- BOTTOM LINE: Inconsistent yet Engaging Teenage Drama
|Platform: Zee5||Genre: Drama|
What Is the Story About?
Rejctx, the title is named after a music band formed by a group of seven college students Aarav, Kiara, Sehmat, Maddy, Harry, Misha and Parnamitra who consider themselves different from the rest and are using a creative outlet to handle rejection they’ve faced at various levels in life. These youngsters are battling several odds, tackling complications surrounding gender, handling love, betrayal, friendship and are trying hard to move beyond their dark pasts. This story is all about how they rise above their roadblocks and find answers to their puzzles.
Though the series revolves around the character of Aarav Sharma (played by Ahmed Masi Wali), the show-stealer is Kubbra Sait. As a woman who’s been wronged and manipulated and is keen on avenging the injustice meted out to her, Kubbra’s portrayal of her complex character adds a lot of intrigue to the show. Her eyes always convey a sense of mystery and the director Goldie Behl utilises this factor to his advantage.
Ahmed Masi Wali may not be the most spontaneous actor on the planet but his efforts are sincere, gradual enough for his character to grow on you. Playing an unconfident teenager who hasn’t had a voice of his own and is desperate to reach bigger heights, he couldn’t have imagined a bigger/better launch vehicle than Rejctx.
Rejctx is a show that begins on a very awry note with an overdose of complexities attached to every character. A burqa-clad wearing girl is coming to terms with gender fluidity, a teenager is trying hard to get over the porn-star past of his mom, a girl is trying to forget her body-shaming days and a guy is hitting on his teacher, sharing a kiss with her the very first time he meets her. A Punjabi lad is a porn-addict and another girl is an adopted daughter to two married gay-men. These ideas appear desperate attempts to ring in some modern-day relevance to the series. But look at the series beyond their arcs, you notice that the treatment is extremely real and honest.
The director Goldie Behl gives enough time to explore each character in detail – every trait of these youngsters is justified well and makes for an integral element or twist in the series in due course. The initial portions are unsettling for sure but give it some time to understand this universe that appears an extension of Karan Johar’s Student of the Year. Not many filmmakers have made genuine attempts to understand the world of a privileged kid who gets life on a platter. So Rejctx, despite its western influences, feels original in its execution.
There are lots of twists and turns to keep the screenplay, but the story takes time to unfold. Episode after episode, there is sufficient tension to keep you glued to the screens. Given the darker moments drive the story here, so the scope for humour is albeit less. Some lighter moments could have made this more watchable. The execution of the sequences where a group of youngsters comes together to form a band are all amateurish, the jamming sessions appear more staged than organic. The thread involving basketball, in contrast, however, backed by authentic detailing.
The best part about the series – it ends with a bang and nearly makes you forget all its follies. The truth behind the kidnapping of a pivotal character unveils darker truths ensure some shock value. Easily among the better works helmed by Goldie Behl to date, Rejctx can still be termed a bumpy ride. The crests and troughs of the characters are not consistent and the makers try to pack too many issues at one go, which feels contrived. Season two should provide some hope.
The series despite having credible actors like Sumeet Vyas and Kubbra in their lineup gives the younger crop an impressive chance to prove its worth and they respond well to the justice reposed in them. Ridhi Khakhar as an upfront, fiesty girl, Anisha Victor as a concerned, sensitive youngster, Saadhika’s apt showcasing of her ongoing battle with her sexuality and Pooja Shetty’s vivacious screen presence keep the series in good stead.
New faces Ayush Khurana, Prabhneet Singh prove to be a handful in several of the intense sequences they’re given to enact. Even for Sumeet Vyas who plays the dean of a college, in a very brief role, it helps him overcome the happy-go-lucky stereotype imposed onto him in the digital format. Television actor Khalid Siddiqui arrives makes a delayed entry into the series, but does well to justify his part. In the mysterious role of a politician and a father with several grey shades, he’s aptly cast.
Music and Other Departments?
The weakest link of the series is its music and that’s not a good thing to say, given how significant it is in the journey of each of the protagonists. The rap/hip-hop portions are an absolute disgrace to the genre, there’s no great situational relevance or enough fizz in the lyrics to create an impact with the music. The compositions lack any soul whatsoever and words from Hindi and English are randomly squeezed into the tune to make sense (which it doesn’t).
However, what emerges a saving grace is the scale at which it is shot. The visuals are akin to any big-budgeted Bollywood musical and the viewing experience is a spectacle in its truest sense. Every scene is mounted with a distinct style from an interesting dimension. The writing feels cinematic at the outset and even cluttered with the various range of complications that the characters go through but yet the series grows on you albeit slowly (mostly after the third episode).
Exploration of issues relevant to teenagers
The thrilling portions leading to the climax
Kubbra Sait’s power-packed performance
The vagueness of the storyline
Raunchy beyond necessity
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Rejctx Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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