Jaaved Jaaferi’s new Netflix show Lava Ka Dhaava reminds us of his commentary days from the popular children’s show Takeshi’s Castle.
Seasoned Bollywood actor Jaaved Jaaferi has a special place in the hearts of the late millennial and early Gen Z kids of India. During the late 90s and early 2000s, Jaaved showed his cool dance movies in Boogie Woogie, was a part of fan-favourite kids films like Jajantaram Mamantaram and most importantly, won hearts with his commentary in the Japanese show Takashi’s Castle.
Takeshi’s Castle was an adventure-based game show where the participants would have to navigate difficult obstacle courses. Some of them included scaling high walls, others had to cross a pond through ‘skipping stones.’ The show was also made interesting by the presence of ‘royal guards’ or pranksters who would try to stop the participants from completing the round successfully. However, no matter how many people won these obstacle courses they would always lose in the ‘final showdown.
Takeshi’s Castle was an integral part of our childhood. It was a super interesting and unpredictable show. But for us Indians, what made the show so special was Jaaved Jaaferi’s commentary. The actor was relentless, using his sense of humour and voice modulations to make puns and jokes about every situation. There were also segments called ‘Jaaved’s Ridiculous Replay’ where we would see a contestant falling repeatedly, added with a quirky thing that the actor said. The show was a riot, thanks to the actor.
Hence, we were excited when we first learnt that the actor is hosting a similar game show. The show, which released on Wednesday, is called Lava Ka Dhaava. It is a Hindi dubbed version of the American show The Floor is Lava. It is also a high-pace obstacle course where the participants have to go from one corner of a room to the other without falling in make-believe lava.
The concept of the show comes from the popular game and meme of the same name. In viral internet videos, a person could be heard saying, “the floor is lava,” and their friends would scarmble to find any furniture they can climb on.
This show takes it to another level. While the lava is make-believe, it is still hot and intimidating. The contestants, who play in teams of three, have to jump across rotating furnitures, slippery rocks and even insect infested walls to go to the other corner. It is also time-bound, after five to six minutes, the stairs that help you get out of the lava room start dissappearing, making the exit next to impossible.
The show is interesting to watch. It is basically like watching any other American game show like wipe-out. However, we cannot deny that Jaaved’s involvement in the show makes it a lot funnier. Of course, there are some jarring moments, like how the audience is supposed to pretend that the actor is actually communicating with the contestants, or the times where it seems like he is reading out of a script to synch it with what the contestants are saying. The language spoken is also too literal instead of colloquial to separate it from the original version. Hence, ‘Spider-Man’ becomes ‘Makdi Manav.’ It also gets a little repetitive after three episodes.
That being said, Laava Ka Dhaava is a fun show to watch. It is amusing to see people bring out their most competitive side only to slip and fall in fake lava. Since we are also living in trying times, a show like this is exactly the mindless and hilarious distraction we need.