Crime (and its sub-genres) is probably the most popular genre in the Hindi entertainment industry after romance. Most of us 90s kids grew up binging on C.I.D. (1998-2018). Furthermore, we watched Crime Patrol (2003-ongoing) with a twinge of guilt in our hearts for the pleasure we were getting from it.
Then came Sacred Games (2018-2019), which ushered in a new era, prompting storytellers to look for ways to match, if not exceed, the standard set by Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Neeraj Ghaywan, and Varun Grover.
As a result, we have shows such as The Family Man (2019-ongoing), Mirzapur (2018-ongoing), Delhi Crime (2019-ongoing), Paatal Lok (2020-ongoing), Tabbar (2021-ongoing), and others.
Mithya from Zee5 is the latest addition to this roster and we have brought you reasons to binge-watch it right away!
When a Hindi professor accuses her student of plagiarism, it sets off a bizarre chain of psychological crimes.
What begins as academic deception quickly escalates into psychological warfare between the two, and neither is willing to back down.
2. WHAT MITHYA SHOWS US
Mithya is directed by Rohan Sippy and written by Anvita Dutta, Althea Kaushal, and Purva Naresh. It is based on the British TV series Cheat (2019). Juhi Adhikary (Huma Qureshi) and Rhea Rajguru (Avantika Dassani) are on opposite sides of a prison’s visiting room when the show begins.
It’s unclear who is and isn’t in jail. However, their conversation suggests that they are pushing each other to find out the truth. But the truth about what?
We cut to a flashback (which is where the majority of the story takes place) and learn that Juhi is a teacher at a college in Darjeeling, and Rhea is her student. They both have tumultuous family relationships.
However, everything is manageable. Things only get heated when Juhi accuses Rhea of plagiarising her assignment, turning an academic disagreement into a grotesque drama involving psychological manipulation, gruesome revelations, and murder.
3. CHANGE IN TONES
Let’s be honest: Mithya is such a good show that you’ll wish it was an original. Something about it being an adaptation detracts from the excitement generated by the twists and turns.
It appears that the writers did not come up with them. They’ve done an excellent job with it. However, it would have been preferable if they had thought of it instead of the writer of the British TV series.
With that minor quibble out of the way, Mithya is a page-turner from beginning to end, thanks in large part to the writing. Because you already have pre-made source material, adaptations appear simple.
When the audience, the characters, and the setting are all Indian, though, there’s a lot of potential for tone fine-tuning to fit our sensibilities. So thanks to Dutta, Kaushal, and Naresh for doing this.
There are a lot of sequences with a lot of exposition, exchanges with a lot of deception, and frightening moments. And each one is sharp, interesting, and fascinating in its own way.
4. SATYA AND MITHYA
If you think that’s ambiguous (it’s only to keep this review spoiler-free because Mithya is spoiler-y in nature), prepare yourself for this. Mithya explores a variety of topics.
Its examination of the male gender’s frailty is fascinating, as the writers utilize Rhea and Juhi to dig holes in their armor. It’s incredibly fulfilling how they show the hypocrisy of some of the common statements that guys use to justify their poor behavior.
This inevitably seeps into the show’s examination of women and their reactions to the anguish of living in a world dominated by imperfect men.
By pitting one woman against another, it runs the risk of undermining the topic. However, because Rhea and Juhi’s competition allows for discussions about what decisions lead to living a “good life” and how this shapes a person’s morality, the pitting feels justified.
And because the authors never lose sight of the reality that Rhea and Juhi are essentially bearing the brunt of the men’s activities around them.
5. GREAT CINEMATOGRAPHY
The tone and perspective are expertly handled by Rohan Sippy. Sippy continues reminding the audience of whose truth we’re seeing with the help of cinematographer Sirsha Ray and editor Abhijit Deshpande.
Is it Rhea’s fault? It’s Juhi’s, isn’t it? Is it the objective CCTV cameras, or is it something else? Reflective surfaces are cleverly used to not only hint at Rhea and Juhi’s connection but also to determine who is affecting who’s life.
All of Sippy, Ray, and Deshpande’s visual storytelling skills would have been for naught if they hadn’t known when to back off.
6. CAST AND DEBUT PERFORMANCE
The acting is also deserving of praise. If you look at the cast, you’ll see that it’s bursting at the seams with ability. Everyone is fantastic, including Huma Qureshi, Rajit Kapoor, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Indraneil Sengupta, Samir Soni, Avantika Akerkar, Naina Sareen, and Krishna Bisht.
Avantika Dassani, on the other hand, is the one who brings the house down. She resembles a shark in appearance. Her eyes and cheeks have a terrifying coldness to them.
It’s even scary when she lets out the nasty creature lurking beneath her skin. She then seamlessly shifts to Rhea’s vulnerable side to show what all of these bad feelings are doing to her. Is that the case? It’s up to you to figure it out.
All we can say is that Avantika has done an incredible job performing alongside such established stars who are already giving it their all. Huma and Parambrata, in particular.
For lack of a better phrase, the range that these two demonstrate is remarkable. Indeed, it appears that the show might have benefited from a few extra episodes as a result of these performances. As of now, we can only hope for a Season 2 to give the actors a chance to show off their acting range.
Overall, Mithya is a tightly-packed show that begins with a basic tone before morphing into something absolutely wicked. Some of the highlights include the writing and direction, which achieve a mix of organic storytelling and genre cliches.
The show is competent on a technical level. The score of Ripul Sharma and George Joseph can be a little too much at times. However, the cast’s superb and sincere performances will likely make you overlook the unsettling soundtrack.
Because there are so many unpleasant moments, morally problematic sequences, and straight-up risqué interactions, it was critical to frame and cut them in such a way that the audience’s imagination did the hard lifting.
And they succeeded. Each and every time. As a result, the final image is brief and to the point. However, there is a limitation here.
Sippy and his crew may be following in the footsteps of Louise Hooper and Gaby Hull in Cheat. Even in that case, Mithya’s overall direction is commendable.
It’s difficult to say how derivative the show is without having seen the original. However, as previously stated, Mithya is an example of a good adaptation that has the potential to keep you on the edge of your seat with its twists while also leaving you thinking about morality’s borders long after the episode has ended.
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