What is the story about?
Agastya Rao (Sidharth Shukla) is an up and coming theatre director with anger issues. He is full of angst when it comes to "true art" and thinks that people often fail to recognise his stories that are played out on the stage. In a chance encounter, he meets Rumi (Sonia Rathee) who is a hothead herself but of a different kind. She obsesses over Ishaan (Ehan Bhat), her childhood crush who she wants to win over by hook or by crook. So her ingenious plan is to have a no strings attached relationship with Agastya, only to make Ishan feel what she has been feeling all through the years. In her obsession to get who or what she wants, she loses sight of the person she is slowly breaking and the toxicity in the relationship between Rumi and Agastya poison both.
A triangular love story where for the first time the lead hero has the gay best friend. That was perhaps the only difference I found when watching the third instalment of ALTBalaji's Broken But Beautiful. An absolutely unoriginal series, the show has the "angsty" "misunderstood" art guy, the "spoiled" "misunderstood" "living in the shadow of her big sister" rich girl and of course a "rich" but "egoistic" "red flag" third love interest. Spice it up with some kissing scenes, some obscene words and gorgeous people walking around. That is how hollow the script of Broken But Beautiful is, although the series is quite brilliant for fans of Sidharth Shukla who will lap up his screen time.
A series so predictable that you do not quite understand why the story needed to be told. There was no originality to a concept that gives ample fodder to the creative mind. Now, I know that with love stories you can only do so much but perhaps looking at the west or even at the brilliant content from the east, one can map out a different story that does not unintentionally pay homage to Bollywood movies that have the same tropes.
I liked the way Sidharth Shukla's character was developed because clearly Agastya had been given thought to but unfortunately that was not seen with Rumi. They did try to resurrect her from her image of a greedy and selfish person but the plot got lost somewhere in the middle. In trying to fit the puzzle pieces of Rumi and Agastya back together, by the last episode, the writers hurriedly pick up what is left of Rumi and give the audience a messy collage with a definitive ending.
Sidharth Shukla performs a promising digital debut with a penchant for making cliched dialogues tolerable. Always seen as the calm boy next door, he breaks from that mould to become a personality with anger issues. Ehan Bhat is scripted and performs his dialogues to the T. There is no originality that he tries to bring to the character, though his dialogues also make up for half the issue. Sonia Rathee is a surprise as the obnoxious Rumi. There is a certain hatred that you begin to build up against this character and a lot of the work is brought by the way Rathee performs Rumi because playing such a character, one might not be able to grasp, for the lack of a better word, the certain "Bitchi-ness".
Vikrant Massey and Harleen Sethi reprise their roles from season 1 and 2 in a cameo and you wish they would've stayed longer.
Music & Other Departments
Soulful and tender but also full of passion, perhaps the shining star of the third season is the music that weaves the narrative. Whether it be "Mere Liye" and "Tere Naal" from the powerful vocals of Akhil Sachdeva or "Kya Kiya Hai Tune" from the profound vocals of Armaan Mallik, Amaal Mallik and Palak Muchhal. The songs are thoughtful and express the narrative of the series well. Being an ALTBalaji production, there was hardly anything that was amiss when it came to the clothes, makeup or set design. They fit into the made-up world that Agastya and Rumi are existing in.
For a lot of the drawbacks that the series has the actors really put in their all to push the content up. The actors actually try their best to not look like cliched characters when in reality they are. If I could visualise the tension between the actors and the script they have been given, it feels like someone trying to break through a room that is getting smaller by the minute.
Everything felt artificial and only limited to the fantasy of a writer who could not realise their imagination in the real world. Agastya Rao is a theatre director who is a hothead because "nobody understands him" and Rumi is a typical South Bombay rich spoilt brat with no identity outside of the fact that she wants to be arm candy. With protagonists who are this weak and typical, the story can only help them so much. There were so many plot points that I could remember foggily from forgotten movies. In fact, watching the series I was reminded of Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar a lot and it did not help that Rathee looks uncannily like Nargis Fakhri (but did not act like her thank god). The series is an amateur effort to realise a Wattpad fan fiction and nothing else.
Did I enjoy it?
It was paced well, so I got through it quickly but things were getting very repetitive by the end.
Do I recommend it?
Not really. Watch it only if you want to numb your mind for 10 episodes that are a half-hour long each.