Cast: Arjun Bijlani, Kanika Mann, Yuvika Chaudhary, Aman Verma, Smita Bansal
Directors: Glen Barretto, Ankush Mohla
Streaming On: MX Player
Imagine this: A man who becomes disinterested, cold, and detached with the idea of love, meets a young girl who can’t stop thinking about an ideal romantic relationship and the concept of soulmates. The air is heavy with an underlying tension created when opposites cross paths and interact. And then, two people with different philosophies about love develop feelings for each other. We have all seen movies and shows revolving around this concept. Add to that a 15-year age gap between the two people and a murder mystery to solve, and you have MX Player’s latest offering Roohaniyat starring Arjun Bijlani and Kanika Mann in the leads.
The show follows the story of Saveer Rathod (Arjun Bijlani) who requests his fiancé Ishanvi (Yuvika Chaudhary) to not surprise him on his birthday, as he hates them. Instead, what he gets is the shock of his life, which leaves him devastated, confused, and in mourning. He does not believe in the idea of a ‘forever’. ‘Forever is a lie’, he says. However, 19-year-old Prisha does not agree with him, even when she’s left heartbroken from her previous relationship. As their paths cross, Prisha falls for Saveer, but there are truths that she is unaware of. What twists and turns await Saveer and Prisha’s life and relationship becomes the plot of the series.
In the first episode, Roohaniyat seems dated, and it suffers to hold attention and interest. It feels like an old item was wrapped in colourful, new paper. The writing is lazy, and the editing and screenplay take us on a ride to the past, and suddenly, it feels like we are in a daily soap from the 2010s.
Talking about the performances, Arjun Bijlani as Saveer attempts to deliver but fails to create an impact. It is difficult to connect to his moments of helplessness, confusion, or even grief. Flashbacks to his past intended for the sake of creating a sense of mystery, do not arouse much curiosity. (I am curious, however, about the assumption that somebody’s hair can grow so many inches in 6 months. That certainly is a mystery that needs to be solved.) Kanika Mann as a 19-year-old Prisha, who is in love with the idea of love is believable.
Watch the trailer of Arjun Bijlani and Kanika Mann’s Roohaniyat below:
What Saveer and Prisha bring together on the screen will depend on how they fare in the following episodes. The pilot episode, however, fails to hold interest.