Review ‘GRAHAN’ – a Hotstar series

Grahan- It is the first series to deal with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

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Grahan- It is the first series to deal with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Given the horrific nature of the violence that was perpetrated and the scars it left, easy-on-the-eye-and-mind entertainment is the last thing this show is out to serve up.

Grahan sustains a solemn tone all through its eight episodes. The past weighs heavy on the present and love and hate jostle for primacy here. The riots serve as the backdrop to a small-town love story that spans across three decades. It highlights the immediate and long-term repercussions of a night of madness on a young couple.

While the show cannot be faulted for intent, it comes up short on the impact quotient for all the hard work that is visible in its cautiously crafted frames. Adapted from Bokaro native Satya Vyas’ 2018 Hindi novel Chaurasi, Grahan also pulls into its sweep caste oppression and Hindu-Muslim strife, which heightens the contemporary resonance of the series.

A long-overdue police probe and how it plays out for a woman in uniform and her ageing father run parallel to cataclysmic events that shook the nation 30 years ago. The larger context of the 1984 riots is frequently underscored, but the show is essentially focused on a handful of Bokaro residents whose lives are changed forever by the violence. – Review by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV

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