Starring: Tahir Raj Bhasin, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Anchal Singh, Surya Sharma, Arunoday Singh, Saurabh Shukla, Brijendra Kala, Anant Joshi, Sunita Rajwar, Hetal Gada, Anjuman Saxena
Creator: Sidharth Sengupta
In recent times, streaming platforms have been belting out amazing , both as series and movies. So, when a series starts with title graphics and music reminiscent of a James Bond classic opening sequence, expectations were bound to soar high. The first few minutes into the pilot of this eight-episode series would feel like the right viewing choice to make.
The very beginning of YKKA, as it is become known, starts with a haunting narration: “Three things can ruin a person, Money, Power and Women”. However, as the series continues, apart from some random moving scenes and brilliant acting prowess by the main characters, expectations fall short on many counts.
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This story is set in a fictional town somewhere in and is about a small-town boy Vikrant (Bhasin), who has been a brilliant student throughout. After graduating, Vikrant is looking ahead to a successful engineering career in a steel plant and marrying his true love, Sikha (Tripathi Sharma). He is the son of an accountant (Kala), working for local politician turned don Akheraj Awasthi (Shukla).
Akhiraj’s daughter Purva (Singh) has fancied Vikrant since school days, which later turns into an obsessive desire for possession. Amid family pressure and some extreme and extraordinary circumstances, Vikrant succumbs to Purva’s desire and gets married under the false impression that Akhiraj’s goons have murdered Sikha.
A sharp twist in the tale later reveals that Sikha is still alive, making the otherwise timid Vikrant grow some backbone. His desperation to swim against his fate and be reunited with Sikha, no matter what, creates a high-pressure and reactive episodes. This tension element in the YKKA screenplay ultimately keeps viewers hooked until the last episode, despite several improbable plot twists and a lacklustre ending.
Shweta Tripathi Sharma lives up to her ‘Mirzapur’ promise and, as always, delivers powerful acting in a simple and sweet package. Of the few positive points to talk about from this series, her portrayal of Sikha tops the list. She shines the brightest in a tear-jerking moment in episode 5.
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As for the hero Vikrant’s best friend Goldie, Anant Joshi continuously tries to save Vikrant’s life from start to finish and the series from the ricochet effect of blank misfires. Kala is an actor whose very screen presence makes for a funny sequence. Albeit dark, one of the most satisfyingly comic moments of this series is when Vikrant’s blank fire hits him by accident.
Anchal Singh’s character of Purva had a lot of potential and inspirations to draw upon from the of hit Bollywood thriller movies. Unfortunately, Anchal was given a sketchily drawn that lacked depth or layers, leaving her with little opportunity to make a mark.
It is pleasantly surprising to see Arunoday Singh on screen after a long time, that too in almost a God of Death avatar. This is the second-best inspiring moment in the series when a supari (contract) killer gets healed and rested in the strikingly contrasting backdrop – in the pristine serenity of a monastery in a snow-capped mountain.
Tahir Raj Bhasin does his best as the hapless hero Vikrant but falls victim to an improbable script and illogical plot twists. The helplessness of his character seems superfluous and imposed upon for the sake of the story to move forward than naturally brought by family or political pressure. In the end, his acting just remained as good acting without a memorable character.
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Talking about falling victim, perhaps the script itself has fallen victim by having so many directors trying to create their individual plot twists in each episode. While it is obvious that Sengupta as the creator had every intention to make another engrossing thriller like ‘Undekhi’ and ‘Apharan’, YKKA has too many plot holes which make it only a time-pass watch.
The audience may just be enticed to return for Season 2 because of a final twist, given its ease of streaming availability.