Platform : Netflix
Creator: Sayantan Mukherjee
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Suspense , Sci-fi
Release date : Jun-25-2021
Satyajit Ray, a legendery name in Indian film industry, who inspired big names in Hollywood like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, to name a few. This series of 4 short stories selected from Ray are really good we say. Once you watch, you will understand why his stories are true inspiration. Imagine if his stories are this much good, what about he directing them. These 4 shorts namely, Forget Me Not, Bahrupiya, Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa, Spotlight are 4 unrelated stories and portrayed by all different actors of fame from India.
4 different shorts are different in their own genre a little bit. Forget me not is about Revenge drama and thriller in a way. Bahupriya is about minimal revenge but mostly concentrated on thrilling part and some superficial events. Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa is all about grief and som efun so mostly about comedy Drama genre. last but not least Spotlight also comes mostly under drama genre.
Though series is primarity created By Sayantan Mukherjee getting inspired from Ray’s stories Srijit Mukherji, Vasan Bala and Abhishek Chaubey became part of directing every short individually with productive collaboration. Produced by Viacom18 studios and tipping point together and later sold To Netflix for digital rights. Makers used the advantage of Ray’s stories to full level but you will feel like you can do even more. The mediocore style of these 4 shorts are inspired from Ray’s works Smritibhrom, Bahurupi, Barin Bhowmik-er Byaram and spotlight respectively.
Forget Me Not: When saran meets her old buddy in a hotel accidentally, she tries to recollect their memories together to Ipsit , a pride ridden, business guy , he could not recollect any of his memories together and bluntly opposes her in a way too harsh to received by any human and Saran leaves with grief and disappointment. Once he goes back to busy life and spending sometime with newborn child , he asks one of his newly joined friend to reveal some forgotten things happened during those time in 2017 as saran mentioned in Hotel, friend Anil also confirms same and Ipsit starts to feel something wrong but can’t convincing himself on how come he had forgotten everything, he Discuss same with his colleague and friend Gary and Gary confirms the same and points out he also has photos from the time from 2017. Meanwhile Ipsit will be having concussions about how this all went with out him being realizing and struggles mentally with whole confusing scenario. these distraction led him to meet with an accident and when Maggie visits Ipsit secretly, Amala(Ipsit’s wife) listens whole conversations and leaves with disgust on Ipsit. After discharging from Hospital Ipsit continuously attacked by thoughts , he goes to the place of those discussed event, Ajanta caves and reimagines what would have happened between Saran and him there during 2017. We ending up in an hospital where mentally unstable Ipsit being moved around in wheelchair by Maggie revealing what actually happened between them and explains him how she made him suffer for what he has done to her in past and she ends story with how she has cooled her hate.
Bahrupiya : Indrashish shah a lazy employee, who always being tortured by boss and struggles with lesser salary and bad living conditions suddenly get rich by his grandmother’s death and also receives a book about makeup ,namely Bahuroopi. After going through book he wanted to try those techniques using past experience working as makeup artist. after trying few newly learned techniques and playing with neighbors arounds, he decides take leap towards creating a mask of his boss and end up creating exactly looking mask of his mass. When his boss complains about Indro at president of company and Indro somehow convinces manager by lying he makes plan using mask of boss he created using Bahuroopi techniques and changes entire course of boss’s future by creating bank accounts and illegally transferring large sum of amount to this new account from company funds. Apart from this after trying to master the techniques of Bahuroopi he wanted to test the skills of local famous Syed baba and approaches with new face. Baba wont accept Indro for saying the fake name, Indro furiously come back . Not just stopping there Indro tries to meet Baba with new getup and meets him as notorious killer Singh. Baba again noticing its Indro only uses his power on Indro to stay as how he explained to baba. Indro realizing Mask won’t wear off tries to kill himself after getting attacked by people around him.
Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa : Muhafir Ali , a singer ,while going on his tour meets interesting person in his compartment. Later stranger introduces himself as Baig and they go friendly while conversing each other. After few moments of journey, Mushafir realizes that Baig is the one, Mushafir stole the watch from decade ago in the same kind of train journey. Later by the tendency of conversation they both go drunk in compartment and Mushafir tries to put back watch he stole from Baig and Baig sees the whole incident. Mushafir has to show the watch and he confesses about stealing the watch and tells story about why he did that, revealing he has kleptomania and returns the watch to Baig and departs the train, but Baig give watch back to Mushafir saying ,he should return this to a pawn shop owner mentioning some address. Later Mushafir goes to return watch at pawn shop and realizes ,many famous people also has this issue and befriends with pawnshop owner, not only that he returns all his theft items in pawn shop after realizing how crazy he was. Short ends with Mushafir conducting a music tour and Baig and his wife enjoying the moment.
Spotlight : When famous One look artist Vikram, comes to famous hotel and lands in room where Madonna stayed while ago on her Indian tour. Later he comes to know that there is a famous religious celebrity Didi who comes to town and hotel managements tells Vikram to move from the room he liked as Didi also want same room. Already in the stage of hating Didi for her bigger fame in town Vikram gets furious over Didi for taking his favorite room. Disturbed by these events and seeing everybody wearing green forehead Didi thilak he gets angry occasionally and could not concentrate much on his one look acting. Producer fires Vikram for trying to fight for swimming pool as Didi occupied it and gets emotional at mom puts up a fight with girl friend too by scolding Didi. later realizing ,only meeting Didi will help him, he meets her in an uncomfortable time and finds out that she has godly divine powers but all her plans are flying around her escape to USA. Didi reveals she came here for meeting Vik only to know his looks has inspired her to took up this divine thing and ask Vik to drop her at airport secretly using the men she arranged to play some tricks. Later realizing the greatness of Didi about knowing how a normal human can strike of his boundaries by using the self. He goes back to normal life and Kapoor comes back again with offer and after a while his look power comes back and his movie takes an hit in industry.
Even after decades of his demise and writings Ray’s stories still looked fresh here. But there is always something is missing in the execution. But most of the part makers did a good job, but after watching 3 shorts we felt Spotlight felt uncomfortable comparing other three. Though all stories are from very early 80’s and before, adaptation to current generations sounded well in all 4 stories. we were much happier in the part of story and execution. We have watched this season in English felt nothing sort of artificial about screenplay and execution, which generally feel with dubbed Chinese movies ,etc,. Kudos for that.
Rights and wrongs:
good screenplay, nice adaptation, conquering the boundaries of execution , good cinematography, well played actors are main assets of the series. Story wise we don’t want to mention again again about how great they are , and we are really looking forward to see if any of the original writings would be available. About the wrongs we feel artificial with some parts of the Spotlight short and remaining all parts are good. There should have different theme for each of them in DI wise. All of them looked more greenish and cinematic rather than independent on color. They should have tried some graphical kind of style for episodes like Spotlight , Bahupriya. For spotlight they should have tried alternate screenplay like pointing more on some funny parts.
Talking about acting, all the series has it’s own set of great actors from Indian screens. Though They should have selected at least one non Bollywood actors somewhere, we mean south Indian. Manoj Bajpayee, Ali Fazal, Kay Kay Menon handled their own part of burden on their shoulders with ease while Harshvardhan Kapoor struggled to act we say. Other than that Shweta Basu Prasad, Rajesh Sharma, Gajraj Rao, Chandan Roy Sanyal and Radhika Madan did wonderful job as supporting actors and helped a lot for going strong with play. Cinematography, costumes, DI, all came very good but nothing feels new here. They just go well, that’s all, they should have researched some new palette for every craft when you are giving an ode to a legend like Ray. Nobody even objects if you try bit otherworldly also, we think. At least Netflix did tremendous job by releasing this in India rather than sponsoring sex themed American teen content.
All the film makers and movie lovers should watch these series for understanding how great was Satyajit Ray nd his writings. These are the kind of stories you Indians should celebrate rather than polluting you industry with Chicken butter masala stories. Even in US we learnt lessons about Ray in classrooms.
Usual graph system for episodic productions seemed silly, so we are not giving the graph but going directly for conclusion here.
So, as final words we say series is most satisfying recently ,even as Non-Indians and we give 7.9/10 for this series.