Jaideep Ahlawat, Sonali Bendre, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Indraneil Sengupta, Taaruk Raina, Aakash Khurana, Kiran Kumar, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya
What’s The Story
'The Broken News' highlights the battle between two Mumbai-based Indian news networks, Awaaz Bharati and Josh 24/7. It delves into the lives, lies, loves, and difficulties of a diverse group of journalists. Awaaz Bharati is a news organisation led by Amina Qureshi (played by actress Sonali Bendre), an exceptionally reputed editor who believes in the ethics of journalism. However, her channel is perpetually cash-strapped and bleeding dry. Josh 24/7, led by Dipankar Sanyal (played by actor Jaideep Ahlawat), is India's number one channel by TRPs, however, it is sensationalist and does not always check its facts. Josh 24/7 is just concerned with eyeballs and viewership, therefore they have power and are making money. Radha Bhargava (played by Shriya Pilgaonkar) exists between these two extremes. ‘The Broken News’ follows their lives as they struggle to combine work and leisure, ambition and integrity, all while dealing with the never-ending pressures of the news cycle and an industry that tries to stay one step ahead while facing an uncertain future.
Jaideep Ahlawat Steals The Show Again
Jaideep Ahlawat as Dipankar Sanyal is fantastic. As the editor of a popular news channel, he carries his weight around as if he is the almighty. Ahlawat seems to have taken references from real-life news anchors and built his character on that. The nuances he manages to get into the character are what makes this performance stand out. Ahlawat has been giving back to back good performances in OTT shows like ‘Blood Brothers’ where he played Jaggi and in ‘Paatal Lok’ where he played Hathi Ram Chaudhary. Even as Tyagi in ‘Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar’ and as Babloo in ‘Ajeeb Daastaans’ he managed to outshine the others even in smaller roles.
Shriya Pilgaonkar as Radha Bhargava, the feisty reporter for whom the truth is above everything else creates an impact in the minds of the audiences. She embodies the spirit of what true journalism should look like. She fights for the right causes and stands up for what’s right. She proves to be a strong and good opposition to Sanyal, played by Jaideep Ahlawat.
The story adaptation by Sambit Mishra from the British show ‘Press’ is apt. He has managed to smoothly shift the entire British show to an Indian context with characters who feel and sound like the real-life anchors that audiences get to see on every day Prime Time news channels. Sambit Mishra and Purva Naresh’s dialogues are kick-ass which brings out the cockiness in most of these characters.
Harendra Singh’s cinematography is terrific. The indoor shots of the newsroom are shown quite authentic. Gaurav Aggarwal’s editing also needs to be applauded for keeping the episodes crisp so that none of them gets boring at any point.
The direction by Vinay Waikul is what makes ‘The Broken News’ different from any other show on news reporting that audiences have seen in recent times. Keeping the balance between the two news channels and ensuring that the audience gets to know both sides of the story side by side is brilliant. The way the climax has been shown needs a special mention. Waikul keeps the audience hanging till the very last shot to actually reveal who among the two is the good guy and who the bad guy is.
Sonali Bendre’s Dissatisfying Performance
‘The Broken News’ doesn’t prove to be the comeback that audiences were expecting from Sonali Bendre. While she is the editor of one of the biggest news channels she doesn’t come forth as that feisty anchor. She is soft and at times even gullible. Even her look, where she is sporting baggy outfits throughout the show, made her character not come out that strong. Baring a couple of scenes in the entire 8-episodes there is hardly anything that Bendre does that is going to be memorable.
Also, despite being a good performance, Shriya Pilgaonkar is becoming repetitive in her choices of characters. Her last, ‘Guilty Minds’ and this, ‘The Broken News’, have quite a similar streak of truth-seeking and righteousness-filled personalities. She needs to take a break from such holier-than-thou characters.
The episodes end on a high note, and then suddenly a melancholic slow song starts playing out of nowhere. It totally kills the mood. The music of the show by Aditya Pushkarna is to be blamed here. The closing title song needed to be something more energetic keeping in sync with the high energy of the show.
Despite being an Indian adaptation of the British show ‘Press’, ‘The Broken News’ manages to hold its own. Showcasing Indianised problems and trying to make the news reporting as real as possible is what works best for the show. It is indeed a Must Watch.