Dil Bekaraar: Return of those lost years
Scattered across Habib Faisal’s Dil Bekaraar are period-defining images from the 80s. Adapted from Anuja Chauhan's Those Pricey Thakur Girls, the ten-episode series is streaming on Disney+Hotstar
Those growing up in the 1980s would be familiar with Gold Spot, the omnipresent orange-flavoured soft drink. Record players in middle-class homes would play gramophone records, which had to be kept in protective sleeves to ensure they did not get damaged. The entry of colour television at home implied the simultaneous exit of black and white TV.
Scattered across Habib Faisal’s Dil Bekaraar are period-defining images from the 80s. Adapted from Anuja Chauhan's novel Those Pricey Thakur Girls, the ten-episode series is streaming on Disney + Hotstar.
Residing in New Delhi’s Hailey Road, retired judge LN Thakur (Raj Babbar) and his wife Mamta (Poonam Dhillon) have five daughters whose names are in alphabetical order. We meet four of them named Anjini (Sukhmani Sadana), Binodini (Anjali Anand), the female lead Debjani (Sahher Bambba) and Eshwari (Medha Shankar). Chandu, the third one, is missing in action. She had eloped on her wedding day.
Anjini or Anji is married and attention-seeking. Binodini or Binny supports her husband’s grand business plans. She wants her share of family property. Debjani or Dabbu finds instant fame – and more – after getting the job of a newsreader with Deshdarpan, whose logo reminds of the government-owned Doordarshan. Eshwari, the school-going youngest daughter, is that typical teenager who has no plan for the future.
The series also has Padmini Kolhapure as the suspicious and superstitious wife of the judge’s lecherous brother AN Thakur (Pankaj Kalra). Kolhapure impresses in her well-written role, but the focus is on the elder brother, his wife and their fourth daughter, Dabbu.
Dabbu starts diffidently in her new job as a newsreader. Her confidence grows manifold with some help from a principled journalist elaborately named Dylan Singh Shekhawat (Akshay Oberoi). The male lead of the series, Oberoi is Dylan, the judge’s good friend's son. He wants to write hard-hitting stories on the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, not a mission he can accomplish with ease.
Dil Bekaraar, which begins with the famous ‘Hamara Bajaj’ ad to indicate the 80s, is enjoyable because of its characters. Babbar is excellent as the retired judge who loves playing Court Piece, the card game, and Dhillon is supremely relaxed as his mild-mannered wife. Oberoi and Bambba share good onscreen chemistry, which makes their interactions quite interesting.
Supporting actors such as Chandrachoor Singh as the health minister and Suhel Seth as the newspaper baron make significant contributions to ensure that the series has no weak link.
A romance and a family drama, Dil Bekaraar makes us yearn for those lost years from not-so-far-back in time. You might end up binge-watching it on a weekday - if you have the time.