Aarya Review: Sushmita Sen's killer moves will hook you for sure
Season 1 of the crime thriller proves to be an engaging watch
A saga of love, loyalty, betrayal, revenge and addiction, web series Aarya, starring former Ms Universe-turned Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen admittedly took us a bit of time to sink our teeth into. But after the first couple of episodes, we found ourselves completely immersed in the life of Aarya Sareen, who is drawn into her family's dodgy 'fake medicine' business following the sudden death of her husband Tej (Chandrachur Singh).
Granted Sen plays the bereaved widow and protective mum, who is forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, with a touch of sophistication and a certain unwillingness to break free of her 'in-control' persona, that could be jarring at times. But there is no doubting her commanding screen presence accounts for the series' popularity.
Jayant Kripalani as the family patriarch, Zorawar, weaving his own web from the shadows, and Sikandar Kher (a truly underrated actor with a brooding, intense presence on screen) as his trusty aide, Daulat, stand out. As do Namit Das as Sareen's cocaine-sniffing business partner, Jawahar, and his wife Maya (Sarao) another talented actress who has to bear the burden of showcasing her inner turmoil in a role that pits her loyalty to her husband against that for her childhood friend.
Manish Choudhary, as the cigar chomping mafia don Shekhawat; Sohaila Khan as the long-suffering matriarch and Vikas Kumar, as ACP Khan, battling his own demons, are among the ensemble cast that keep you tethered to this crime thriller (based on the Dutch series Penoza) directed by Ram Madhvani and Sandeep Modi.
Set in Rajasthan, the nine episode series is not one that you are probably likely to binge-watch like Paatal Lok (which we saw in one long stretch) but this is definitely a series that you feel invested in and drawn back into.
If you find yourself humming the melodious Bade Acche Lagte Hai, post this series, know that you are hooked. Plus the sight of Ms Sen balancing on her TRX workout bands is bound to give you #fitnessgoals. We are keeping our fingers crossed for Season 2.
Web series: Aarya
Director: Ram Madhvani and Sandeep Modi.
Cast: Sushmita Sen, Chandrachur Singh, Jayant Kripalani, Sikandar Kher, Maya Sarao, Namit Das
Rating: 3 out of 5
Streaming on Disney +Hotstar