TV review: Satyamev Jayate is not flawless, but still a potential hit
The wait is over! Satyamev Jayate finally takes off. But, has the show lived up to the hype it has created so far? Well, Aamir Khan is surely in a win–win situation that way because the show is apt for the thick skinned Indian audience that usually is insensitive to such important topics, unless a superstar spoon feeds them. Aamir, unlike other Bollywood celebs on the line today, is choosing to make a difference with Satyamev Jayate. It's definitely a show with immense national appeal, pan India. By choosing a hard hitting topic for its first episode-female foeticide, Satyamev Jayate's surely arrived. Having victims and researchers speaking on the topic and discussing the problem- do we want more? Only a celeb of Aamir's stature could afford to garner the attention towards this grave problem.
One however, can’t ignore the flip side that the topics or examples or even its futuristic predictions are something any literate person, ideally would be and ‘should be’ aware of. The first episode dealt with female foeticide, which is a basic socially concerning topic. In fact, quite similarly, reality shows like Crime Patrol or Bhanwar have turned out to be successful in staging the emotions perfectly on small screen.
But, difference surely lies in the treatment. The superstar anchor excels at maintaining the suspense element throughout the show. He, like a true entertainer builds a plot that gets intriguing with every passing moment. Like for instance, the idea of introducing the topic, without giving a hint about what will follow next is very commendable. The surprises are followed by tremendous shock value, which take the show to another level.
We'd say, the show gains real momentum only after the third break, where it becomes evidence based. From sting operation footage to warrant speakers like lawyers and experts discussing it with supportive illustrations (a roadside poor family with a newborn baby girl and Rohtak's gang of unmarried men) also showing pros and cons, adds on to the glee. Statistics shown get full marks!
As far as Aamir as an anchor is concerned, he, surprisingly, looks overtly-expressive and in no time, the genuineness of his conversation and interest in the topic is lost. It’s something like Aamir Khan becoming the Indian Oprah Winfrey, just that this show has a longer duration and a wider curiosity factor. He tries to bring everything under one-roof. “Aamir Khan trying to be the Indian Oprah! Disappointing. He is so fake,” posted Apar Dham on a social networking site. He has studied media. K Himaanshu Shukla of Scrutiny blog says, “Aamir Khan's emotional atyachaar.” He posted a status message saying, “I was expecting something different.”
But not everyone is skeptical of Aamir’s ‘crusade potpourri’. Filmmaker Ramesh Taurani is all praises for the actor on his Blackberry Messenger, calling him 'The best'.” Abhigyan Jha, the producer of the online show Jay Hind, says that the show reminded him of the days when he 'sat writing Rajani with the belief that it would change the country." He added on Twitter that he wasn’t a fan of Aamir, but thought it is a show 'well done'. “If I were him, I would have tried to do a similar show. Some things have to be done,” adds Abhigyan.
“Satyamev Jayate is the Naya Bharat after Mahabharat,” wrote producer Manish Goswami. “Hats off to Aamir Khan for walking the road less travelled and attempting to serve humanity by inspiring millions,” said film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi on Facebook.
Coming back to the technicalities of the show, which at some places lacks genuineness, like the intrusion of tear-jerking emotional faces, when they are not even required. Also, if the show becomes repetitive in terms of content, it may lose on to the loyal audience in the weeks to come. What adds to the misery is the question- whether the audience will continue to be receptive towards such hard-hitting shows, when they like to relax on weekends?
Overall, Satyamev Jayate is a like old wine in a new bottle, but with Aamir Khan as its USP, it has a tremendous potential to create a stir all over.