Channel: Channel i
Script: Ripon Nag and Nazakat Khan
Directed by: Ripon Nag
Cast: Amit Sinha, Shanarei Devi Shanu,
Quazi Nawshaba Ahmed
Big budget serials aren't usually made in Bangladesh, if ever. Thus, when a new adaptation of the classic tale of Saat Bhai Champa in the form of a “mega TV series” was announced by Channel i, it goes without saying that the attention of the nation was immediately grabbed. With the promise of spanning 300 episodes, consisting of over 200 cast members and shot in a set of size 11,000 sq. ft., Saat Bhai Champa is the definition of going all out for the sake of quality entertainment. The obvious question must arise at this point: after this much effort being poured into it, how good is Saat Bhai Champa? With the show currently being only two weeks old, it may be too soon to answer that question. However, some initial impressions pave the way for a rather mixed bag down the line.
The story thus far involves the king Maharaja dealing with a possible traitor in the palace, with drama going on between the 'shejo rani' and the four other queens of the kingdom. The story seems quite simple thus far, but each episode does manage to add a layer of complexity to the well-paced plot progression. There are new characters introduced and featured every episode, and they receive enough screentime to contribute to the overall story. The King himself is a very noticeable character, and rightfully so, with the first few scenes establishing him as a badass capable of beating down enemies all on his own. The respect and power he commands in his courtroom is notable as well; though his arrogance is very apparent when he interacts with his wives or court members. The five queens are arguably the most interesting aspect of the story; each has their own side traits and the 'shejo rani' in particular is shown to be the evil one, which adds a lot of suspense to the drama.
Moving along, the show utilizes a very interactive background that one wouldn't expect from a Bangladeshi production. The details put in making the settings come to life is commendable, though the bad graphics editing is painfully obvious during certain animated scenes. The action scenes seem tacky and the sound editing feels out of place sometimes, though the props and costumes are very effective in making the viewer forget those little blemishes. So far, the show gives off the Alif Laila vibe and many might even think of it as a local Game of Thrones rendition, but of course, it is certainly far from reaching optimal quality. Nonetheless, Saat Bhai Champa seems like a great show so far and the strenuous effort put behind it cannot be ignored. It is best to watch the show with an open mind, since it's the first time an initiative of this caliber is being taken in this country; a feat certainly commendable by any means. Tune into Saat Bhai Champa every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 8 PM on Channel i, and you be the judge of whether this show holds some serious promise or not!
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