With the recently launched Alt Balaji, a Video On Demand Channel, Ekta Kapoor brings us a wide bouquet of new age entertainment. As she herself said, the content of Alt Balaji targets that huge bunch of audience who is somewhere between Narcos and Naagin. One of the most surprising and heartwarming gems from Alt Balaji is Romil and Jugal, a homosexual take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Oh and what a pure delight that show is. Director Nupur Asthana has managed to stay away from all stereotypes and caricaturist depictions of homosexuality that we usually get to see in Indian entertainment. The romance is so fresh and real that our heart goes out to the star crossed lovers. The actors, Manraj Singh and Rajeev Siddhartha have managed to bring out the innocence of first love beautifully. The confusion and denial about one’s sexuality right to the final acceptance of one’s self are some of the beautiful nuances drawn out by the director as well as the actors.
Nupur has given a beautiful depth to the subject while at the same time managed to keep it light hearted. The rest of the cast have done a good job of supporting the story as and when they are needed.
To be honest I was not really planning on downloading the Alt Balaji app, forget paying the subscription. But it was the story of Romil and Jugal that made me do both and spend my Sunday binge watching this modern twist to the Shakespearean classic.
It’s a bold subject, no doubt. Especially considering the sensitivities of Indian audience. But it has been dealt with class and never does it cross the line into sleazy territory. I am on my second last episode right now. Hopefully the season finale will not be disappointing. But I had to stop for a moment to applaud the entire team of Romil and Jugal. Kudos to Ekta Kapoor , Nutan, Rajeev Siddhartha, Manraj Singh and the entire team of Jugal and Romil. This product is something that everyone should definitely watch.