Art & Entertainment

'Karmma Calling' On Disney+ Hotstar Review: Raveena Tandon Is The Only Saving Grace In This Revenge Drama

Outlook Rating:
2.5 / 5

Starring Raveena Tandon, 'Karmma Calling' is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. Is this revenge drama worth watching? Or is the plot something that we are all familiar with? Read the full review to find out.

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Raveena Tandon in 'Karmaa Calling' Photo: YouTube
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When it was announced that Raveena Tandon would be starring in a web series, fans of the popular 90s actress were ecstatic. Things turned a notch higher when it was revealed that the show would be an Indian remake of the hit series, ‘Revenge.’ Titled ‘Karmma Calling’, the series boasts of some new faces and some veteran actors who never disappoint with their performances. The show is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar and it has become the talk of the town. Here’s all that you need to know about this Raveena Tandon starrer.

'Karmma Calling': Story

Far away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai lies Alibaug. In this coastal city, the rich and elite have set up their camp. Indrani Kothari is the queen bee of this circle of the elite. She hosts elaborate parties and charity galas. But everyone in her circle has a dark past that they have hidden in order to climb the social ladder. Including Indrani. Stepping into Indrani’s seemingly stable waters is Karmma Talwar. She has no digital footprint nor any shady past. Karmma has a mission on her mind and leaves no stone unturned to get what she wants. She is here to seek revenge on the people who framed her father. The story follows Karmaa’s revenge journey and also reveals the many dark secrets of the rich and the elite who live a lavish life in the picturesque bungalows of Alibaug.

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'Karmma Calling': Performances

Hands down, the show belongs to Raveena Tandon. If I am being honest, she is the only one who is the saving grace when it comes to the show. You can trust Raveena Tandon with just about anything and she proves this with her portrayal of Indrani Kothari. She is conniving, shrewd, and calculative. Not once does she break her character. In every frame, she is utterly convincing. She is the person who would berate you sweetly in public, but you won’t be able to say anything to her because she is intimidating.

Coming to Namrata Sheth. Considering this is her first big appearance, she has held her ground. But you cannot help but notice how she is struggling to act. All she needs is a few more lessons and she would be convincing on the screen. Even in those shots where it is just her, she fails to command a screen presence. Her chemistry with Varun Sood is okay, to say the least.

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Varun Sood has tried his best to get into the role of a charming boy. While his acting fails him numerous times, what only works is his physique and charming smile. But let’s be fair, that’s just not enough. His character has a lot of scenes that he could use to make a mark, but those felt like a wasted opportunity.

There is nothing spectacular about their acting, except for debutante Rachit Singh. I just could not take my eyes off him whenever he was on screen. His presence was commanding. His acting was so much better than the others and that made him stand out. Apart from him, the other characters in the series are just about okay.

'Karmma Calling': Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Ruchi Narain has worked on movies like ‘Calcutta Mail’ and ‘Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi.’ Her body of work speaks for her and that is reflected even in ‘Karmma Calling.’ I have zero complaints about her direction and her vision. She has brought out the ugly side of the rich and elite with such campy features, that it is just brilliant. It might sound outrageous that in one scene Indrani sits on a chopper and flies into the clouds to look for the moon on Karwa Chauth. But this detail just goes on to show how powerful she is. It is these small details that help the show.

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Coming to the dialogues – the less said, the better. Towards the end of every episode, Karmma has a long monologue. Frankly, it does nothing to the plot. It feels like she wants to say something profound, but she is tangled in a mess of profound-sounding words that what she actually says sounds like word soup. I actively found myself skipping those moments and it made no difference to the plot or my viewing experience.

The shots where Karmma recalls her father are very repetitive. I understand that because she has spent limited time with her father, her memories are also limited. But when this is the case, it actually helps to unravel those memories one by one, rather than opening them like a can of worms in just one go.

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The camera work and the cinematography are top-notch. The shots establish the meaninglessness and the opulence of their rich and privileged lives. It shows it in all its glamour, but it also manages to show its dark side which is rough and can hurt people. Alibaug has been portrayed beautifully in the series. At times, it feels like the coastal city is also a supporting character.

'Karmma Calling': Cast & Crew

Director: Ruchi Narain

Cast: Raveena Tandon, Namrata Sheth, Varun Sood, Gaurav Sharma, Waluscha D’Souza, Viraf Patel, Vikramjeet Virk, Devangshi Sen, Rachit Singh

Available On: Disney+ Hotstar

Episodes: 7

Language: Hindi

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Duration: 40-50 minutes

'Karmma Calling': Can Kids Watch It?

No.

Outlook's Verdict

Despite the show’s flaws, I actually found myself engrossed in it. The seven episodes pull you in and you cannot help but keep watching it. It burns slowly and it continues to simmer till the end. You just cannot turn it down. The story sometimes feels stereotypical. A rich family hiding its secrets? Sounds very familiar. But the technical details make you want to watch it. It's pulpy and keeps you hooked. If you want grandeur and opulence, 'Karmma Calling' should be your pick. What makes that possible is Raveena Tandon and the story. But again, the story isn’t original and how much can Raveena do singlehandedly? The actors in the show have a lot to work on and for that, I am going with 2.5 stars.

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