The Hindi TV series Jee Karda is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. It is directed by Arunima Sharma and stars Tamannaah, Aashim Gulati, Suhail Nayyar, Anya Singh, Samvedna Suwalka, Rajesh Khattarm Malhar Thakar, Hussain Dalal, Saayan Banerjee.
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Where can you watch Jee Karda in the UAE?
Jee Karda is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Hindi series Jee Karda review
A bunch of childhood friends with different ideas and ideologies struggling to get a handle on their respective lives has great potential for a web series. It allows for character study, good fun, youthful revelry, steamy romance, and trial and tribulations of putative relationships…as you can see, the scope is enormous. The 8-episode Jee Karda starts on the promise and potential of this wide ambit.
But the series, directed by debutante Arunima Sharma who had previously worked under Homi Adjania (who incidentally has co-directed a couple of episodes here), never finds the energy or enthusiasm to go beyond the surface. The friendship of the seven, mostly from the upper-middle class, does not seem deep or meaningful, and that is because the director stops short of emotionally fleshing them out with any amount of realism and resonance. Even their fun and frolic moments are pat, and their moments of wisdom and deep wit emerge only when they are under the influence of liquor.
The series starts in 2006 with the seven teen-age friends in a school going to a man of clairvoyance who predicts something for their future. Cut to the present, with friends close to the age of 30, and the man’s prophecy is near true for them. So what has their journey been like?
Two of them, Lavanya (Tamannaah Bhatia) and Rishabh Rathore (Suhail Nayyar), are a pair from a young age. The love couple are now close to getting married. And that is where the problem lies, at least for a woman unsure about her feelings for him. She is confused, as things usually trip even the most clear-headed persons. She has a thing going for him, but his conservative and controlling parents make it difficult for her to commit wholeheartedly to the looming marriage. Her own fun mom (Simone Singh) is the polar opposite of her parents-in-law-to-be. This further disorients her sense of bearing.
Then there is Preet Chuharmalani (Anya Singh), a counsellor and single. She keeps flitting in and out of relationships and seems to be the kind of person who could do with a session or twenty with a sensible counsellor.
There is also Sheetal (Samvedna Suwalka), the wife of Sameer Kotadiya (Malhar Thakar). The couple, making do with living in an apartment, desperately needs privacy. They can’t get intimate moments as their cramped home, filled with people, allows little room for that.
Also in the group is Melroy Pitroda (Saayan Banerjee), who is gay, whose partner is abusive and reluctant to come out of the closet.
Another friend in the group of seven is Shahid Ansari (Hussain Dalal), an unassuming schoolteacher who feels left out of the gang for various reasons, including money.
Thrown into the motley mix of men and women is the Punjabi pop singer Arjun Gill (Aashim Gulati), who is back in Mumbai after making it big in Canada.
The men in the gang also have issues to sort out with their respective dads. Rishab has to contend with a dad unwilling to relinquish his dominance, especially in preparing for the Punjabi wedding. The school teacher’s father is too fond of his bottle, the gay man has a stepdad, and the singer’s father, never seen, is a painful reference. In a sense, the four’s confused and complex lives result from their problems with their dads. But alas, such a sensitive theme is never dealt with with adequate seriousness. It is referred to or suggested, and then the scene moves on to its next gaze. Everything, as we said, is on the screen level.
But the acting, mercifully, is better. The women have meatier portions, and they use them. Tamannaah, from being eye candy, is making some strides as a decent actress in roles that offer some scope. As Lavanya here, she brings the inner turmoil and puzzlement of a woman who wants to commit herself but whose situation doesn’t allow her to, with the right amount of plausibility. Samvedna Suwalka, the woman longing for privacy with her husband, is also believable, and Anya Singh, the counsellor with a penchant for flings, is also okayish.
Sachin-Jigar’s music and songs are a big plus, adding the right amount of youthful zest to the scheme of things. Music and acting alone don’t make a youthful series. The narrative needs to go deeper. That is where Arunima, along with the co-creators Hussain and Abbas Dalal, is found wanting.
A series in which the use of the F-word is a lot can also be described best with a bunch of F-words: Flimsy, frothy and fluffy.
An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.