Kaun Banegi Shikharwati

Naseeruddin Shah, Lara Dutta Bhupathi, Soha Ali Khan, Kritika Kamra, Anya Singh, Cyrus Sahukar, Raghubir Yadav
Gauravv K. Chawla, Ananya Banerjee

KBS looked promising in its trailer. Quite frankly, where you have Naseeruddin Shah, you have something good, usually. Then, you add Lara Dutta Bhupathi, who isn’t credited enough for her comic timing, and Kritika Kamra, who I’m a huge fan of as well, along with an ensemble cast that is interesting, and you have at least piqued my curiosity enough that I will watch this.

The film follows Raja Mrityunjay Shikharwat (Naseeruddin Shah), who owes the government a whole lot of money. He is desperate to save his palace, and beckons his four daughters to essentially take over his kingdom – and his debt. But how will he get everyone together again?

Writer Ananya Banerjee, who has also co-directed this series alongside Gauravv K. Chawla, takes a storyline that seems simple in nature, but elevates it, by turning the concept of the kingdom into one that sees no difference in male or female as the next one in line. The series grows warmer as the episodes go on, and what you realize is that the writing of each character gets better with each episode.

The series deals with a lot of the same things many families may go through, and is an ode to many things difficult – being a single parent, differences in sisterhood, and forgiveness. Sometimes things get choppy and chaotic, but perhaps that was the intention. At its core though, once you start enjoying the characters, you start enjoying the series. But in order to enjoy the characters, the acting must be good. So let’s go there.

Naseeruddin Shah is absolutely in his element, and he is effortless. He delivers each line with pizzazz, spunk, wit and the faltering humour of a father who is lost in some ways.

Lara Dutta Bhupathi, as predicted, is wonderful as Devyani – a woman who has a staunch place in her own world and Cyrus Sahukar lends great support as her husband. The two are impressive, again, as predicted and their family dynamic with their own sons seems to play out well on screen.

Soha Ali Khan is good in some parts, but she could work on her expressions in some of the lighter scenes. Kritika Kamra is bang on in her scenes and I wish we saw more of her on screen – her eyes say a lot. Anya Singh has a lot of spunk as an actor and pulls off her delicate character with ease.

When these actors come together against the backdrop and cinematography, it makes this series all the more watchable.

Do watch this one!

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