Teenage is the trickiest phase in everyone’s life. Peer pressure, high expectations, and the continuous urge inside to experience something new envelopes the mind. Applause Entertainment’s Rasbhari dwells on such tendencies among teenagers and also focuses on the desperate efforts by insecure housewives to keep their frivolous husbands, who are equally voracious, in check.
The sleepy town of Meerut transforms into a brimming glass of emotions when Shanoo Bansal (Swara Bhaskar) moves there. The scintillating Shanoo becomes an apple of the eyes of all men, right from the cable guy Pappu (Sunny Hinduja), to her student Nand Kishore Tyagi (Ayushman Saxena), the hero of our story who falls head over heels for his beautiful teacher.
Unable to bear Shanoo’s growing influence on their husbands, Pushpa (Neelu Kohli) and her lady gang start breathing fire. In a bid to save their men from the seductive Shanoo, they decide to keep a tab on her to hatch a plan and catch her red-handed doing something wrong.
Unaware of all this, Shanoo never spare advances from any man including Nand who begins home tuitions with her. As the story unravels, Nand launches a safety mission to save Shanoo from the ire of jealous housewives.
Ayushman Saxena as Nand has shown shades of maturity but could not get along due to poor writing and lopsided characterization. Same is the fate of Swara Bhaskar in the titular role of Rasbhari where she gets stuck in a groove. More importance is given to her skin show rather than her wholesome characterization. But both stayed true to their characters as demanded by the script and performed well despite several limitations.
While Neelu Kohli is impressive and Rashmi Agdekar belts out yet another convincing performance as Priyanka, all other actors like Chittaranjan Tripathy, Sunny Hinduja, and Pradhuman Singh are wasted in insignificant roles.
The theme of a beautiful sultry woman becoming a threat to the marital lives of overzealous housewives looks quite interesting. Similarly, a teenager’s internal conflict between mind and heart is also not a simple premise that can be brushed off lightly. Director Nikhil Bhat and writer Shantanu Srivastava have scored good marks for their conceptual clarity.
Despite positive vibes around the story, the execution gets wayward. The relevance and promising intention that is prevalent behind Rasbhari is thrown into the winds and the plot relied mostly on giving a sensual and spicy touch to the whole web series. The result is a loss of connection between viewer and story with characters surrendering meekly without leaving any mark as the show drags along.
Additionally, Swara Bhaskar’s acting prowess is not explored and she is turned into a symbol of voyeurism which is another major caveat for Rasbhari.
Even the conclusion and justification given to the mystery surrounding Rasbhari‘s character is questionable and the way it’s executed is quite amateurish.
Rasbhari is sloppy show which can be avoided. Those who choose to watch can do it at their own risk as there won’t be any takeaways that are worth remembering after finishing the series.