Tears into the Film Fraternity


Cast, in different episodes: Emraan Hashmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Shriya Saran, Vijay Raaz, Mouni Roy, Mahima Makwana, Rajeev Khandelwal, Benedict Garrett, Jitendra Kumar, Sarveshwar Mahajan, Vishal Vashishtha

Direction: Mihir Desai, Archit Kumar

OTT: Disney-Hotstar

This Mihir Desai-Archit Kumar presentation from one of the multiple Dharma verticals is obviously a step in favour of the new commercial vertical to which there is also a tangential reference in the four-episode Part I of the series.

The production deals with familiar territory: Showbiz. It juxtapositions the passion of the past with the pursuit of the contemporary. There is a suggestive conflict therein. Suggestive at best. It largely deals with the ego of an inheritor who neither knows to respect the art nor the structure of the business. The conflict is therefore between a boorish upstart and a passionate erring film-maker. The series largely takes a very unfriendly look at the film fraternity. It is more a dog-swallow-dog world than a factory of creators’ juices.

Victor Khanna (Naseeruddin Shah) is the ageing monarch of Viktor Studios, at war with his son who could be searching for a good bone in his system. His son Rahul Khanna (Emraan Hashmi) is running the studio. While the former believes in religion, the latter sees the studio as a cash cow. His behaviour with the senior film-maker is a textbook case for invoking provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. Dad has the last laugh when he disinherits Rahul Khanna from the legacy. VK bequeaths his famous studio to the granddaughter Mahika Nandy (Mahima Makwana), a journalist who now inherits the legacy, the repute and with it responsibility.

Raghu and Mahika peruse the commercial star Armaan (Rajeev Khandelwal) who stars in their forthcoming film ‘1857’ who succeeds what price and the like goes in the making of this Dharmatic dramatic look at Bollywood.

You cannot miss the shades of the RK granddaughter but that family was too united to suggest that they could have been the inspiration. The inspiration ends in showing an ageing film-maker who momentarily fails to read the pulse of his viewer and makes his magnum opus only to be summarily rejected at the box office. He lives to tell his story and make amends with a flourishing but not victorious Khanna.

Like most contemporary films. the film-maker(s) believe that you cannot project an arrived person without him mouthing the ‘F’ word regularly. Also, throwing in the physicality of sex is contrived, illogical and poorly crafted. Unapologetic. The series is essentially loud, seemingly permissive, obstructively ambitious and predictably cliched.

Naseer leaves early. Even in the minor role he is more influenced than influencing. Good actors like Lillete Dubey are warted. So is it with Shriya Sharan and Vijay Raaz, Mahima Makwana in the title role looks like she has literally inherited the opportunity by chance and is trying hard to make best use of the opportunity. Steady and sincere performances come from Vishal Vashisth and Denzil Smith. Rajeev Khandelwal as the matinee idol is over the top but obviously made to order.

Emraan Hashmi stands out with the sanest performance, adding as much credibility as one can to a character doomed at the conception stage.

Showtime is a worrisome signal of things to come. Be prepared to head soon to the OTT platforms where the money bags are rushing in to make an early buck.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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