‘Sanjivani 2’ Episode 1 is High on Drama and Style, Low on Nuance
India’s first medical drama Sanjivani is back with a revamped look and feel, and this time the show mixes it up with a romance in the forefront, in Dill Mill Gayye style.
The first episode of the show opens with a larger than life sequence, where we are introduced to male lead, Dr Sid (Namit Khanna), who goes shirtless and jumps into the river to save the life of a boy. He then transfers him to Sanjivani hospital in a chopper.
At the very outset, its clear that the show is going all out to impress and special attention has been paid to the production design and cinematography. The hospital is lavish and the stethoscopes, hold your breath, are pink!
The first episode sets up the attributes of its primary characters instantly.
Dr Sid is a ladies man, who believes in taking from the rich and giving it the poor, to help pay the hospital’s hefty bills. He is a rebel with a cause. Newbie at the hospital, Dr Ishani (Surbhi Chandna) is fierce and a stickler for rules, with a very strong sense of right and wrong. And she’s trying to hide her true identity. The two, potentially the future lead couple, are instantly at loggerheads. But it’s difficult to comment on their chemistry as of now.
Dr Anjali (Dr Riddhima's jealous sister in the original Sanjivani), now played by Sayanti Ghosh, is quite obviously a grey character.
The core conflict at this point is between Dr Vardhan and Dr Shashank’s ideologies. While Dr Shashank puts patients above everything else, Dr Vardhan wants to maximize the revenue of the hospital. A relevant issue in current times, when the medical industry has gone through great amount of commercialisation over time.
Then there’s Dr Vardhan, from the management, the bad man of the show played by Rohit Roy, who lurks around the hospital, keeping an eye on everyone. Dr Shashank (Mohnish Behl) makes a great entrance, reviving the memories of the old show. An old school doctor, Dr Shashank continues to believe in the nobility of the profession. But he’s in a lot of pain and battling a health condition.
The other old timer, Dr Juhi, played by Gurdeep Kohli, wasn’t in episode one, but is slated to make an appearance very soon.
The core conflict at this point is between Dr Vardhan and Dr Shashank’s ideologies. While Dr Shashank puts patients above everything else, Dr Vardhan wants to maximize the revenue of the hospital. A relevant issue in current times, when the medical industry has gone through great amount of commercialisation in the last decade.
Episode one packs in a lot, and is entertaining in parts, with equal doses of hospital politics, potential romance between its leads and the medical cases. And of course, tons of drama!
The star-studded cast and the nostalgia factor are the driving force for this show at the outset. Surbhi and Namit’s love-hate relationship will surely be the key interest point for the viewers going forward. In the first episode though, the characters and the performances overall felt quite facile.
The show feels high on style and swaps charm for impact. The writing is full of broad strokes, especially in terms of characterization.
It will be interesting to see if the writers Shipra Arora and Romit Ojha, and director Abhijeet Das are able to add more depth to the plot and the characters as they move forward, where they go beyond the token qualities, convenient conflicts and develop more nuanced plot-lines.
When an old show is revived, the expectations are higher. When Sanjivani came out in 2002, it was like a breath of fresh air amidst the Saas -bahu serials that were big at the time. Today, TV is ripe with OTT love stories and family dramas, and supernatural shows. Can Sanjivani break the clutter again? Can’t be sure of that after watching just the first episode. But there is potential.
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