What would your opening sentence be if you had to talk about journalism in the 21st century? My instincts say you won’t start on a positive note, regardless of the country you are in.
News has become a ruthless business, and social media fanatics have worsened things. The demand for instant justice is taking innocent lives every day. Add to it the bootlicking nature of media houses that don’t spend a minute without worshipping the ruling government.
Against this backdrop, I am not surprised to see two shows based on journalism releasing in the span of a week. While the first was a Turkish series, As The Crow Flies, the latest one is an Indian show, The Broken News.
Marking the comeback of Sonali Bendre after her battle against cancer, The Broken News is now streaming on Zee5.
The Broken News Review Summary
Arising out of moral conflicts and ominous situations, The Broken News tries everything at its disposal. It is a series that initially falls flat but gathers steam with time, proving that the first impression is not the last.
The Broken News Synopsis
The series distinguishes between right and wrong by pitting two Media houses against each other. While morally corrupt journalism is led by Dipankar Sanyal (Jaideep Ahlawat), helming the righteous side is Radha Bhargava (Shriya Pilgaonkar).
It weighs on trending topics in India like anti-nationalism, right to privacy, poaching in politics, etc. The show is directed by Vinay Waikul and stars Shriya Pilgaonkar (Radha Bhargava), Jaideep Ahlawat (Dipankar Sanyal), and Sonali Bendre (Amina Qureshi) in lead roles.
Faisal Rashid (Kamal Wadia), Indraneil Sengupta (Pankaj Awasthi), Sanjeeta Bhattacharya (Juhi Shergill), Kiran Kumar (Radhe Shyam Bansal), and Taaruk Raina (Anuj Saxena) also play significant parts in The Broken News.
What works for The Broken News?
Making a plot out of trepidations of good versus the bad is not a novel thought. However, The Broken News does well by lacing the idea with contemporary issues. Barring some initial shocks in implementing the ideas, The Broken News does cover the lost ground in due time.
Many of you might find the conceptual base too cliché because you have already witnessed it a hundred times on the screen. Still, there are decent elements that allow The Broken News to have a distinct identity.
The lead cast of The Broken News includes Jaideep Ahlawat, Shriya Pilgaonkar, and Sonali Bendre. Jaideep plays Dipankar Sanyal in the series and is more intense than the other two. Based on the requirements of his character, the Paatal Lok and Bloody Brothers actor molds himself to perfection.
His intensity makes the show watchable even when the story goes off-track. Jaideep’s raw expressions and his unfettered attitude are the fuel of The Broken News. After decades of struggle, the man is getting attention, which makes me feel happy for him.
Shriya Pilgaonkar as Radha is in great touch once again. I last saw her in Guilty Minds, and she has flattered me with her consistency. Shriya is uniquely subtle in whatever she does on the screen.
She never fails to impress, whether it is about acing emotional sequences or tackling fast-paced scenes with intensity. Her proficiency keeps the clock ticking for The Broken News. Furthermore, Shriya’s pauses reflect how intricate she can be with small details.
Sonali Bendre makes her way to the screen after a long time. Does she deliver on the expectations? Sorry, but no. She is the only actor in The Broken News who felt off to me. Her performance in the series is below par and, as an admirer, I am disappointed.
The dialogues, the expressions, the movements, nothing really seems flawless coming from Bendre. She had a decent character to play in Amina Qureshi, but the actor couldn’t ace it.
Another performance I liked was Faisal Rashid’s, who plays Kamal in The Broken News. He is underrated and undervalued. We have been seeing him for a long time, but the amount of appreciation is never overtly massive.
Rashid does a commendable job using his great acting methods. Such artists don’t mold their expressions according to the dialogue; they do it consistently based on the scene’s situation. His ability to leave an impact despite not being in the lead is startling.
The story of The Broken News is highly relevant in the present context of Indian journalism. It would have been better had the makers gone deeper to explore more layers. Nevertheless, you do get to witness several harsh cases.
How the media focuses more on Television Rating Points (TRPs) than quality journalism, how they create social media trends to keep the hype going, and their readiness to break any boundary whatsoever to become the best are some of the aspects of The Broken News.
I wonder what the Indian media is capable of doing, given they are non-aligned with political parties, especially the ruling dispensation.
The Late Burst
For any web series, it is necessary to have an intriguing buildup towards the end. It helps in keeping the viewer’s interest alive not only in the show but also in the franchise. The better you run towards the finishing line, the more the people would wait for the second season.
Despite structural flaws and an intermittently disgruntled storyline, The Broken News aces the final few episodes, keeping you invested in the show.
What doesn’t work for The Broken News?
The Broken News is a combination of shady and lazy writing. It wages battles inside newsrooms while trying to make things fascinating for the viewers. However, the lame presentation makes it impossible to stitch an emotional connection.
Makers make a structure that fits perfectly in the present context of Indian journalism. However, what they infuse inside the walls of that structure looks more like a flimsy pack than an engrossing narrative.
It’s like The Broken News has all the ingredients but doesn’t know how to make the dish tasty. That’s probably because they have the wrong recipe at hand.
In the beginning, the show felt like an unauthentic presentation. It is kind of unprofessional and feels like a YouTube miniseries with awkward camera angles, poor narration, and an unintriguing story.
There’s no punch in the initial parts of The Broken News. If you are someone who decides on a series based on the performance of the first few episodes, then you might not want to go any further than the first episode itself.
High on Drama
Since The Broken News is about how news media functions, it tries to create dramatic propositions that seem a bit over the top. While on one end, there’s an anchor screaming with enthusiasm; on the other end, we are shown another commentator who is too dull for even a genuine newsperson.
There are several instances where the plot rests more on drama than compelling storytelling.
Watching or skipping The Broken News depends entirely on whether you are okay with a decent plot without taut writing. The mass audience will like it, but I doubt if people in the metros would want to binge-watch The Broken News.
Will there be a second season of The Broken News?
Yes, the first season of The Broken News ends with strings left open. The same story will continue in the second outing as well. However, I am not sure whether it is already renewed or the renewal is yet to come.
Is The Broken News based on a true story?
No, The Broken News is a fictional show streaming on Zee5.