I admit that I'm no connoisseur of marathi serials. I used to be.. But I'm sure that should that coveted title slip out of my grasp, I shall be none too saddened.
So don't go by the title. Frankly, I'm aware of only 3 marathi serials on air today. Unless you count that stupid one where the high testosterone husband repeatedly beats his wife, who understandably leaves him, but not so un-understandably allows the tyrant husband to woo her back, to allow this sadistic, male-chauvinistic or otherwise, lame, cycle to continue for a further 25 or so episodes. Whatever. The serials are really not my domain. My knowledge is restricted to only the ones that are viewed in my household
The first thing I noticed is the background score of these serials, which is louder and gaucher than most Megadeth songs. One notices a sharp contrast between the sound volume of the actors' dialogue-which in most cultures is considered to be the epicentre of the serial- is given secondary importance to the unholy, cacophonus racket made in the back(fore)ground.
The first of these serials is Asambhav, which is a fanciful tale of rebirth. While the woman scorned in her past life, returns with hell hath fury in the present for revenge, it is quite unclear why the other characters are reborn at all. But I must admit that this villain female does an outstanding job. My proclamation that women don't make good villains, stands void. Most of the other characters get negative-ised dreams of their past life, surrounded with the aforementioned cacophony, that WOULD have awoken the deadest of them. The characters' roles are divided into 3 broad parts.
1) either die, as part of the villain's revenge;
2) or are searching for some long-lost treasure;
3) or are making random, unfounded accusations of all the not-so-nice things happening in their life, to the villain. e.g. "mommy, I failed the maths test.. was it.. HER?.." *sound*
The exception to these role-allotments is the grandfather, whose role is, quite simply, to stretch a 2 minute line to 20 minutes by being unnecessarily verbiage and talking at a delireously slow speed. 5 minutes are alloted to other characters for revenge, treasure-hunting and accusing. Remaining 5 for commerical break.
If you ears and brain haven't been scarred already, brace yourself for the next level. The clock strikes 9 and the channel is changed to Star Pravah. The ensuing conundrum and new form of ear-drum torture is called Agnihotra. I'm not sure what that word means. I'm also unsure about the premise of this serial. I think so are my parents. But the actors of this serial are locked in a fierce battle with the background sound guys, both parties, trying furiously to outdo each other in decibel limit. They proclaim their dialogue with gusto and onerous tenor, reminding us of the simpler times when the phone had not been invented and people had to yodell down instructions to their sub-ordinates who were 20 blocks away. It is said that the sound engineers are researching new, louder sound effects. They are said to unveil one in a couple of weeks. God save the fans.
But hope still exists for old Marathi serial loyalists! If you pull yourself away from the rebirth ridiculousness of 830 to the other marathi channel, you will find a sensible and intelligent depiction of the life of Shivaji Maharaj. It is indeed very well done, sufficiently detailed and well executed by all, to keep the viewer glued. The lead fella who plays Shivaji is something else. Royal. The sets and clothes all look royal and authentic. While the serial CAN be criticised on one count, that some of the guys playing the bad Mughals have a slightly accented hindi, it would be cynical to do so, since everything else is so very well done!!
Its 930 pm, and my parents aren't done yet. There is a marathi singing competition being aired on of the channels. Mom wants me to watch it.. *sigh*.. quite enough for me though..