Warning: This article contains spoilers

It’s almost inevitable for Bollywood to have a male lead named Vikrant Singh Chauhan and not have him solely fight a squad of goons with background score that lauds his manhood. But, Netflix’s latest romantic-thriller Yeh Kaali Kaali Aakhein doesn’t jump into that pool which is already polluted by many.

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Tahir Raj Bhasin as Vikrant essays an engineer who has mapped a modest life with his sweetheart Shikha (Shweta Tripathi) and dreams of a happily ever after. 

His on-track life, however, is hijacked by Purva, (Anchal Singh) the girl of his nightmares who rests her gaze on him. 

What we witness throughout the eight-episode show is an emasculated protagonist whose fate is swallowed by the mighty, yet manages to leave us spellbound, without trying to be our usual hero.

What sets Yeh Kaali Kaali Akkhein class apart from the others of its kind is displaying love and lust from the eyes of a female, thereby challenging Bollywood’s trope of unshakeable male protagonists. 

But, justifying the title of the show, Vikrant is hopeful (not hopeless) romantic who, despite his misfortunes, hops balconies, climbs his girlfriend’s window, and makes promises that he tries hard to keep.

Vikrant, unlike our macho heroes, is fearful, pukes his guts out when he sees goons butchering bodies and can barely lie with a straight face, becoming a gentle reminder of exactly how humans are in real life. 

It’s satisfying because a vincible hero is not what we’re used to witnessing on screen.

While ‘day-dreaming’ is typically woven into the script of the female counter-parts, we see Vikrant fantasising about shooting out the villains of his life while in reality resorting to YouTube tutorials to learn the craft as his hands tremble to even pull the trigger.

Even after he becomes a trophy groom for the politician’s sinister daughter, his personality doesn’t take a 180 degree turn making him the ‘bad guy’ but rather shifts him from being passive to active, without derailing from the plot.

He chooses to seek revenge with honesty because he simply can’t unlearn the fundamentals of his life. 

Vikrant spends hours in front of the mirror, yet fumbles when he confronts the shady politician and finds dumb ways to get out of his clutches.

The more the protagonist tries to swim, the more he sinks. This show has successfully managed to flip the script in terms of how men and women are portrayed in Indian film and TV.

All images are screengrabs from Netflix unless mentioned otherwise.