BOTTOM LINE: An Intriguing Plot That Is Overdone And Needlessly Stretched
|Platform: MX Player||Genre: Thriller|
What Is the Story About?
Kumar (Swwapnil Joshi) is frustrated with his life. Nothing is happening as he wishes. A close friend of his, Sharad (Ganesh Mahadev) takes him to a Swamiji to know the future. However, Swamiji refuses to give Kumar details. When heated words are exchanged, it is revealed that another person exists who shares the same fate as Kumar.
What happens when Kumar (Swwapanil Joshi) goes in search of Sudarshan Chakrapani (Nitish Bharadwaj) to find the truth is the plot of the series?
Swwapnil Joshi has come up with an instantly relatable act. His frustration as a typically middle-class guy or anger towards the Swamiji is all done with intensity and power. One is hooked to the narrative through his character, even though many times nothing happens. The fear and curiosity to know the future are also neatly showcased.
Satish Rajwade makes his web series debut with Samantar. The subject of the show comes with intrigue and curiosity that can quickly hook the audience. All the director has to do is make it engaging.
The very first episode sets the tone of Samantar perfectly. The interaction between three principal characters, while simultaneously revealed the core plot is superbly executed. The acting, writing and the background score all come together well.
The interest is maintained well in the episodes that follow. The curiosity factor is cleverly linked to both the protagonist and the viewer. The latter is put in the shoes of the former. It is an excellent caveat.
The problem is after a stage, things are overdone, and the real point keeps getting delayed. So much of the middle segment appears to only elongate the proceedings without adding much meat to the narrative. The scenes where Kumar visits a guest house or the one where he sees the painting or the mysterious guy giving an update – they all add to the dragging. Yes, they do hold elements to take the story forward, but it could have more compactly presented.
After all the build-up, the revelation that comes towards the penultimate episodes is decent. The curiosity factor is maintained, but a killer punch of sorts is missing. It leaves us with an okay feeling.
The end, which is an extension of the revelation, is played out in a predictable manner, until the twist at the very closing of the series. It makes it evident that a second season is in the offering.
Overall, an intriguing premise and reliable performance holds Samantar together despite a lot of lag intermittently. Give it is a try if the opening hooks you.
There are minimum characters in the show, but they are all well cast and do their jobs well. It is why, despite the short run time, one can remember each one of them.
Tejaswini Pandit plays the typical aggressive housewife role with ease and confidence. At times, the over-enthusiasm shows. The predictable subplot she is part of further makes her part uninteresting. Ganesh Mahadev Revadekar as the friend to the lead is likeable. It does get repetitive, and forgetful towards the end, though.
Jayant Savarkar as Swamiji is terrific. His opening block act gives the right impetus for the rest of the narrative. The impact can be felt throughout, even with very less screen time. Nitish Bhardwaj also does his part well and adds to the mystery.
Music and Other Departments?
The background score is good in parts. Most of the time, it is the usually predictable sounds for the terrain without any fresh appeal. The cinematography is decent, considering the resources available. The editing should have been sharper. The narrative definitely needed some trimming to make it crisp. The writing is consistently proper in the essential parts. In the regular portions, it feels ordinary.
Suspense Build Up
Repetitive In Parts
Weak Sub Plots
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, in parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, but with little reservation
Review by Siddartha Toleti
If you have great photoshop skills and love designing memorable creatives, along with a love for OTT, we're looking for you. Please send in your job applications and portfolio to [email protected]