The impact of Indian serials in Bangladesh has always been extreme. But then came a generation that had a fallback from the ridiculousness the serials showcased.
However, recently, a handful of spectacular shows have been released on OTT platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix. These have changed the perspective we have of the Indian series, bringing back interest among the youths.
Some excellent shows include 'Sacred Games', 'Ghoul', 'Asur', 'Delhi Crimes', and a few more.
And 'Aranyak', directed by Vinay Waikul, which is currently streaming and the second most-watched series on Netflix in Bangladesh this week, is also one of the shows you cannot miss out on.
The setting is in a picturesque hilly area called Sironah in North India. The environment is cold and blue and so is the tension in the series from the very beginning. And this has the ability to keep you hooked.
The story revolves around a young girl named Aimee Baptiste who is missing.
Keep in mind that the ending scene of episode one might be disturbing for many viewers. But that same ending is an effective cliffhanger.
The missing case makes the older generation in the town recall the folk tale they grew up hearing about. It is about 'nar-tendua'- a mythical creature who is half-human and half-leopard.
Several years back, there were many missing, murder, and rape cases, but as the criminal never got caught, people believed it was nar-tendua behind it all.
However, two officers from the Sironah Police Station - Angad and Kasturi believe otherwise and are determined to catch the real culprit.
The lead cast includes Raveena Tandon as Kasturi, a police inspector who from the start we know will be taking a year-long break from her duty to spend time with her family.
The second protagonist is Parambrata Chattopadhyay as Angad - the police officer replacing Kasturi during her leave.
Both characters have authority issues - Angad is more focused on following rules while Kasturi likes to work using more traditional methods. She also finds it hard to let go of the fact that someone new, who does not even live in Sironah will be replacing her.
As you feel the thrill in the air while watching and proceeding with episode one, you also understand how the people in Sironah hide secrets.
In the first episode, Kasturi is seen calling her husband Hari who has not returned home the entire night, and even when he returns, he does not really tell her where he had been. It is the same night Aimee goes missing.
Kasturi's daughter, Nutan, has been taking on the duties at home and because of that, Hari often taunts Kasturi for focusing more on her work and sort of neglecting her children.
Nevertheless, Kasturi is a sincere police officer who provides for the family. But once a big case arrives at the station, they portray her character as a flawed one.
Moreover, things become quite confusing when after a few episodes, without giving the viewers any hint, she warms up to Angad and the two decide to work together.
Angad, played by Parambrata, who has been a fan favourite for over a decade now, is very serious about his job. He lost his son seven years ago, which is also the opening scene of the series (spoiler!).
Aranyak was Raveena Tandon's OTT debut and her performance was as good as we expected after seeing the trailer.
She played the role of the bold, independent police officer who is addicted to making a difference by solving a huge case. However, we believe someone else could have done a better job as Kasturi - perhaps, Vidya Balan.
Ashutosh Rana gave a spectacular performance. He played the role of Kasturi's father-in-law, Mahadev Dogra, a former police officer. He is known for particular roles, mostly as a villain, a deranged cop, don, and more.
Rana's mysterious appearance and dialogues gave the show a constant push towards supernatural experiences. Meghna Malik who played Jagdamba, a local politician, was also excellent. Her character was always in the process of making the right decisions while balancing her personal life with her work.
Zakir Hussain, who played the role of Manhas, and Indraneil Sengupta who played the role of his son-in-law Ravi Prashar were both amazing.
Needless to say, the stellar cast significantly contributes to making Aranyak one of the Netflix shows worth watching.