Pavitra Rishta 2.0 REVIEW: Ankita Lokhande and Shaheer Sheikh’s chemistry works wonders, makes you nostalgic

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Director: Nandita Mehra

Cast: Ankita Lokhande, Shaheer Sheikh, Usha Nadkarni

Bubble movie rating: 3.5 stars

Let me put this straight. This is possibly something you must be wondering about or may already have apprehensions about? Will Shaheer Sheikh be able to live up to the image we have of Manav? Will he be able to replicate the same magic that Sushant Singh Rajput had woven? I had those questions too, but after watching the eight episodes of Pavitra Rishta 2, I can safely say that Shaheer more than lives up to all the pressures and expectations. Might I add, I don’t think anyone else could have been a more warm reminiscence of Sushant’s Manav than Shaheer. And while Ankita Lokhande returns as Archana, the ease with which she performs it this time, it almost feels like she never left the character.

Pavitra Rishta 2.0 is the warm, familiar blanket you want on a chilly day. It is like that hot cup of masala chai you enjoy every morning. It is cliched, yes, but comforting. Being comforting does not mean it doesn’t have its shortcomings – in fact, there are quite a few but the love story of Manav and Archana perhaps make you overlook that. Just like the first season, the new story also involves a lot of shots at the local station, of rain, umbrellas, awkward pauses and innocent love. The story starts with Archana and Manav having a hit and miss moment on a rainy day and the ‘Saathiya Tune Kya Kiya’ playing in the background.

The story then takes the same ‘old wine in a new bottle turn’ with Archana’s family mistaking Manav to be a manager of a garage, only to discover he is a mechanic after marriage. Then starts a tug of war for emotions. Manav and Archana face a dilemma about their emotions, while the families continue with their pressure. Like last season, of course, Archana’s sister-in-law is shown to be a grey character while Manav’s mother reprises her role as a greedy mother-in-law.

Honestly, the plot is repetitive but Shaheer and Ankita make it watchable with their chemistry. It is unspoken and endearing and they make you root for their love story. It is kind of sad to see the taunts of the 2000s being reused again, where a girl’s marriage is equal to her worth. Yes, I know this is a reality but honestly, I expected a slightly nuanced approach this season. The music and BG score honestly leaves you feeling nostalgic and is only a bonus to the lovers of the show. The screenplay, however, could have been better while the length was a little crisper. The supporting characters are reduced to mere props with no arc whatsoever.

 

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Ankita Lokhande, for me, embodies Archana. The vulnerability, the strength, the innocence that she brings to Archana is inexplicable. Ankita once again proves why she is one of the best artists we have. She creates a lovely chemistry with Shaheer keeping the legacy of Manav and Archana alive.

Shaheer is a surprise for me. I have always believed Shaheer to be an amazing actor but I honestly wasn’t sure about him playing Manav but I have never been happier about being proven wrong. He is every bit Manav for me. His calm demeanour and nuanced body language makes him a perfect match!

 

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The makers have only released the first part of the series leaving us at a juncture you might be aware of, but still unprepared for. But the show’s nostalgia value is surely going to take you down the memory lane and you will enjoy that ride! Watch Pavitra Rishta 2.0 for the performances, love and innocence Ankita and Shaheer bring together.

Also Read: Pavitra Rishta 2 Twitter reactions: Netizens impressed with Shaheer Sheikh as Manav; calls the show ‘a Masterpiece’