Manoj Vashisht, New Delhi. The truth is the truth and the lie is the lie. If anything happens between them, it is all false. G5’s web series Mithya is the story of a mind game between a teacher and a student, which begins in class and ends behind bars. The check-out game that started in the class turns bloody when a murder takes place. Meanwhile, a lot happens which is related and inspired by the personal life of both of them.
There is also a story of false infidelity, deceit, hatred and vengeance. The series had enough spice to keep the audience hooked, but due to weak writing, Mithya went on to become a great mystery-thriller. Considering the character traits and demerits of all the lead characters of Mithya, there was also immense scope to explore them, which director Rohan Sippy could not take advantage of. Due to the haste to wrap up the story, neither the plot nor the characters could be presented properly.
Mithya’s story is Darjeeling, where Juhi Adhikari (Huma Qureshi) is a professor of Hindi in a college. Juhi’s father Anand Tyagi (Rajit Kapoor) has been a well-known English writer, but Juhi did not follow in her father’s footsteps and made Hindi her profession. Juhi is married to Neil Adhikari (Parambrata Chatterjee), who is himself a professor in the same college.
Juhi is not satisfied with her marriage and fantasizes to fellow professor Vishal (Indranil Sengupta) to satisfy her feelings. Amidst all this, Juhi’s troubles begin to escalate when she accuses Riya Rajguru, daughter of college trustee Rajguru (Sameer Soni), of plagiarism on an essay. Mind-conscious, Riya does not accept this allegation at any cost and makes the matter so intense that the college has to form a committee to investigate Juhi’s allegations.
After this, a thick line of tension is drawn between Juhi and Riya permanently. Juhi keeps on expressing her dislike openly, but the cunning Riya hides her hatred and always presents herself as a victim. Neil gets trapped in this mind game between Juhi and Riya and gets murdered one night. Juhi is accused of murder on the basis of the evidence available at the chance-e-incident and she gets behind the bars, but then the story takes a shocking turn and a secret is revealed, which is for Juhi. There is a reason for Riya’s hatred and on the other end of this secret is Juhi’s father.
There are many possibilities to turn this story into a tremendous thriller, but the haste of the screenplay ruined the story. The events in the screenplay by Althea Kaushal and Anvita Dutta take place eight days before the day of Neil’s murder and each episode moves closer to the day of the murder with flashbacks. In just eight days, the tension between Juhi and Riya reaches the point where Neil is killed, it is astonishing.
Tension between Juhi and Riya is the foundation of this story, but that tension has been built-up so quickly and suddenly that the audience can not absorb it. Barring a few scenes, the mind game between Juhi and Rhea fails to create the required thrill. The series picks up pace and sparks interest in the last two episodes.
Each episode is written in such a way that it begins with Juhi and Riya’s conversation in jail, based on the mind game going on between them. The episode then connects to the past events leading up to the day of Neil’s murder. The track of a tumultuous relationship between Riya and her father is also shown for Khanapurti. At the same time, Juhi and Vishal’s track could also have been used better.
Riya is portrayed by Bhagyashree’s daughter Avantika Dasani, who has started her innings in the acting world. As a vicious, dangerous conspirator and the spoiled daughter of the elder father, there is a consistency in Riya’s acting and dialogue delivery. He has tried his best to bring out the negativity of this character, but for this he has limited expressions at the moment, which also causes his acting uniformity. However, there is no doubt that Riya has potential and with time, one can expect refinement and variety in her acting.
Both Rhea and Juhi are very complex characters. Juhi is sometimes strong and sometimes helpless and Huma has shown her strength on both the fronts. However, Huma is known for acting better than this. Parambrata Chatterjee is seen in the role of Neil. At the same time, Rajit Kapoor has played the character of Anand Tyagi wrapped in the aura of conceit of being a celebrated English writer and he is largely responsible for the negative incidents happening in this story. The way the clouds, rain and mist of Darjeeling are captured in the cinematography, it gives a perfect backdrop to this psychological thriller and a depressing mood to the series. The loud sound of the background score interrupts the dialogues at times, adding to the suspense-thriller of the scenes. Especially, it is difficult to hear the last sentence or word of the dialogue.
The six-episode web series is an Indian adaptation of the British TV show Cheat, produced by Applause Entertainment. Applause has previously brought out British shows Criminal Justice and Indian adaptations of Doctor Foster, Criminal Justice and Out of Love. Each episode of Mithya is about half an hour long. If you sit to watch the series with patience, then it can be seen in its entirety. However, the series does not force a binge watch.