The main draw of Prashant Nair’s Tryst With Destiny is an ensemble cast of fine actors who invest their characters with depth and feeling and enliven every one of their scenes. One half of the battle is won with the presence of such talent as Jaideep Ahlawat, Palomi Ghosh, Ashish Vidyarthi, Vineet Kumar Singh and Kani Kusruti. The other half – the plotting and writing – is left to take care of itself.

The latest project from the director of Delhi in a Day and Umrika began life as a feature. Tryst With Destiny was presented as a triptych at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2020, where it won an award for best screenplay. The movie has now emerged as a limited series on SonyLIV, but with four inter-connected stories.

The dicing makes little difference to the narrative flow. Each chapter is complete in itself despite connections with the others. Decades after Jawaharlal Nehru’s iconic speech that has inspired the project’s title and close to 75 years after Independence, a great deal remains undone, suggests Nair, who has also written the screenplay.

It begins with Mudiraj, an industrialist who is rudely reminded that despite gargantuan wealth and the respect he commands, his dark complexion will forever haunt him. Any empathy viewers could have for Mudiraj (Ashish Vidyarthi) is evened out…

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