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Series Review: Bandish Bandits

Series Review: Bandish Bandits

Starring: Naseeruddin Shah, Shreya Chaudhry, Ritwik Bhowmik, Kunal Roy Kapoor

Director: Anand Tiwari

A handsome budget to shoot sumptuous scenes in the desert state of Rajasthan paired with some great melodies from Bollywood's much-loved musicians, Shankar Ehsan Loy, make this new Amazon Prime offering from India a worthy addition to a growing catalogue.

Tamanna (Chaudhry) is a pop music sensation with a millennial fan base, which by their very nature add on the burden of short attention spans on artistes. She is in a funk after delivering a new song that fails to hit the right spot and results in some pretty harsh social media trolling. With her contract with a major music label teetering on the brink and a panic-stricken flamboyant manager Arghya (Kapoor) on her tail, she takes off from Mumbai to her hometown Jodhpur in search of new inspiration.

In complete contrast is the life and personality of local boy Radhe (Bhowmik), also an accomplished musician but of a completely different ilk. He has grown up quite literally worshipping his ragas, or the melodic framework of Indian classical music, under the tutelage of the great Sangeet Samrat, or king of music, Panditji (Shah) - who also happens to be his grandfather. Radhe's life's mission has been to win his guru's true appreciation, symbolised by a sacred thread, and become the glory of the family's famed musical Gharana, or household.

When these two worlds collide, Radhe and Tamanna are set on the course of a very unique kind of fusion - not only of music but also of romance.

The most striking aspect of 'Bandish Bandits' is its choice of locales in one of India's most visually alive and vibrant regions. While the camera does justice to the exotic and historic landscapes, the music helps bring it alive on screen.

There are also some good performances, with the understated elegance of the veteran Naseeruddin Shah among the highlights. The newcomer lead stars can be seen gradually growing into their characters as the 10-part series progresses. Kapoor as the hapless and garrulous manager also manages to stand out in his peripheral role.

Overall, a very watchable series that is not only easy on the eyes but also the ears.

*iGlobal Review Series

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