Satya Vyas, who lives in Bokaro Steel City and studied in the Law Department of Banaras Hindu University, is called the pioneer of new Hindi stories. The books of truth have an important role to play in attracting the youth who have been away from reading to the books again. Satya’s book Chaurasi is a love story, in which the 1984 riots take such a turn that the reader goes on ‘binge reading’. Sathya had many opportunities to make films and web series on his books but when Shailendra Jha, the designer and programming head of channels like Star Plus, Aaj Tak, Life OK, along with his entire writer team, worked on Satya Chaurasi. If it is decided then the latest one made on it – ‘Eclipse’.
The story is not complicated. In the streets of Delhi, the blood of thousands of innocent people was made into mud on the streets and political loaves were baked with the Holi of the dead bodies. Army flag marches were held in the cities of Rae Bareilly, Indore, Patna, Kanpur and Dehradun, where the terrorists had to be shot at sight. There was another city, where there was a riot but the news of it came out less – Bokaro.
A local union leader, Chunnu alias Sanjay Singh (Tikam Joshi), at the behest of his political mentor Bhagat (Sathyakam Anand), organizes riots against Sikhs across the city. Chunnu’s disciple Rishi Ranjan (Anshuman Pushkar) remains untouched by the storm of hatred and he leads these riots. The landlord of the house where Rishi lives on rent, falls in love with Manu i.e. Manjit Kaur (Wamika Gabi), daughter of Sikh Baldev Singh Chhabra. In the riots, Manu is raped by Rishi’s friend Jaydev aka Zandu (Abhinav Pateria) and Manu returns to Moga, Punjab with her parents, seeing her world burning in the atmosphere of shock and riots.
As a result of rape, pregnant Manu gives birth to a daughter, for which she does not realize the importance. Seeing her, the sage reaches Moga and at the behest of Manu’s husband, he brings the girl with him. The sage changes his form for the sake of his love and becomes a Sikh Gurusevak and brings up that girl Amrita according to Sikhism. Amrita Singh (Zoya Hussain) grows up to become the SP of Ranchi and is made in-charge of the Special Investigative Team (SIT) investigating the 84 riots. In the investigation she discovers her father’s hand in hand, and she is caught between the political rivalry of Chief Minister Bhagat (Sathyakam Anand) and his one-time disciple Chunnu aka Sanjay Singh (Tikam Joshi). The further story this is investigated is of her relationship with her father. The audience understands the story of the eclipse on relationships in this disgusting game of politics, one by one.
On the one hand, while the web series has the bad luck that it never gets made without abusing, Eclipse comes across as a neat presentation for the entire family, destroying the chances of being missed on many occasions. Eclipse is a slap on all those producer directors who think that people do not talk in normal life without abusing words. If there is a background of UP and Bihar, then there should be openly abusing. Eclipse opposes this lousy practice.
The characters have been subjected to violence, there are rape scenes, there are tales of enmity amongst themselves and there are even scenes of Hindu Muslim riots in a poor area but eclipse never loses its dignity. This should be considered a huge victory of its author and writers. Anu Singh Choudhary (writer of the Sushmita Sen starrer ‘Aarya’ web series released on Disney+ Hotstar), Navjot Gulati (writer of Ginni Weds Sunny and Jai) along with Shailendra Jha to create the screenplay and dialogues. Director of Mummy Di Film), Prateek Payodhar (writer of A Simple Murder web series) and Vibha Singh (writer of Housefull and Mardaani films). The credit for the success of this web series should go to the team of writers. The book of Satya has been scripted so well and all the twists and turns of the story have been retained.
This time it is necessary to discuss some more important departments before acting. If you have liked the cinematography of Madras Cafe as dark, Vicky Donor buoyant, and a sensitive travel film like Piku, then you will love Kamaljit Negi’s work in Eclipse. Two different scenes from 1984 and 2016 are proof of his creativity. The editor of eclipse, Shan Mohammed, has also done a great job. The detail of the story was high, yet on the basis of editing, it has kept the audience tied. The beginning and end of every episode is important for binge watching and apart from this, Shaan has kept the pace of every episode such that you don’t want to miss anything.
There is another strong side of this series which is rarely seen in web series – music. There are some very beautiful compositions in this web series, behind which are Varun Grover’s lyrics and Amit Trivedi’s Jugalbandi. Asees Kaur and Shahid Malaiya have given color to the real voice of Prem in O Jogiya. Abhijeet Srivastava and Rupali Moghe have a new flair for this love in their songs Chori Chori. But the most powerful song of this web series is ‘Teri Parchai’ which is written by Swanand Kirkire and music is given by Daniel B George. Swanand’s skyscraper voice has sung this poignant song for her father’s shadow daughter and is sung by talented singer Madhubanti Bagchi. Don’t be surprised if you start binge listening to this song after watching the series. Madhubanti is a singer of Agra Gharana and after gaining fame in Bengali films, she is now fast emerging in Hindi films.
Pawan Malhotra’s performance as an actor is strong but he has appeared in the role of a Sikh many times before and his spontaneity in these characters has no match. Despite having a handful of dialogues, he makes his presence known only through the act of his eyes. After making a strong presence in web series like Jamtara and Kathmandu Connection, Anshuman Pushkar has got an opportunity to shine like a moon in an eclipse which he has exploited with great vigor. Anshuman has done wonders in the role of the leader of those who rebel against an uncomfortable lover and then the father of a small girl. It seems that the world of web series has got a new star. Vamika Gabi, who has worked in Punjabi, Tamil and Malayalam films, has done full justice to the role of Manjeet Kaur. The innocence of his face and the maturity of acting have added to his role. Among the most influential characters is Zoya Hussain who plays the role of SP Amrita Singh. There is a lot of potential in Zoya but there is a fear that she might be typecast. Expressions are well visible on the face and a little naivety is still intact. In other important characters, the eyes of Saharsh Shukla (Mad Guru) have made an amazing impact. In the role of Chief Minister, Satyakam Anand is unable to hide his frustration due to circumstance and because of this his character gets remembered even in a small role. Satyakam has previously been seen in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur. Shaheedur Rehman, the role of SIT officer Vikas Mandal, a big character of small caste, also plays the character very well. One of the specialties of the series is that neither a character has been forcefully inserted nor does any character seem to have been removed. Another web series has been added to the success of casting director Mukesh Chhabra.
For director Ranjan Singh Chandel, it seemed like a huge series, but his efficiency is seen in every episode. No scene, especially of violence, overshadows the scene of love to come. After making a half-finished film like Bamfaad, Ranjan has got rid of any kind of eclipse on his career in eclipse. Ranjan should get more work. The winning in this web series belongs to the author group Satya Vyas and Shailendra Jha. Very well made series. It’s a shame to see it.