Streaming on Disney +Hotstar 26th November 2021
The first thing that comes to your mind after watching Dil Bekaraar is the influence of Jane Austen. Much like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice here too you have a family of five daughters. The setting and the atmospherics are very reminiscent of her novels. For those who are not aware the story of Dil Bekaraar is based on Anuja Chauhan’s best seller Those Pricey Thkuar Girls, director Habib Faisal takes the core from that and places it in 80’s Delhi.
Out of the five girls the star daughter is Debjani Thakur (Sahher Bambaa). She works as a newsreader at Desh Darpan (a state- owned TV news channel). Akshay Oberoi plays Dylan Singh Shekhawat. Dylan is an ambitious journalist who wants to bring out the truth. He is caught in a story which is related to Bhopal gas tragedy. The parents of Dylan and Debjani are friends. L.N Thakur played by Raj Babbar is the patriarch of the Thakur family, Poonam Dillon plays the wife. Rounding off the senior cast is Padmini Kolhapure who plays the always suspicious and sometimes hysterical chachi. Dylan plays cards every day in the evening with L.N Thakur. Their love story starts off from there. What follows is a mix of romance, family drama, political agenda etc.
Dil Bekaraar works best when it focuses on the love story along with the family drama. The romance between Debjani and Dylan is built well. The writing is solid and the tempo is well maintained. As a result you want Debjani and Dylan to end up together. Akshay Oberoi as Dylan is the perfect casting choice for Dylan. He has got the charm and also the screen presence that is required for this character. Sahher Bambaa as Debjani is another inspired casting choice for Debjani. In simple terms, she is successful in bringing out the nuances of her part as the brave, fiery and no-nonsense woman.
Another interesting aspect of the series is the characters of Raj Babbar, Poonam Dillon and Padmini Kolhapure. The director has portrayed them in an interesting manner. The parents have their own individual anxieties and flaws. At the same time they are trying to be a protector cum guide for their opinionated daughters. The character of chachi has also been written in an interesting manner. She is someone who is constantly suspicious of her husband, the reason being she suspects him of having an affair. However, given her age and background she isn’t in a position to leave him. As a result she relies heavily on superstition and gossip to get over her heartache. All the above mentioned characters along with others add a different perspective to the show. These different perspectives make these characters instantly relatable. You immediately connect with their insecurities. The trio of Raj Babbar, Poonam and Padmini in particular are a delight to watch.
Habib Faisal is also successful in capturing the concerns of the 80’s like property redevelopment, arranged marriages etc. The placement of the Bollywood songs is also cleverly done.
Where the show falters though is its treatment of the political issues. There is an attempt to reflect today’s burning problems like press freedom, being called anti-national etc but it doesn’t exactly gel with the nature of the series. They come across as forced and unnecessary. Another issue is that some of the family subplots could have been handled more efficiently. The bonding between the sisters doesn’t get sufficient time too.
In the final analysis Dil Bekaraar is a worth a ride. This Thakur family will bring a smile to your face.