Karmma Calling review: To call it an OTT Version of Indian TV serials would not be fair because at least they provide you with a panache of melodrama, which this show is trying too hard to achieve!
Karmma Calling review: Revenge Drama is one of the most delicious ways of writing fiction where everyone can let go of their morality for once and give in to the satisfying pleasures of revenge. But Karmma Calling nowhere serves this purpose! It is rather emotionally unsatisfying and doesn't have an inch of the flair of a drama, which the show's style actually demands.
Adapted from the English show Revenge, the show follows the story of a young, single, mysterious woman, Karma Talvar (Namrata Seth), who becomes the enigmatic neighbor of Indrani Kothari (Raveena Tandon), the most powerful woman in the isolated enclave of the super-rich in Alibaug. But Karma is not here without reason; she has come to seek revenge from everyone, especially the Kothari family, who, many years ago, framed her father, Satyajit, and wrongfully accused him of a crime he didn't commit.
The series is based on the idea that you shouldn't fear God as God forgives you, but fear karma as your actions ultimately catch up with you. It's a great concept, especially for a story that believes in the ideology of ultimate justice that demands an eye for an eye and blood for blood. But unfortunately, the series is so unconvincing that you are left hanging in mid-air, not knowing what to think.
Frankly, there is everything in the show: An exceptionally rich family of Kothari, riddled with secrets, controls everything in Alibaug. A corrupt, rich society where everyone is a cheater deceiving everyone. Someone is cheating in a relationship, someone's doing it financially, someone is through faith, while someone is through the law. The only people who are morally sane are the poor cafe owners. That's when Ambika Mehra, aka Karma Talvar, arrives and starts to create havoc by making everyone pay for their sins.
This all makes sense, but the way it is all packaged in a seven-episode show leaves you feeling all dull and dry. It's like this show adapted for India by Ruchi Narain (Guilty, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi) cannot completely give in to the tropes of revenge drama or soap operas, like there is sort of hesitation and tussle. Each time Karma is successful at payback, you end up feeling nothing because there is no proper build-up. Hence, the result is that you don't get an intoxicating drama that enraptures you. Rather, it's just a loud show that doesn't know where to go!
The acting is pretty substandard for a dramatic show that shoulders a lot on the cast. Namrata as Karma is the least convincing for a meticulous woman who has carefully plotted her revenge for years. With a blank face, she is unable to find the balance of a determined woman who is deeply hurt by her traumatic past. In comparison, Raveena Tandon at least tries to get the essence of the bold yet broken Indrani Kothari, though she isn't entirely convincing either. The rest of the cast is pretty disappointing as well, except Varun Sood, who tries to give his best.
The show left me with nothing, and finding words to talk about it became very hard. And I don't know what is more distressing in Karmma Calling, pretentious rich people who only care for the sake of caring to maintain an image, or the series' poor attempt at trying to show us this world!
Karmma Calling is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar!
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