Deccan Chronicle

Web Series Review | Tooth Pari: A tooth fairy's fairy tale

Deccan Chronicle.| Ajit Andhare

Published on: April 21, 2023 | Updated on: April 21, 2023
Welcome to Tooth Pari' by Pratim Dasgupta which can safely be claimed as the first bona fide home-grown vampire series. (Photo By Arrangement)

Welcome to Tooth Pari' by Pratim Dasgupta which can safely be claimed as the first bona fide home-grown vampire series. (Photo By Arrangement)

The series is a work of fiction, says the disclaimer before the fresco painting ‘The Creation of Adam’ by the great Michelangelo greets us. On the other side of the graphic title montage, the world waiting for us is Wiccan, weird, wicked, and wild. Hence, we thank God that it is a work of fiction and nothing like that happens in the real world.

Welcome to ‘Tooth Pari’ by Pratim Dasgupta which can safely be claimed as the first bona fide home-grown vampire series. A second season too is hinted at.
Right at the outset, we meet our heroine, Rumi brilliantly played by Tanya Maniktala. She loves to straddle between two worlds as different as chalk and cheese – "Upar" (outside world) and "Niche" (underground world). Rumi is a member of "Niche" which is fiercely guarded by AD (Adil Hussain), and led by Ora (Anish Raikar). Her best mates are David (Saswata Chatterjee, outstanding as usual) and Meera (Tillotama Shome, classic as ever) and Sreela (Anidita Bose). The only human who knows of their existence is Luna Luka (Revathy), a witch who runs a coven, a secret society with a hilariously sounding name, Cutmundu which is full of members who are long in the tooth.

Rumi is a rebel by nature and doesn’t like to cut, sip blood from the pouches arranged from a blood bank. On one such nocturnal escapade of her’s to suck fresh blood from humans, she bites a man with a prosthetic neck and loses her sharpie, the sharp tooth used to extract blood. This takes her to Doc Roy, (Shantanu Maheshwari), a decent 26-year-old virgin dentist who suffers from vasovagal syncope which makes him faint at the sight of blood. So, fun ensues when the worlds of this bloodthirsty vampire and a human scared of blood collide and the duo falls in love.

‘Tooth Pari’ is full of blood and gore, people living for centuries together and looking as if they are in their 20s. The writing is sharp for the most part before it tapers into mediocrity. Once it establishes the characters and premises, the issue is, it goes on hammering the same to the extent of becoming boring.

However, watch the scenes when the vampires discuss how the blood of humans tastes… as if two humans are discussing how a delicacy tastes. Hilarious. Some scenes are genuinely ingenious and intriguingly funny. All this unfolds against the backdrop of beautiful contemporary Kolkata, "Upar".

The way the dimly-lit "Niche", a microcosm in itself, has been portrayed is reminiscent of a goon’s den shown in Hindi films of 60s and 70s, kitsch and garish. Similarly, the VFX, especially towards the end, are amateurish.

‘Tooth Pari’ loses steam around the fifth episode when this fantasy tale descends into a regular love story, worst a love triangle. It’s exactly at this point you start noticing the length of episodes which till now streamed like a breeze.

Still the series needs to be lauded for attempting something different and presenting it in a desi manner.

The surprise package of the series is Revathy’s character. It is indeed a delight to watch the veteran actor in a different role sporting a salt ‘n’ pepper look. Given the maverick performer she is, Revathy makes the most of it. Though the character of Luna Luka starts off on a high note, it later becomes one-tone.

Shantanu and Tanya as the lead pair share a sizzling onscreen chemistry and make a refreshing watch. Also, Sikandar Kher, as a cop trying to make sense of these two worlds and battling his personal issues simultaneously, is his usual nonchalant self.

So, if a quirky story of love, life, revenge, rebellion and betrayal with blood-sucking vampires at the helm is your idea of fun, do go down this rabbit hole which you can find on Netflix.

OTT: Netflix
Cast: Tanya Maniktala, Shantanu Maheshwari
Director: Pritam Dasgupta

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