horse-riders riding in the dark, wizards in long robes
waving their sceptre, huge castles, dragons, angels
and witches - right down to the eerie orchestra in
the background - a desi Lord of The Rings with
a dash of filmi masala, that's how one could sum up
Sagar's latest fantasy saga, Hatim. The serial
- a weekly - will launch on Star Plus from 26 December
in the 8 pm slot.
by Amrit Sagar and Shakti Sagar, Hatim is the
typical Middle Eastern adventure of the prince of
Yemen - the brave Hatim (Rahil Azim) on his mission
to rescue his beloved princess and the world from
the clutches of the evil Dajjal (Nirmal Pandey).
quest leads him to strange lands and alien creatures,
and he find the answers to seven questions that can
save the world. So what's new? As a tale, this is
a story that has been told several times over through
films and TV serials. But what's unique about Hatim
is the sheer grandeur and pace of the production.
very first episode packs quite a punch. On the one
hand, it describes everything from the hero's birth
to the king and queen of Yemen, his growing love for
horseriding and adventure in his youth. As the show
proceeds audience get a glimpse him rescuing the princess
of Paristan- Jasmine (Pooja Rawal), and the subsequent
romance and betrothal. On the other hand, it juxtaposes
the narration of the villain's birth as the human
incarnation of the evil force, who wants to control
the world. Evil incarnate- Dajjal murderers King Jaffar,
usurpes his throne and then connives to marry a good,
righteous girl, the Rajput princess Sunayna.
Rahil Azim as Hatim, the brave prince of Yemen
Amrit Sagar explains, "We didn't want to make
a typical TV serial where even after 10 episodes the
story doesn't move ahead. Every one-hour episode of
Hatim will have the hero presented with a new
riddle and how he solves it at the end. We wrote this
serial like a film script, where every scene takes
the story forward."
in some places Hatim's production values, evident
in the 3D characters, sets, graphics and visual effects
that producer and visual effects expert that Jyoti
Sagar has woven into the story, do aspire to the silver
where production values stand out, story narrative
lags. Particularly, scenes like the one where the
prince saves the princess from some villainous alien
creatures following her (no one has explained why)
are needlessly loud and costumes, hair dos and make-up
appear a bit shabby but overall impression remains
good. Also, as is the current popular trend on TV,
the evil Dajjal has been glamourised far beyond necessity.
Apart from more footage, Najoomi's malicious machinations
and sheer screen presence of a familiar Hindi film
villain like Nirmal Pandey make more impact than the
still from 'Hatim'
the directors just shrug it off. "I think it's
because the sets of Dajjal's castle are done so well.
Also, as a story, the villain has been given more
prominence to build the whole base of the conspiracy
for the forthcoming story. You'll see that the hero
will shine through later. In the second episode itself,
the hero will be leaving Yemen to start his adventures,"
defends Amrit Sagar.
will start Hatim's triumphing operation after operation,
episode after episode.
neither the Sagars nor Star Plus are willing to commit
to the longevity of this weekly. Star India VP content
and communications, Deepak Segal comments generously,
"There are questions within questions and riddles
within riddles. So the show can run as long as it
wants." Sure, considering the haste with which
channels discontinue slow-running serials these days,
let's hope the channel allows Hatim to at least
answer all seven questions.