Is The Forgotten Army worth your time? Yes. Should you binge-watch The Forgotten Army? Definitely yes. But I suggest that you read some history before you watch the series, or you can even pause and google, whenever you feel like. Why? Because no matter how hard the makers try, they cannot cover history in 2 hours. Every now and then, you will find yourself asking questions like:
- Why did this exactly happen?
- Who gave them the orders?
- Did the Japanese army truly support the Indian National Army or did it just pretend to?
- What was the exact role of women in the Indian National Army?
- Did the women ever fight any war?
You might also find yourself wondering at some point about how much of the story is fact and how much of it is fiction.
The show’s beginning is largely based on true events. They have also put in the clippings of historical events. But as the show progresses, especially the last two episodes, ‘n’ number of questions keep popping into your mind. I felt like somewhere the line between facts and fiction blurred slightly more than it should have. The events simply progressed without giving viewers answers to all their questions. For example,
- As the army was running out of its supplies, did the government not support them at all?
- If the Indian government was giving the orders to retreat, why was it so?
- If the Japanese government was giving the orders to retreat, did the Indian government not intervene? The whole deal, in the first place, was that the Indians and the Japanese would fight together against the British. Then what went wrong?
- If Lieutenant Sodhi was permitted to decide whether the Indian National Army should retreat or continue to fight against the British, was the INA left on its own to do whatever they wanted to do? Did its decision not affect the government or the country in any way? Did it have no repercussions?
They have tried to answer as many questions as they can in the narration but still, I feel that if you Google Indian National Army, you will get better answers on the Internet. I also felt that The Forgotten Army does no justice to the Rani of Jhansi regiment. They were an important part of the INA but were conveniently sidelined and used only for the romantic angle. If you go to Wikipedia, you will find that Lakshmi Sahgal, played by Shruti Seth, was “an officer of the Indian National Army, and the Minister of Women’s Affairs in the Azad Hind government.” In the series, we hardly saw her.
Similarly, when the show talks about the army and their suffering during, not just any other war, but during World War II, I don’t think there was any need for a sex scene towards the end. If they had to focus on the strong bond that had developed between Sodhi and Maya, they had ample opportunities to do that. There was no requirement of a sex scene.
All in all, the direction was good which makes you sit back and watch the show till the very last episode without getting bored. The Forgotten Army was indeed a show which should have had seasons, not just a season. When you are covering even one chapter of history, you cannot do justice to it in just 5 episodes. Having said that, The Forgotten Army has done a fabulous job by giving the real forgotten army the attention that they deserve. Maybe now, we will remember them forever.
Where to Watch? Amazon Prime