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Sabka Sai review: Maybe God is, but this drama series on MX Player isn't for everyone

Sabka Sai only manages to have a good finale episode and even that's over-the-top. 

2.5
Shaheen Irani
Aug 27, 2021
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Sabka Sai
Story:

Sabka Sai talks about the renowned saint and his life journey. The show explores how Sai kept his followers above everything, without having an iota of anger or negative feelings towards anyone.

Review:

Sabka Sai is among those shows that spin around in a circle. It reminds you of the TV shows in the early 2000s, which used dramatic music for effect.

The series has music for every scenario and the makers have used slow music throughout. The piece of music might sound beautiful in a Mohabbatein or Sur but it isn't something you would want to hear continuously for five hours. To make matters worse, there is actually a scene where the makers have given horror music when a rat runs from one vessel to another.

If not music, then they have a verse for every character. For example, every time a man looking for freedom from the British rule - Om (Rohit Phalke) - comes on screen, a man is heard screaming Bharat in the background. Similarly, when Sai comes on screen, Sabka Sai song starts playing out of the blue.

The show begins on a confusing note. We see the Satyagraha movement during British rule. Drama is written all over the scene, hinting very well at what you can expect from the show ahead. In fact, the constant Indian-British fight makes the series both confusing as well as forced.

Born in a Hindu family, Sai was raised by a Muslim family. Even if that scene is dramatic, it builds up to something - Sai's upbringing.

While Sabka Sai switches between at least four stories, two of them run parallelly. Sai's story, especially, runs in flashbacks, which develops the plot very slowly.

Raj Arjun as Sai does a fairly good job, in fact, Mohammad Samad and he do a decent job in their roles as Sai. Although it gets tough to decipher Raj's expressions in some scenes, he delivers a good performance mostly, which is enough considering the series revolves around him.

Many additional characters are introduced to the story. Their role, however, doesn’t always make a powerful impact.

A Maratha named Vaidyaraj Kulkarni (Manoj Kolhatkar) is Sai's rival and for a good reason. Vaidyaraj is a practical man who wants to prove that medicine is a long-term solution for humans rather than magic. The character becomes the antagonist only because of the extreme steps he takes to eliminate his competition. Manoj as Vaidyaraj keeps up as the enemy of the much-loved figure.

Asheesh Kapur as Toddywala can catch your slight attention, even though his Parsi accent is off at many places. We also happen to come across Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru but unfortunately, his role isn't explored at all.

The show has people from all cultures - religions namely Hindu, Muslim, Parsi as well as Gujaratis and even South Indian people, sometimes in the same family. That factor, which unites people, works in favour of the show.

There are fictional moments in the series, like a demon coming to steal a girl child and Sai saving her as well as the mother by chasing the demon away. The demons, created by VFX and Sai fighting them, is a moment you can only enjoy when you are subconscious. Otherwise, it is just a mockery of the saint himself.

The action sequences are a bit intense. People die or at least bleed in almost every fight scene, which is an aspect that stayed slightly true to what the time of the British rule looked like.

The show goes in commercial aspects now and then. Sai is seen trying to save a puppy from the rains, which isn't often narrated with the story of the saint. A car sequence, in one of the final episodes of the show, tries to be powerful but is mediocre at best.

The cinematography is beautiful. There is a fire and ice reference on the show which is beautifully portrayed. Furthermore, the songs enhance the storyline when they are played once in the series. Most of the time, these songs fit in the series. However, for others, like mentioned, repetition ruins the whole plot.

The series finale definitely takes the show a notch higher with the Neelkant reference. Mahadev (Lord Shiva) is known to have swallowed poison, making his neck turn blue. The same happens in Sabka Sai, which perfectly represents OTT content.

The episode finally manages to touch a chord and even then, the OTT touch does not stop. People can see Sai in the sky this time, hinting that he is always there for the people who believe in him.

Verdict:

If you are really interested in knowing Sai Baba's story, it is recommended you watch previous shows made on the saint. Sabka Sai only manages to have a good finale episode and even that is too OTT to be liked consciously.

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