Puncch Beat Review: Vikas Gupta's show has everything to be a digital blockbuster

Starring Priyank Sharma, Siddharth Sharma, Harshita Gaur, Khushi Joshi and others, AltBalaji's Puncchbeat is a show with an interesting story line, promising cast and a fantastic production quality.

  • Puncch Beat Review: Vikas Gupta's show has everything to be a digital blockbuster
  • Puncch Beat Review: Vikas Gupta's show has everything to be a digital blockbuster
  • Puncch Beat Review: Vikas Gupta's show has everything to be a digital blockbuster
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Cast: Priyank Sharma, Siddharth Sharma, Harshita Gaur, Khushi Joshi, Niki Walia, Samir Soni, and others

Rating: 4/5

Stories revolving around a high school lives in both films and shows have been successful among the youth, especially for being relatable and making one nostalgic about their good old school days. Time doesn’t take one back literally but such stories most certainly take one back in time and brush the memories related to pranks, fights, competitions, teachers, love and a lot more. Often, one may find the set-up superficial and highly unrelatable, but keeping those elements aside, these shows achieve what they truly aim for – which is to kindle the hearts of those who wish to relive those emotions, time and again.

It’s time for Rosewood High to reopen this year. Maya (Niki Walia) is married to Rajbir Chaudhary (Samir Soni) and has a son Ranbir Chaudhary (Siddharth Sharma). She is the principal at Rosewood High, and upon recommendation, gets her friends' son, Rahat Sharma (Priyank Sharma) admitted to the school. Rahat and Ranveer both share a common interest in boxing, and with time become rivals. Rajbir, the Olympic medalist in boxing, wants his son Ranveer to win. On the other hand, Miss Bose (Kasturi Banerjee) gets her niece Divyanka (Harshika Gaur) and Aditi (Sindhuja) admission in the school, with a rule that they obey only the school rules and stay away from dancing, due to a disturbing past. How these kids get along with the existing kids in the school, and how they make a mark with their respective skills is what the show entirely focuses on.

Firstly, Vikas Gupta is back in the writing space after a long time, and with this show, he is back with a big promise. Ekta and Vikas have made many successful shows before and proved to be a duo worth looking forward to, and they take their reputation a notch higher with Puncch Beat. The show is scripted well, and it focuses on all the characters equally. The best thing about the show is the fact that despite having four lead characters, the writers have given a lot of importance to the supporting characters. It is wonderful to see how they have weaved a story, which connects everybody in the show quite well. More importantly, kudos to Vikas and Gibran Noorani (writer) for making every episode different to the other, not only in terms of the timeline but also the story. There is a tale in every episode which ends with a twist that connects to another tale in the next, eventually making the show binge-watch worthy. Clearly, Vikas knows the pulse of the Indian youth and can decode their lives, eventually translating it to the screen quite successfully, every time.

The cast of the film has already made a mark through their appearances on several shows. Their digital presence and a strong fan following become an advantage for the show. But what surprised me was the quality of work they have delivered as actors. This is Priyank and Siddharth’s debut show, and never in the entire series would you feel that way. Priyank’s performance as Rahat is impeccable, for the boy has performed to his best ability, eventually making you weep and stand by him for the emotional journey he has been through. Siddharth, on the other hand, delivers his bad-boy character with a punch. He is nice yet nasty, and the lad has been through a phenomenal transformation for the show. Both the boys have a bright future and will most certainly go a long way.

Khushi Joshi as Padmini is sweet and complements Ranbir’s character well. Harshita Gaur as Divyanka is likeable and attempts to deliver something different to what she has already with her TV shows. I thoroughly enjoyed Samir Soni’s negative role as Rajbir Chaudhary. His dark shade will make you cringe and his actions will bother you. Niki Walia as Maya comes across as strong, independent and soft, just as she should be. She switches her characters of a mother and principal with ease. The supporting cast, which includes Kajol Tyagi, Nikhil Bhambri, Krishna Kaul, Rushad Rana have contributed well. They succeed in shining individually with the roles they play.

Direction and production quality plays a significant role in Puncch Beat. If Karan Johar succeeded in showing you a different high-school world in films, Vikas and Ekta succeed in doing that on a small screen. The camera work and treatment of the entire show is superlative, so much so, that one would be tempted to search for the school (location) immediately. Shot in Dehradun’s Forest Research Institute, the canvas of the show, would make a teenager desperate for admission in such an institution which Vikas and his team have shown.

To sum it up, Vikas and Ekta bring forth something significant in the Indian OTT space, and that is the genre of high school drama, which the international players like Netflix have successfully made a mark with. The well-known TV content mavericks have it again. This will most certainly be one of the favourites among the youth. With an interesting storyline, fans would also wait eagerly for the next season. Puncch Beat has everything to be a digital blockbuster.

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