When you are upset, morale is down, not happy from within, nothing feels good, then what does your heart tell you? Beta...kuch meetha kha le. Well, with all the sadness around, to add some musical mithaas to our lives, here comes Bandish Bandits that has released on Amazon Prime Video!
After watching the trailer, it was a given that the web-series is going to be high on music and after watching the opening credits song, it was confirmed. The show takes us to the very colourful, resplendent and culturally/musically rich - Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The web series revolves around the Head of the Rathod Gharaana and Shastriya (Classical) Sangeet Expert Pandit Radhe Mohan Rathod and his family. His grandson whose name is also Radhe is learning Shashtriya Sangeet from Panditji who is a disciplinarian. Panditji sees a bright future of Rathod Gharaana in his grandson, and he is not interested in world music.
On the other side, Tamanna Sharma, a pop singer who is a young, confident girl, belongs to a contrasting world. Thanks to some stroke of destiny, Radhe and Tamanna come together. Here on, it's a journey of a unique 'Bandish' that we get to see not only between Radhe and Tamanna but even between their families. Then Panditji brings another twist in Radhe's life.
Now these Bandish between music, dreams, thoughts, and more create for an interesting plot. Radhe is stuck between the needs of his family and his wishes, classical music and pop music, Tamanna and strict Panditji and more.
Do you like musicals? Of course, everyone does
Do you have patience and focus? Well, you need to have oodles of it to be able to fully savour this fully-loaded passion project created by Anand Tiwari and Amritpal Singh Bindra!
Now here's what I loved about the show!
1- Shankar Ehsaan Loy's magical music - Nobody else than this trio could have managed to create such a delightful amalgamation Indian Classical and Modern music. THE MUSIC is the real star of the show!
2- Naseeruddin Shah - He portrays the role of Pandit Radhe Mohan Rathod, an old man with supreme singing abilities, an ego, a checkered past, a stubborn world view and a dream! And as always, he makes it look easy!
3 - Rahul Kumar who plays Radhe's loyal friend and confidant Kabir, a jugadu, a street smart straight-talking guy who's a Swiss knife for all of Radhe's problems. He is the one who had essayed the role of Millimeter in Aamir Khan's 3 idiots, remember? He has indeed become a centimetre now and is sure to go great miles ahead.
4 Two more promising finds from the casting bay stable are Ritwik Bhomik as Radhe, a 21-year-old caught in a crossfire between two worlds and Shriya Chaudhry as Tamanna Sharma, a bindaas beauty who's all heart and all gold deep down despite her flaws and frailties and tricky childhood! This Radhe- Tamanna jugaldbandi worked for me in more ways than one ways.
5 Kunal Roy Kapur as Tamanna's quirky, cool, smart manager who has the best lines in the show! Most of them cracked me up! His are perhaps the only lines you'll remember from the show!
And here's what perhaps might've worked better!
1 - The makers could have cut the series a bit shorter, and could have managed with 8 episodes instead of 10. Maybe in the second episode, the 'shuddhikaran' scene could have been shorter than what it was and even the build up to the climax could have been given the same treatment. I thought they indulged a bit too much there.
2 - They should've had just one playback singer singing Radhe's songs instead of multiple singers with very different voices and styles. That's where I felt a slight disconnect despite Ritwik Bhowmik's earnest efforts to pull it off, which he did manage to a great extent!
3 - I'd have loved some more screen time for the amazing Atul Kulkarni who enters the show a bit too late for my liking!
But, credit to the makers for A) having the conviction to tell an unconventional story and doing it with a lot of authenticity and no gimmickry! and B) for picking a completely new set of young actors for the lead roles of the two Bandits; there's a certain freshness about them!
But do remember, after watching this series, if you feel like singing, do not sing FALSETTO or else, Panditji will say - Kal se mat anna.
In the end, I would just like to say Bandish Bandits, with the elements of family values, music, dreams, changing times, challenges, twist of pop and classical music and more, on Amazon Prime Video is quite Binge Worthy. I'm very 'sur' about it!
Image Source: Instagram/primevideoin