Bandish Bandits Ratings
8.7/10IMDb 3/5NDTV.com 2.2/5TechQuila
Bandish Bandits cast:
Naseeruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni, Rajesh Tailang, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Sheeba Chaddha, Amit Mistry, Ritwik Bhowmik, Shreya Chaudhry, Tridha Choudhary, Rahul Kumar
Bandish Bandits director: Anand Tiwari
‘Bandish Bandits’ review: Naseeruddin Shah towers over web series
‘Ten seconds, that’s what we have to catch the attention of the millenials’, says one character to another in Bandish Bandits. That, in a nutshell, appears to be the mandate of Amazon’s new series: to make Hindustani classical music appealing to Gen X, and it colors everything, right from its clever-sounding title, to its tone and tenor.
Shot on location in Rajasthan and Mumbai. The series opens in Jodhpur, in the ‘aangan’ of a big haveli, where Sangeet Samrat Rathod (Shah) is holding a class. He’s the crusty custodian of his ‘Gharana’. And one of those formidable teachers of Hindustani classical who demand, and receive, absolute discipline. Despite failing hearing, inevitable with ageing, his word is the law. Even his family, including his grandson Radhe Mohan (Bhowmik), also one of his most able ‘shishyas’, addresses him as Panditji.
Along comes Tamanna (Chaudhry), an attractive maker cum-entertainer of studio-music, and a dangler of a few similarly appealing draws. Radhe takes as much time as necessary however is appropriately stricken, however, his consenting to Tamanna’s ‘chichore’ blandishments has more to do with saving his family from budgetary danger, than succumbing to ‘combination’ music.
These are significant issues. What’s more, certainly deserving of an arrangement, which attempts to do an exercise in careful control between the overwhelming impact the diktats-graven-in-stone master applies over Radhe (Bhowmick), and the corporate-driven requests laid upon Tamanna, who accompanies a backstory of an aspiring, alienated mother (Malik), and a too-cherishing father (Rituraj), and whose consuming aspiration is to sing with an anecdotal worldwide pop symbol called Queen Eli.
At its best, the arrangement gives up to the magnificence and unpredictability of Hindustani old-style music. As we hear the artists separate between a ‘teevra’ and ‘madhyam sur’, Shah fabricating a stunning alaap, an old understudy (Kulkarni) who appears midway. And who has insightfully figured out how to contemporize his traditional abilities, shoot quick-paced ‘taans’. We additionally observe the circular segments of different individuals from Panditji’s family. More established beta Rajendra (Tailang), bahu Mohini (Chaddha), more youthful beta Devendra (Mistry). All musically skilled, however, hindered expertly and inwardly, by the predominance of the master.
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Shah overshadows the show, giving us how quietness can pass on so much. His demeanors running, with a slight glint, from by and large sicken, to dissatisfaction, to swoon acclaim: last observed playing with ragas in Sarfarosh (1999), he fills his job totally. However that the essayists hadn’t decided to uncover a couple of dull insider facts. Which have profoundly affected his family, particularly his little girl in-law, so late into the ten scenes.
Be that as it may, each time Bandish Bandits veers towards the old style. It recalls its twenty to thirty-year-olds, and we get, aside from Tamanna, who smokes (in the initial barely any scenes; we never observe her light up later), hues her guilefully wavy hair blue, boxes to stay in shape. And makes statements like, ‘this is genuine, this is so genuine’, as she appreciates a raga, a few other energetic characters who speak to the ‘opposite’ side, the thoughtful who feel traditional music seems like a ‘goat being choked’. He likewise says: har Arjun ko Apne Krishna ki zaroorat hoti hai. OK at that point.
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Clearly, Bandish Bandits has a season two coming up. Hopefully, we will get less old-style drama, and a more polished younger set, and more confident about its intentions. And maybe the writers will be careful to not have characters cheerfully dispense advice and medicine for ‘bipolar disorder’. Yes, this happens: we actually hear the names of the prescription drugs.
The conversation around the need to revive interest in classical music. Despite its flaws, Bandish Bandits keeps up focus on this crucial theme. I’m always in the market for great music (done by Shankar Ehsaan Loy), locations (Jodhpur is stunning, and the city’s famous mirchi pakode that the characters are shown eating, whether they are happy or angry, look extremely inviting).