Mirzapur – Engaging Yet Stirring With Hits And Misses
Web-series are game-changer for filmmakers and storytellers, after the popularity of Sacred Games on Netflix and Inside Edge by Amazon Prime, the latter is back with another web series Mirzapur. Mirzapur was under discussion for quite some time i.e. immediately after the launch of its trailer. Fans of off-beat cinema were anxiously waiting for this web-series. Indian entertainment industry is constantly experimenting with the possibilities to reach out to as many numbers of audiences as possible by utilizing almost every platform, and Mirzapur is its latest offering. Let’s see what Mirzapur has to offer to its audience.
Mirzapur Official Trailer
Mirzapur – Team Of Bhaiyya Jees!
One should give the credit to the casting director for selecting actors who had never done such characters (sans Pankaj Tripathi), and this gave the unique and fresh flavor to the viewers. Who could’ve thought Divyendu Sharma doing a negative shade of Munna Tripathi, as he has always done light-hearted and happy go lucky characters? Ali Fazal is mostly seen in very balanced roles right from 3 Idiots to Fukrey and then from Victoria & Abdul to Happy Bhag Jayegi but in Mirzapur Fazal pulls off an extreme character of Guddu Pandit. Following is the cast and attributes of their characters;
a) Akhhand Tripathi aka Kaleen Bhaiyya (Pankaj Tripathi) is the Baahubali (Don) of Mirzapur and is very composed but sharp person. He thinks about the possible consequences before taking any action. He believes in maintaining the fear in people so that they don’t forget what Kaleen Bhaiyya is capable of, yet on the other hand he maintains an image of a helping hand to the needy and deprived beings.
b) Munna Tripathi (Divyendu Sharma) is the only son of Kaleen Bhaiyya and is the righteous contender of Mirzapur after him. Munna is impulsive, violent and careless in his moves. Munna is the extreme opposite of his father.
c) Bablu Pandit (Vikrant Massey) and d) Guddu Pandit (Ali Fazal) are two brothers, former wants to appear for IPS exam and the latter is shown striving to become Mr. Purvanchal and then Mr. India. One uses his brains to solve problems and other uses his muscles.
e) Bauji (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) is Kaleen Bhaiyya’s father, suffering from paralysis after an attack on him by his ex-accomplice Rati Shankar. Bauji is mostly shown sitting on a wheelchair and watching TV shows on animal documentaries.
Mirzapur – The Land Of Greed, Goons, Guns & Gaalis!
The story of Mirzapur revolves, as shown in the Mirzapur trailer, around Akhanda Tripathi who is also known as Kaleen Bhaiyya because he is in to the business of rugs and carpets but he is actually a don. Akhanda rules Mirzapur in literal meaning but his only son Munna Tripathi is out of his control and constantly misuses his powers and position which always ends up getting him in to deep-water. One day Munna’s path crosses with Ramakant Pandit, a lawyer and the father of Guddu and Bablu. Both the brother beat the shit out of Munna and his friends and then they are presented in the court of Kaleen Bhaiyya. Kaleen Bhaiyya smartly analyzes the potential of these brothers and gives them the opportunity to join his gang, or else face the consequences of ruffling with Munna. Both the Pandits were left with no choices and they accept Kaleen Bhaiyya’s offer.
Soon with the genius mind of Bablu and ‘do or die’ funda of Guddu, Kaleen Bhaiyya’s business starts to prosper to multiple folds and they both become his dependable subordinates. Munna, on the other hand, starts feeling jealous and even plots schemes but keeps on missing every shot. Mirzapur is the story of how two young college going boys come in to the underworld, nervously and indecisively, where firing a gun is considered as fun and taking another’s position is the only motivation. How these two stand up against the lord of Mirzapur – knowingly or unknowingly is what this web-series is all about. Mirzapur is a web-series which is filled with violence, gore, slightly sexually provocative scenes and a lot of Gaalis (swears).
Mirzapur – Glut of Performances
Performance wise, every character leaves impression in Mirzapur, no matter what’s the length of the character. Pankaj Tripathi is brilliant as Kaleen Bhaiyya; he beautifully balances the terror element and composure. A few of his scenes with his wife Beena, his son Munna and Guddu are noteworthy. Ali Fazal goes through a huge transformation and it’s evident from his physique, mannerism and expressions. As Guddu, he is a revelation, I am sure that you have not seen Ali Fazal in such an avatar earlier. Vikrant Massey is shown as the brainy one among the crowd of wham-bammers; from his attire to his moves and from his dialogues to his delivery Vikrant makes his character relatable and believable.
Divyendu Sharma tries his best to give Munna Bhaiyya flesh and soul but the problem is that the character is written with so many shades that it gets a little overburdened. Kulbhushan Kharbanda is effective, although he has very few scenes in the entire season but his dialogues and his performance are both superb. Kharbanda once again proves that once a Shakaal, always a Shakaal – composed yet furious.
Rasika Dugal who was earlier seen in Kissa and Manto, surprises her audience. The scheming and plotting young (2nd) wife of Kaleen Bhaiyya, sexually dissatisfied with him and power-hungry by default is an interesting character which might have some similarities with the character of Nimmi from Maqbool played by Tabu. Rasika pulls off her character effectively and leaves an impact.
Special mention for Shaji Chaudhary (playing Maqbool) the actor despite having very few dialogues, gives an impressive shot. Shaji was last seen in Thugs of Hindostan as Bhurelal. Girls from Mirzapur, Golu (Shweta Tripathi last seen in Haraamkhor), Sweety (Shriya Pilgaonkar earlier seen in Fan) and Dimpy (Harshita Gaur) are fairly good.
Amit Sial as the cop is very good. He shines in his scene with Pankaj Tripathi.
Mirzapur – The Hits & Misses
Mirzapur has its fair share of pluses and minuses. This web-series by Amazon Prime builds up well, it has distinctive characters, it offers good dialogues with repeat value and a fairly decently written smart story but it keeps on going off track. It builds up the interest level but as soon as it builds it up one thing or the other makes it fall flat. Same thing happens repeatedly. At times scenes are a little stretched, there’s lagging in the storytelling at places. Unrequired scenes and at times, stories/characters make Mirzapur a less-engaging web-series. Based on performances, script, treatment and focus, Mirzapur is better than Sacred Games – the probability is that the younger audience will like Mirzapur because of blood-shed, cuss-words and sexually charged characters, or those who seek for good performances.
For instance there are a few angles which are stuffed in the series for no reason (based on entire season 1):
1) Why was Golu (Shweta Tripathi) shown masturbating while reading an erotic story in the library in her very first scene? In the entire season that angle was neither re-explored nor any shade of that shown.
2) The relationship between Beena and her cook should have some development to that – it looked a little on the face.
3) Munna’s and Beena’s interactions are unnatural.
4) Dimpy’s (Harshita Gaur) character should have more worth than what’s shown so far.
5) The climax of season 1 i.e. the entire sequence of ‘Reception’ looks muddled, stretchy and to be honest a little too unrealistic. The thought of the climax must have been good but its execution is a little lousy.
Similarities B/w Mirzapur & GoW or Sacred Games
For those who have already seen Gangs of Wasseypur and Sacred Games, they will already know the fact that there’s no similarity between Mirzapur and GoW or Sacred Games. Yes there are cuss words in abundance, there are sex scenes as well and the web-series is based on underworld in Uttar Pradesh – but that’s just about it. Gangs of Wasseypur was a different plot and characters were much dense and darker in comparison to what Mirzapur offers. Sacred Games is a story between a cop (Saif Ali Khan) and an underworld Mafioso (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). Paralleling the two just for the sake of comparing is not a sane thing to do. Plus, at the end of the day whether it’s any Bollywood movie based on the topic of underworld, it tells more or less the same story as they are based on real incidents.
Executive producers Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, writers Puneet Krishna, Vineet Krishna and Karan Anshuman along with the director Gurmmeet Singh have done a fairly decent job. Let’s hope that the second season will bring some more interesting characters along with a crispier plot with high dose of engagement for viewers.