Happy Mongia, Bharat Misra
Shakti Kapoor, Omkar Kulkarni, Sayandeep Sengupta, Anushka Sharma, Varun Tewari, Anup Soni, Rohit Pargai, Gireesh Sahdev, Naman Jain, Nazneen Madan, Aadhya Anand, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, KK Raina
What's The Story
'Bravehearts' is India's first army anthology series dedicated to the humans behind the heroes in India's armed forces. The series explores 5 unique stories of hope, courage, sacrifice, and pride for the nation. Each of the 5 stories in the series 'Bravehearts' captures a unique aspect of the courageous journeys of the families of army men and women.
The Change In The Narrative Is The Key
There are numerous shows and films based on the lives of army men and women. However, there are very few which depict just the lives of the families of these army people, and how they've contributed to the making of a 'hero'. 'Bravehearts' manages to bring that narrative to the forefront and not delve into the actual act of war. Writers Sankalp Raj Tripathi, Harman Singha, Sehaj K Maini, Prateek Raina, Rahul Rai and Aman Dahiya need to be applauded for trying to venture into untested and unexplored territory.
Directors Happie Mongia and Bharat Misra along with showrunner Aditi Shrivastava have gone with a route less taken with this show on the making of army personnel. Whether it is the story of a tailor with torn army dreams, or an orphan wanting to get into the armed forces after several failed attempts, or a widow trying to deal with the loss of her husband who gave up their life for the nation, or the teenager who is getting to know his father after 15 years as he was away on duty all this while, or it's the young girl who has never seen her father as he was killed at war even before she was born – all the stories try to showcase the lives of the people behind the army personnel. The makers have managed to bring out the emotions of the people behind these war heroes very well. In doing so,
Among the cast members, Shakti Kapoor steals the lion's share of the praises. It's a shame that he will always be known for his crazy antics and villainous roles when, in reality, he is a brilliant actor who can leave you spellbound with characters like 'Bravehearts'. It's refreshing to see him play a character with such finesse. Anup Soni is back to playing a character in his familiar territory. Much like his stint in 'Crime Patrol', he can be seen giving life lessons and throwing motivating one-liners at you. Most of the other actors managed to play their parts convincingly.
The editors Puneet Mehta and Jaice Matthews have managed to keep the flow of the stories crisp and to the point. With a runtime of around 20-30 minutes each episode, 'Bravehearts' is a quick and breezy watch.
Abhijeet Chaudhari's cinematography needs a special mention. He has managed to keep all the stories quite natural and real in their presentation. Baring aside a couple of handheld shots, most of the presentation is well-lit and smooth in its execution.
The Absence Of Diversity Is Very Evident
It has become an unsaid rule in today's anthologies and web shows to show at least one character from the LGBTQ community so as to give an impetus to the community. However, in 5 different stories of this anthology, there is not even one story where the representation has come forth.
Also, the men in uniform come out more prominently in the narrative than the women in uniform. In the 5-episodic, there is just one story where a woman decides to join the army, and that too it happens only after she loses her husband, who gave his life for the country at war. It's more of trying to fulfill her husband's wishes that she prepares herself to join the army. Another story about a teenage girl studying to clear military exams seemed a lot forced by the family aspirations and legacy of her father and grandfather in the army. She intrinsically wants to be a writer but decides to just live the life of army personnel so that she can tell the story of army people and their families better through her writing. Not a single story where the women of the house are the actual army personnel.
The terrible product placement of Unacademy in every story not just once but multiple times is appalling. One can understand that they are the main sponsors of the show, but there is no need to stitch their work in every storyline. It feels, as if, if someone has to study for the army entrance exam, there is nothing else available apart from the aforementioned e-learning application. The in-your-face product placement is pathetic.
The music and background score by Karthik Rao isn't that memorable. In a family drama, the music and BGM should have been able to bring out the emotions in the viewers much better, but Rao's attempt seems half-hearted and unimpressive.
Dice Media has managed to step into uncharted territory with this anthology. The stories of the making of army personnel are something that's lovely to watch. However, you shouldn't be expecting it to give you the chills and thrills of a show based on the army – as it is not that. 'Bravehearts' on YouTube is indeed a good One-Time Watch. I am going with 3 stars.