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Mai Review 2022 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Mai’ echoes the same crime-and-revenge genre as the 2017 Bollywood thrillers— ‘Mom,’ starring late Sridevi and Raveena Tandon’s comeback flick ‘Maatr.’ They are comparable in many aspects, particularly the fundamental idea, which revolves around a humble and ordinary mother seeking vengeance for her daughter. In this series, Sheel’s life is flipped upside down when she witnesses her daughter Supriya’s tragic death. At first glance, it looks to be an accident, but Sheel quickly realises that something isn’t quite right, and Supriya’s death might have been an intentional murder. Following that, she sets off on a trip to discover the truth.
Parallely, Farooque Siddiqui (Ankur Ratan), a Special Police Force Officer (SPF), is on the verge of exposing the people behind a medical scam and money laundering case, which is led by Jawahar (Prashant Narayanan) and his right-hand woman Neelam (Raima Sen), who manages the business alongside Raghu (Saurabh Dubey), Keshav, Prashant (Anant Vidhaat), and Shankar (Vaibhav Raj Gupta). Be it Farooque as Supriya’s boyfriend or Sheel as Jawahar’s mother’s caretaker in the old-age home, the series’ characters are either directly or indirectly tied to the mother-daughter duo in question.
The directors—debutant Atul Mongia and Anshai Lal, who made his directorial debut with ‘Phillauri’ (2017)—manage to extract outstanding performances out of the cast. On screen, Sheel, who is both emotional and vulnerable at the same time, and Supriya, her mute daughter, who manages to express her thoughts, are both flawless. The directors’ use of close-up shots of the protagonist further heightens the tension. Wearing multiple hats in this project, Mongia is the creator-producer and has co-written this six-part crime-thriller with Tamal Sen and Amita Vyas, who, together, bring to life the mother-daughter duo’s sorrow and suffering, human relationships and sacrifices, political scams, money laundering and much more.
This fictitious drama, like other crime sagas streaming in the OTT space, uses Lucknow as a background to depict the right and wrong behaviours in the city that influence the lives of ordinary people. The first few episodes seem to be heading in the right way, complete with an incredible emotional outburst from Sheel, but the story soon begins to waver. The script is well-written in terms of connecting all of the elements, although it does seem unduly stretched at points to keep the audience’s attention throughout the episodes. On top of that, there are too many characters and subplots, and not all of them get enough time to justify their existence. For instance, Kalpana’s (Seema Pahwa) backstory of being a victim of an abusive marriage and subsequently being a criminal is rather hazily described. The story was unable to connect with the audience since Kalpana’s tale was communicated casually throughout her conversation with Sheel. Furthermore, several situations in which Sheel seems to be capable of practically anything, from scaling walls to deceiving the masterminds, are implausible.
Despite everything, ‘Mai’ is preoccupied with keeping Sakshi at the centre stage, which slows down the show’s momentum, and in some cases, makes it less impactful. There is, however, ample room to dwell on a variety of human interactions, such as Sheel’s evolving dynamics with her husband Yash and extended family which includes Bhaisahab, Bhabhi and their kid or her bond with Kalpana (Seema Pahwa), who has been by her side throughout. It could have been a taut thriller if Manas Mittal’s editing had been more lenient, each episode—which is nearly an hour-long—could have been trimmed to keep the show’s pace. Above all, it leaves ample hints for the next season as well.
Sakshi Tanwar is simply perfect and dominates the screen playing a grieving mother who swiftly transforms from being meek to merciless after the tragic incident: her agony at not knowing who killed her daughter and why, is palpable. Later, Sakshi’s Sheel, who is a nurse-cum-caretaker at the old-age home, sets off on a journey to settle scores with some dangerous people. All the heavy-lifting is left for Tanwar, and she is every bit convincing. Wamiqa Gabbi, who was last seen in the Hindi film ‘83’ as Madan Lal’s wife, plays a young mute girl who is the series’ victim and is particularly effective. Vivek Mushran, who plays Sheel’s husband Yash, suffers from not having enough heft like the rest of the cast, including his extended family members.
All the characters are believable and contribute meaningfully to the plot. The SPF officer, unlike Salman’s Chulbul Pandey or any other masculine cop, is a no-nonsense policeman who just understands his job well. Perhaps as a result, Ankur Ratan as Farooque seems to be an outcast in several action moments. Prashant slips into the skin of his character as Jawahar/Mohandas with minimum fuss and yet again delivers a performance that makes us despise his character. Raima may be portrayed as a beauty with intellect in her role as Neelam, yet she maintains the same blank look throughout the series. Prashant and Shankar played by Anant Vidhaat and Vaibhav Raj Gupta (Annu Bhaiya from Gullak), respectively, are twisted characters played well by them.
It’s difficult to keep track of so many characters in a show that’s essentially a whodunit but deals with a variety of twisted motives. But, all things considered, ‘Mai’ is a bleak and relentless crime-thriller that proves to be a compelling one even when it isn’t always easy to watch. The drama slows down in between, and yet, there is constant action that keeps the audience on the edge.