Aarya Review6 min read

Hotstar’s only mistake is that they are focusing on the remakes more than the originals. Another mistake that they do is, they do not Indianize the content. From the look and feel to the emotions, they borrow everything from the country they picked the series from. Before anything else, tell me how many Indian Moms would smile in this scenario:

Sushmita Sen is cool with her teenage son taking pills (drugs) with his girlfriend where the girl faints and has to be rushed to the hospital as she accidentally swallowed the guy’s pill as well while kissing. When the son narrates the story to his mother, she simply, sort of proudly, smiles. The entire scenario is then taken as a joke. I don’t think any Indian mom would take it as calmly as Sushmita Sen took it in Aarya. 

Hotstar’s adaptations are usually disasters. Take Hostages, for example. It literally made me cry ‘khoon ke aasu.’ Unfortunately, Aarya is no different.

A mistake graver than remakes and not indianizing content is the only focus on its cast. Some film-makers think that pulling in celebrities is enough for their web series or films to become a hit. They then shift their entire focus on the celeb/s. This is becoming a norm while re-launching a celebrity on OTT platforms. Here I would advise all the content creators to learn from the makers of Sacred Games. They too had Saif Ali Khan. But their focus remained on the story. Their story did not revolve around Saif Ali Khan. This hence benefited not just the show but also everyone involved in the show.

Aarya is all about Sushmita Sen. Story is given the least importance. Since it’s an adaptation, the makers had got everything ready-made. So they thought that since we do not have much to do, let’s focus on the Sushmita Sen factor. And they have so blindly focused on her that even while two people are conversing, the camera most of the time remains on the actress. That looks weird and also, absurd. 

Till now you might have guessed that Aarya is another blunder by Hotstar. So now, let me tell you why Aarya is not watch-worthy. Firstly, it’s boring. Secondly, it’s chaotic. Why chaotic? There is a lot of overlapping of dialogues. Most of the time, you do not understand who is speaking and why? Mostly during the argument scenes… These scenes in the first place were unnecessary. On top of it, everyone’s blabbering at the same time, not giving viewers time to understand what is happening and why. This has happened a lot in the beginning. Then comes the editing. It is absolutely unprofessional. In episode 1 when Sushmita goes to meet her father, she hugs Radhika who is standing and then she is shown hugging her father who is sitting on the chair. There is no transition here. From hugging Radhika who is standing to hugging her father who is sitting, she would have definitely walked that distance. Though it should have been one scene, it’s been foolishly cut in the between, and then joined (two scenes) to make it look like one. The scene looks brutally chopped and illogically edited. There are many such scenes where editing could have been better. As I mentioned earlier, no matter who is speaking, sometimes you see only Sushmita on screen. 

Another thing that annoyed me the most is the choice of songs. I wonder who chose the songs for the series. If you are wondering what songs I am talking about, which you sure must have, then let me tell you that Aarya has also fallen prey to the ‘play oldies in the background’ trend. Now again, some people do a fab job when it comes to choosing old songs as background score or to take their story ahead but some fail drastically at it. Here’s my request to the industry folks: If you don’t know how to do it, please don’t do it. I mean, who plays ‘akele akele kaha jaa rahe ho hamein saath le lo jaha jaa rahe ho’ in the background for the kidnaping of a teenager scene? Have you lost it? 

Apart from that, there are many more unnecessary sub-plots in the show. I won’t talk about the main plot because it’s almost non-existent, as I said earlier, it’s a Sushmita Sen show. So, don’t look for a story here. Whatever little of it is present, it is conveniently ignored. Talking about the sub-plots, as soon as Tej (Chandrachur Singh) dies in the show, a new story begins. A one-sided attraction between Tej and Aarya’s daughter, Aaru and Aarya’s sister’s husband, Bob. They have directly jumped on this physical attraction track without any build-up about the explanation they have given later. What’s the reason? When Bob tells his wife about Aaru’s attraction towards him and that she tried to kiss him, she laughs and says, it’s because she is missing her father. Absolutely nonsensical that was! C’mon, I mean, how can a teenager kiss her aunt’s husband because she is missing her dead father? 

Veer and his girlfriend’s kissing scenes were again forced into the series. Instead of forcibly adding such scenes, the makers should have focussed on the build-up of the sub-plots and logical reasoning behind why and how these subplots were necessary to strengthen the main plot. 

Let me now quickly point out some of the unmissable flaws in the plot. When the narcotics trade is a family business, how come after Tej’s death, only Aarya is the person everyone is chasing? From the business rivals to the investigating officer. And how come the rivals only harass Tej’s wife and not Jawahar’s family members? How does Aarya’s father know and not know what’s happening, as and when convenient? He should either be aware of everything that’s happening and step in to save the business and his daughter or simply not know anything about the recent happenings. Even after being in the narcotics business, as a gunda, Sushmita Sen’s family only has Daulat (Sikandar Kher) while the rivals have an army of them. Can someone please explain? 

Speaking of the performances, Sushmita Sen was robotic. Her dialogue delivery, her expressions (there were none, in fact), and her overall performance – not at all up to the mark. Sorry to say this but on OTT, newcomers are doing a much better job than the seasoned actors. Did anyone do a good job in the series? Yes, the Muslim lady in Episode 4. She should have been given a full-fledged role in Aarya. At least, the performances would have been good. 

In short, Aarya is not worth your time. 

P.S: Beware of ACP Khan. This guy is next level of torture. 

Where to Watch? Hotstar

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