Continuing its tryst with steamy, raunchy content where the story is squeezed between a few lovemaking sequences as a formality, the st(r)eaming platform AltBalaji once again embraces the soft-porn territory with the erotic thriller-series titled Bekaaboo. Surprisingly, there's more to the series than the discussions on human anatomy. Some substance and a few thrills back the raunchiness in its content this time, probably borrowing some nuance or two from the book it's based on, titled 'Black Suits You'.
This story surrounding the life of an erotic novel-writer is straight out of the adult magazines that toys with a reader's sexual fantasies. The series is charged with consistent sexual tension, where words like d**k,f**k, sex, BDSM are conveniently thrown in every now and then. Not that you expect words like sanctity, pavitrata or pativrata in the dialogues, but the series could have been so much about its thriller element than merely exploring the physical desires of a sex maniac. The reasonably strong plot could have breathed some life into the series but the makers don't seem to be interested at all.
Kian Roy is a best-selling erotica novel writer living a dreamy life, making millions with his books, set to get hitched to his lady love Anaysha in a matter of few days. Until he encounters a 17-year old Kashti, a sex-obsessed fan of his writings, who turns his upside down with a blackmailing plot (that he falls for). Kian has hit a dead-end personally and professionally, his marriage has been called off, his equation with his publisher has roughened. Clearly, there seems to be no hope at the end of the tunnel for Kian at all. This precarious situation has Kian unravel one clue after the other about his mysterious past and his weakness for women. So, who's the victim and who's the villain? The series provides the answers.
The director Akshay Choubey is obsessed with the idea of pleasure and pain in eroticism, his only trump card to scape through the plot in the first half of the series. The story doesn't progress but there are enough sexual thrills (read it as his elaboration on different sex positions) it offers for its target audience. True to the nature of the series, most of the characters in the series are barely clothed. Beyond a point, the repetitive underlining of sexual fantasies of the protagonist becomes boring. It feels as if the makers were shooting the same lovemaking sequence in different locations minus its need in the story.
The series stages a surprise recovery in the later episodes. The writers would have thought, 'Maybe we've titillated them enough, let's give them the story now'. And the tension comes alive and you're suddenly invested with the fragile emotional state of the protagonist. The key-twist in the final episode is just what the doctor ordered for the day, helping the series end on a high note, also setting up an interesting foundation for season two. Just why couldn't this smartness in the writing come much earlier?
Actor Rajeev Siddhartha looks every bit the shady adult novel writer in this story. He's required to act more for his sequences on the bed than otherwise, yet he fits into his complex role and lends it enough believability. The surprise of the series is, however, Priya Banerjee as Kashti. There is a twinkle and an element of mischief in her eyes every time she performs and that's everything an actor could come up with while playing a seductress. Other actors including Madhu Sneha, Trishna Mukherjee, Jitendra Hirawat are passable during their screen-time, if not mind-blowing.
Bekaabo is a story that could have worked well in the hands of a storyteller with conviction. The makers here are too distracted with the B-grade stuff that the intentions of the story go astray somewhere. This erotica thriller would go down as a missed and a sabotaged opportunity. Time to read the book, maybe?