’s to-be husbands’ family. Since her father has been sent away for some work, she takes the responsibility of looking over all the preparations for the engagement ceremony.

The engagement ceremony starts with Raina playing the violin (Can you guess the tune? No? I’ll tell you…. saathiya tune kya kiaaa…!! Surprised? I was. Didn’t expect the serial to torture me like this.) Rakhi, flanked by her sisters, enters the ceremony hall. Rishab walks with her and tells her that he will always be with her. She looks rather annoyed and tells him that what’s the use, he wasn’t there when she needed him an hour ago. Rings are exchanged. Rakhi clearly isn’t happy with the engagement but is quiet for some reason. She is so disinterested in the whole thing that she drops the engagement ring that rolls over to stop at Rishabs feet. He notices the perturbed look on his sister’s face and tries to talk to her alone after the ceremony but fails at it as she is always with someone.

After the engagement both the families sit together and discuss the wedding venue. Rakhi’s  to-be mother-in-law Gayatri suggests the palace in Kamalpura for a destination wedding. (FYI it is the same palace where Aparjita had killed her husband by pushing him off the balcony) Mohini looks worried.

Cut to a newly married couple in the village of Kamalpura are welcomed. The new bride asks the village women the reason for decorating the palace with so many lotuses. They tell her that the lotus protects them from the Brahmarakshas (demon) of the village (Wow! What a way to welcome a new bride. And what a strong bride who is totally cool with all the eerie myths that she is bombarded with on the very first day of her marriage). The newlywed couple heads over to take blessings of the landowner who is believed to keep the village safe. The new bride notices that all women in the village smear white ash on their forehead instead of the traditional red sindoor. She asks her husband the reason behind the abstinence of traditional wedding paraphernalia like bangles and mangalsutra. The nervous looking groom hushes her and tells her that the village in haunted by the Brahmarakhshas who attacks any bride who indulges in traditional wedding suit and accessories.

Back to Rishab and family. Gayatri loves the palace in Kamalpura and even intends to adopt the village. Mohini looks extremely anxious and tries to talk to her husband when her elder son informs that they have fixed the wedding date which is just ten days away. Family members are excited and start congratulating each other but Mohini looks nervous. She is aware of what befalls the brides married in the village of Kamalpura. She calls her brother, who is the owner of the village, to help her out. He tells her that the Brahmarakshas is just a myth and that he has just returned from a marriage and everything was fine.

Cut to the bride who was shown newly married in Kamalpura wakes up in the middle of the night wondering why she can’t wear traditional bridal clothes on her wedding night. She removes her bangles from her bag, walks out of the house and wears the bangles (hahaahhaha seriously? I fell laughing at this wise decision by the cool and fearless bride). A huge dark shadow of a demon is seen approaching when her husband pulls her into the house. He scolds her and warns her to stay away from any traditional bridal accessories.

Another newly married young couple (aaaaaah! Too many newlyweds in one freaking episode) are seen running from someone. The couple seems to be on the run and seek refuge in the new village of Kamalpura. They go deep in the jungle where they are confronted by the Bramharakhsas (who wears golden kamarpatta and saffron dhoti. ROFL!!) with ‘gunaam hain koi badnaam hain koi’ tune playing in the background. The Bramharakshas flings the boy before turning to attack the bride. She pleads and begs him to spare her but the growling Brahmarakshas shows no mercy and chokes her to death.


First Episode First Impression

As a child when I saw the movie Jaani Dushman starring Sanjeev Kumar I was truly terrified. I was so scared of him that I would fear watching any other movie of his. After seeing the Brahmarakshas with kajal all around his eyes, I just couldn’t stop laughing. I resent all the show makers who think the audiences are fools and will believe whatever they want them to believe. This new trend of makkhis, nagins, bhaloos, and gorillas on television makes me cringe! I find it hard rather impossible to believe that such storylines are not only accepted but also applauded by the viewers. At times, I feel like smashing my TV only because of the kind of rubbish that is shown on it. Anyway, this post is the first episode impression of Brahmarakshas so let me talk about that.

What was bearable?

Aforementioned that I love Rakshanda Khan. She looks amazing and I am sure she will do a fab job on the show. Krystle Dsouza looks pretty and played her part well. The show (like any other Indian show) has a grand set, which is visually appealing.

What was un-bearable?

The hero, Aham Sharma looks OK but wasn’t a convincing flirt. I felt he tried too hard to look fun loving and mischievous. I hope he improves as the show progresses. Rishabs’ other sister, is just overly animated and perpetually excited. She feels excited when calling Rishab, when teasing Rishab, when talking about Brahmarakhshas, and basically every other scene. I understand her elder sister is getting engaged but why is she overly excited for every damn thing? I hope Brahmarakshas eats her up first. She is too annoying to be on the show.

The show tried hard to scare but every attempt only made me laugh harder. The special effects were poor and pathetic. Bramharakshas looked funny instead of scary.

Another major complain I have with the show is its soundtrack. When will shows offer new soundtracks? Sathiya Tune Kya Kiya still reminds me of Maanav and Archana from Pavitra Rishta. I still associate that song with that couple and that show. When the budget is high then why can’t the makers put in some more efforts and come up with a new soundtrack?

For me, Brahmarakshas was a laughable attempt at the 1979 movie Jaani Dushman. It was neither frightening nor interesting. I do not think I will be catching up with the following episodes. I’d rather sleep than waste an hour of my life on a poorly written show.

 

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