many times The writer gets great pleasure while writing a story, while writing is a creative process done in complete solitude, in which there is only and only suffering. When a script is made on a story, the flight of imagination of the screenwriters is also not controlled. This is the main reason for big long films and very long web series. The web series which cannot be of more than three episodes, is also drawn up to 9 episodes. It is said that in web series there is freedom of many sub-plots and parallel tracks, but to give priority to some characters, scenes are written around and about them and inserted into the screenplay. Converting scenes that can be shown with the same intensity in barely 10 seconds into a full 2-minute long sequence leaves the audience after a while. For example, director Neeraj Pandey’s films are interesting, but the chases in his films are very long, the actors are often shown walking and those scenes are also long, due to which their films are cut a bit. And the best thriller can be made. This story is the new victim of the screenplay length of Disney + Hotstar’s new web series “Dahan – The Secret of Rakan”. Interesting, but too long.
Shilaspura is the story of village where there is a mine, in which unlimited minerals are present. There is a cave in this mine where the secret of Rakan is hidden. The villagers think that the Rakan in that cave (there must be some relation with Dakan) turns the mind of anyone it comes upon, it turns every living person into a zombie or kills them. If the government is concerned with rare minerals, then a useless type of IAS (Tisca Chopra) is posted there who wants to start the excavation again. A village priest-type man (Saurabh Shukla) warns them of the age-old curse of Mayavi, Rakan’s cave and doomsday, but the digging begins. Some unexpected incidents happen, the villagers raise their voice of protest, but the collector madam who came from the city does not believe in the words of ghosts. Many episodes pass in the battle for supremacy of science and faith. When some more dead bodies are laid, then it is known that what was the secret after all. The viewer feels cheated and after wasting 9 episodes, he feels that if the story was finished in 2-3 episodes, it could have been Shadab. But this could not happen.
The writer of the series, Nisarg Mehta, first wrote Hostages (a remake of Israel’s web series) for Disney + Hotstar, then wrote the dialogues for G5’s very ridiculous film Caller Bomb. The second writer Shiva Bajpai was also the co-writer of Hostages with Nisarg and the third Nikhil Nair was the co-writer of Collar Bomb with Nisarg. Together these three expanded the story so much that along with mystery, supernatural, adventure, boredom also increased. First of all, IAS can happily get their posting done from the secretariat on their own wish, it was good to know that. Tisca Chopra is a capable actress, but less visible. Since the arrival of OTT, they have started getting work. She probably suits in such a role too, but her character seems strange, weak. Saurabh Shukla is a player artist but got type cast in this series. Keep it up, he became an astrologer in Munna Bhai, that attitude has carried over here as well. Corrupt leaders and landlords were made in Raid film, the same anger and dialogue delivery is here as well. His character was written with the intention of making it into a film. There is a lot of over acting. Similar is the condition of Mukesh Tiwari. As a policeman, he is expected to add heat to the story, but he keeps on having dialogues with the collector. It is certain that Rajesh Tailang will do this web series as a friendship.
If we look at the origin of the story, we have heard many such ghost stories in our childhood. There’s a thief, there’s a ghost, etc., etc. No one has seen a ghost or a dakan, everyone’s acquaintance or relative has told them stories which have been narrated to them by their relative or acquaintance. However, even science has not yet been able to break some superstitions and that is why logic surrenders to superstitions. Second, education has also not been so capable that any promising person can question the existence of these ghosts and prove them wrong by doing research. Till this happens, we will continue to be fools. However, one should not be so fooled that the story does not move forward in long episodes and the time is simply spent with the help of the script. This is the first web series of director Vikrant Panwar. He has handled a long story well, so he will continue to get work as a director. On the other hand, his co-director Jai Sharma, who has worked as an assistant director in many big films, will continue to struggle for him.
Technically, some scenes have definitely become better in the series. The conversation between Mukesh Tiwari and Tisca is funny somewhere. The climax is made very well. Computer graphics have also appeared fine, raw work is not. The cinematographer is Arkodeb Mukherjee, who has been associated with the world of web series for the last few years and his work is also good. One person who disappointed is editor Gyanand Samarth. There are so many strange cuts in some scenes that the viewer keeps waiting for the completion of that scene. Also, there was scope to remove many episodes from this series and a good editor can save the story from being long and boring. If you watch one or two episodes in fast forward or round it, then there is no difference in the story. Dahan: Mystery of the Rakan straddles two boats, mystery and horror in which mystery is given such priority that horror seems like a second class citizen. Disney + Hotstar launched Kathputli, the Hindi remake of Tamil Rakshasan, in this genre a few days back. Because of Akshay Kumar’s haphazard acting, even that film starts boring and the same thing happens in Dahan. Kathputli is tolerated at least because it is a film. Dahan is a very long and boring web series. Watch Dahan only if you are ready to fast forward the middle episodes.
FIRST PUBLISHED : September 23, 2022, 21:05 IST