The latest MX Player original web series Samantar is released on 13th March. It is just in time when we need something as we self-sequester while waiting for the coronavirus contagion to abate and the cinemas to continue. Made in Marathi and dubbed in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, Samantar (Parallel) is the frantic saga of a man who grapples with a self-fulfilling prediction. It starts in a slum in Mumbai and continues onward and then downwards into a rabbit hole that threatens to swallow its main themes. The season 1 lasted with nine episodes and ended on a shocker that holds out the promise of further twists and more profitable employment for the crew and cast.
The series recorded the streaming debut of Marathi hit-maker director Satish Rajwade (2013) and leading star Swwapnil Joshi. One of their vast money-spinning collaborations was Duniyadari (2013), a college drama, based on famous writer Suhas Shirwalkar’s novel. Another of Shirwalkar’s stories is the basis for Samantar, in which a man realizes that he is leading a life that was already led by another man.
Kumar (Joshi) is low with his luck and barely makes ends meet. Kumar’s colleague & friend Sharad(Ganesh Revadekar) brings him to an astrologer (Jayant Savarkar), who refuses to tell his future. The astrologer says that he already has read that palm before, making the already-skeptical Kumar lose his cool.
Kumar’s future & fate turn out to be related to Sudarshan Chakrapani, a mystery man whose whereabouts are not known. It takes some time for Kumar to get onto Chakrapani’s trail. The brief for screenplay writer Ambar Hadap look to have been to ensure that events spill into season 2.
The show kicks momentum once Kumar gets onto Sudarshan’s trail, which takes him out of Mumbai to Panhala and somewhere else. And his hapless wife, Neema (Tejasvini Pandit), is understandably confused by Kumar’s sudden movements and creates despair as he heads off into territory unknown before.
Jittery handled the cinematography, and dramatic close-ups heighten Kumar’s plight, while ominous music and forays into scary-movie territory bring up the tension. Kumar’s escalating hysteria, peaks, portrayed by Swwapnil Joshi through a set of fixed expressions when he finally meets his older apparition. Sudarshan is played by an actor whose character must remain covered for this review. Here you can watch the trailer below.
Despite a fair amount of time-wasting behavior in the first two episodes, Samantar gains some pace as it piles on the mysteries. The last episode ends just as it hints at the philosophical ramifications of a spiritual double and the ethical consequences of trying to change destiny. Will Samantar research Kumar’s Mephistophelean strivings to know what the future holds and shape it in ways that will benefit him?