Web Series Review | Farzi: It is Shahid all the way
Deccan Chronicle.| L. Ravichander
Large chunks of Farzi are counterfeit. There lies not just the artistic contradiction but also the potholes
For a good part of the Farzi' Season I, you could well mistake the goings on as some tutorial class on counterfeit notes and precautions to be taken thereof. (Photo: Twitter)
An eight-piece story on crime and killing is not exactly what the doctor ordered to be watched on the small screen at home.
However, most of the films on the OTT platform, some of which had the beginner’s advantage, replicate the celebration of violence from the big screen. It is iced with cuss words and sudden bouts of intimate sex, all in the name of creativity.
Fortunately this time over there is none of the latter but by and large, the series is an endless indulgence in crime. Except for a few cinematic moments of class to justify the investment of so much time, you look back at a colossal loss of time and energy.
For a good part of the ‘Farzi’ Season I, you could well mistake the goings on as some tutorial class on counterfeit notes and precautions to be taken thereof. Considering the care and concern shown by the series for details of how to go about the task of counterfeiting, one gets the distinct feeling that it is all about how to go about it. No, it is not my objection that the series is on a socio-economically wrong note or that as an artist the filmmaker is in the dock. My problem is not that at all since it is not for a money-making machine to pause or ponder on how the product is being consumed.
The ‘old as the hills’ theory that crime is a product of poverty and/or rejection finds reiteration when two guys are left on the streets to fend for themselves. Orphan Firoz and the abandoned Sunny make for a typical filmy brotherhood and brothers-in-crime.
Sunny (Shahid Kapoor) and Firoz (Bhuvan Arora) begin early and take to crime due to the compulsion of rejection and poverty. The former lives with his maternal grandfather Naanu (Amol Palekar). Not difficult.
From an accidental inspiration highlighting the budding Vincent or Picasso, Sunny dreams big. Suffocated by the environs of poverty including refusal to get into a fashionable pub with improper footwear, the twosome begins to nourish dreams of growing rich.
Crime paves the shortest, not necessarily the easiest route to riches. The two youngsters live under the idealistic umbrella of the grandfather who runs a loss-making newspaper ‘Kranti’. However, under the influence of evil forces including an international syndicate spearheaded by Mansoor (Kay Kay Menon), the duo is encouraged by their initial success and the wealth it brings.
On the other side of the fence is a police officer with a past, Micheal (Vijay Sethupathi) carrying a scared marriage through the narrative designed to give it some emotional space. Then there is also Megha (Raashi Khanna) conscious of the effect counterfeit currency can have on the economy. Not to mention the twain are required to meet the undercurrent of romance.
The eight-episode narrative is very episodic to draw a larger terse conflict between the law and the lawless people with great and tested talent like Kay Kay Menon being wasted.
Even Vijay Sethupathi fails to convert the large small screen space into the ‘Vikram Vedha’ magic. Bhuvan Arora and Raashi Khanna do justice. The former is more because the character is well-etched.
It is so welcome to see the extremely talented Amol Palekar add sheen to the series. Shahid lives the central role. He emotes with consummate ease and adjusts wonderfully to the new platform and its nuances. In fact, not from just the promos but from the laid back narrative it is Shahid’s contagious sincerity that makes the otherwise lackadaisical narrative worth watching.
Large chunks of Farzi are counterfeit. There lies not just the artistic contradiction but also the potholes. For those who love to watch the genre or for Shahid fans this is worth a view. Rest may well invest their time in the many cricket matches happening around.
I must, however, add that fighting the predictable the mediocre and the routine is a heart-filled performance from the extremely talented Shahid. ‘Farzi’ is his show.
The writer is a senior counsel of the Telangana high court