Puncch Beat is the perfect Valentine’s Day treat for those who want to relive their school days. Starring Priyank Sharma, Siddharth Sharma, Harshita Gaur and Khushi Joshi in the lead roles, the 14-episode series is creatively helmed by Vikas ‘Mastermind’ Gupta.
High-school dramas always find takers for its relatable content. Everyone enjoys revisiting their carefree days and unconditional friendships. Added to that was the competition not just for marks but also the attention of the hot senior. With almost no show currently on students’ life, Punchh Beat has an opportunity to garner viewership.
The series begins with the visual of a blood-laden boxing ring, and a girl running, as her ghungroo beads scatter on the ground. It sends a clear message that dance and boxing would be the highlight of the show. And rightly so, in few seconds of introducing the lead characters Rahat (Priyank) and Divyanka/Dinky (Harshita), the audience get to know their fascination for boxing and dance, respectively.
Rahat, an orphan, is set to join Rosewood High School mid-term thanks to his mother’s best friend (Niki Walia), who is also the principal. While not much has been revealed about his past, Rahat was thrown out of his previous school for bashing up a fellow student. On the other hand, Dinky and her sister join the school on the recommendation of their aunt Miss Bose (Bose Di Ki, nicknamed by the girls), who is also a teacher at Rosewood High.
The other leads Ranbir (Siddharth) and Padmini (Khushi) are introduced as they try to moral police another student with their gang of friends. And the two seem to not keep their hands and lips off each other. The group, all children of school trustees, are clearly the spoilt ones but with hearts of gold. The friends sponsor three kids’ education and call it the ‘Sunny Leone project’, since the kids are named Sunny, Leo and One.
In the first three episodes, there’s no reference to a class or any studies. The most celebrated event in the school is a boxing championship. That also becomes the revelation point in the story. Enter ex-student and Olympian Rajbir Chaudhary, who is also Ranbir’s father. He detests Rahat for giving a close fight to his son, only to find out that Rahat is his illegitimate son.
These are the few predictable parts in the story. With both heroes being step-brothers, it’s going to be a war ahead for them. They both already seem to have a fondness for Dinky, and the love triangle will only intensify in the coming days. Also, the constant reminder that the school follows one rule- ‘obey all rule’ is a hint that all rules will be broken in the coming days. We only hope the creators don’t fall for a cliche climax where Rajbir walks out with his arms around his two sons.
Coming to performances, Siddharth Sharma shines as Ranbir. The actor is charming and manages to portray a tough sportsman in the ring. Priyank Sharma looks convincing as the brooding Rahat while Harshita does anything extraordinary. We also hope Khushi has more to do than just being Ranbir’s arm candy in the show. Seasoned actor Niki Walia outperforms the youngsters every time she is on screen. Samir Soni’s mean act, though a bit over the top, is something to look forward to.
Puncch Beat has high production value and looks no less than a movie. While it’s being compared to Student of the Year for the location and costume, it also has doses of other past films, from Main Hoon Naa’s terrace scene, Mohabbatein’s assembly or the reference of Harry Potter when it comes to names of the boxing teams.
The ALTBalaji series is good looking, aspirational, dramatic and takes you on a nostalgia trip. Apart from the family conflict, we would want to see how real teenage issues have been addressed in the series. We also hope the makers do not play safe but rather surprise us in the upcoming episodes.