REVIEW: ‘Shahmaran’ Is Drawn Out

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Shahmaran — But Why Tho

Shahsu has traveled far to confront her Grandfather about why he abandoned her mother as a child. An act that had left her mother devastated and struggling till the day she died. But shortly after confronting him, she is drawn into a far larger and older tragedy that may consume both her and the whole world in Shahmaran.

One of the hardest moments in reviewing is when you have to write about something that you want to like, but it just didn’t manage to come together well enough to praise. When scattered throughout the scenes and moments of a series, you can see an interesting story, but there is just far too much between those moments to allow the story to click. It saddens me when I have to knock on something that feels like it was so close to being where it needed to be. But alas, here we are.

Shahmaran season one’s biggest fault is that it is far too long. The eight episodes of television here are devoted to covering what is effectively a prologue for a larger tale. Once the show finally draws back the curtain on the heavily hinted-at mystery that surrounds Shahsu and the world she finds herself in, I can see quite a bit of promise in the show. But far too much of the series is left doing nothing but reiterating the same vague hints of looming prophecies and a coming doom to humanity.

While the general story stalls out far too much, the greatest strength of the show comes in several key cast members. Shahsu, along with the other lead character Maran, and her grandfather Davult, all have interesting character arcs propelled by strong acting performances. I particularly enjoyed how the show depicts Shahsu and Davult as they struggle to reconcile with each other. There are plenty of uncomfortable moments as the two fumble for some common ground with each other. It often hurts to watch, but it gives the final moments of the two’s arc a great payoff, despite how sad the ultimate truths surrounding the whys of their history are.

Maran, for his part, provides the tale with a great reluctant center point for the core narrative. From the get-go, the show makes it clear that he has a key role to play, and everyone in the know understands that he is the center of the coming prophecy. Well, everyone but him. His resistance to the coming storm and how actor Burak Deniz delivers his stubborn refusal left me consistently rooting for the character.

But while Shahmaran’s core cast carries a lot for the series, some of the side characters fail horribly. Worst of these is Maran’s trio of sisters, who seem incapable of doing anything but snicker endlessly and be terrible at not acting suspicious even when they are supposedly keeping a low profile.

The final element that helps keep this series’ head above water is the cinematography. Lighting, camera angles, and movement backed up by a wonderful musical score help to keep engagement in the series alive, even as the story refuses to progress forward.

Ultimately Shahmaran manages to bring some strong character and good execution to a tale that is plagued by its overly long runtime. If future seasons can improve the pacing struggles, what comes next for the series could be far greater than what this introductory chapter manages to bring.

Shahmaran is streaming now on Netflix.


Shahmaran
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Ultimately Shahmaran manages to bring some strong character and good execution to a tale that is plagued by its overly long runtime. If future seasons can improve the pacing struggles, what comes next for the series could be far greater than what this introductory chapter manages to bring.

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