Raj and DK's Farzi is running strong on Amazon Prime Video and if you still haven't watched it, then these are the reasons you definitely should!
There is no doubt that Raj and DK have become those creators/ directors whose content you look forward to watching in a short span of time. And combining them with a force that is Shahid Kapoor, who is way more talented than he is always given credit for, with a cherry on top with actors like Vijay Sethupathi, and KK Menon, both of whom have the ability to uplift even the most boring scripts, you know you are going to be in for a ride. Honestly, I was very worried before the release but Raj and DK's Farzi upholds the bar and is probably the best Indian original show to come out in a while that's brilliant and complete in all its aspects. In a single sentence, it's a cat and mouse chase within an unfair system where every man fends for himself and greed is the ultimate drive.
Sunny (Shahid Kapoor) is a talented artist cum hustler (jugaadu) who is tired of living as the middle class which is more of a middle finger class. So when the time comes to save his Nanu's (Amol Palekar) legacy- Kranti presses, Sunny with his exceptionally loyal childhood friend, Firoz (Bhuvan Arora) after trying everything hatches up a plan to make fake currency notes. This disrupts the already existing economy of fake currency in the market and the ongoing cat-and-mouse chase between Michael (Vijay Sethupathi), an officer dealing with counterfeit notes, and Mansoor Dalal (KK Menon), the crime syndicate leader of the counterfeit notes. Individual greed forms the basis of the story as everyone who started in this line of work, from the officers to the criminals started from a need but it turned into a never-ending journey.
Raj and DK's filmmaking style is intimidating, intense, and hilarious
There is a very thin line between getting stuck in your own created pattern and creating your niche and style. In the case of Raj and DK, the latter is the ultimate truth after Farzi's release. Their understanding of reality and packing it into powerful storytelling is what everyone is falling in love with. In this case, their style of bringing a story of counterfeit notes with an intense and intimidating drama that finds a very sweet spot of hilarity at the right moments is nothing short of genius. Because it's not like we haven't heard the news of fake currency notes being captured but we haven't ever given enough thought to how all this would have been done.
Using a brilliant cast and debut actors!
Something that I have always appreciated in Raj and DK's world is the fact that they have often taken known and unknown faces together and given them equal stature and opportunity to shine whether it has been Manoj Bajyapee with Sharib or Shahid and Bhuvan in Farzi. And you have to give in credit to Shahid Kapoor for taking up this show as his OTT debut. His choice of scripts has always surprised me. The way he easily settles with Sunny in the show feels like a character being a part of a larger set up instead of a superstar's show like Ajay Devgn's Rudra. But the breakthrough performance has to go to Bhuvan Arora as Firoz because he is phenomenal, given that officially this could be considered his debut and the chemistry between him and Shahid is worth watching this show for. Even Amol Palekar as the idealist Nanu and Chittaranjan Giri as Chachu, are the perfect voice of reason when things are crashing and burning down.
Though it takes you a little time to settle with Vijay Sethupathi's Michael because of his accent and a little laidback approach after a point, you realize that is precisely his strength. But his interactions with Zakir Hussain as Pawan Gahlot are beyond chemistry and bring a new flavour to bond with government officers and politicians. Saqib Ayub as Anees and Raashi Khanna as Megha Vyas nail their characters perfectly and add that much needed driving force and intensity. But KK Menon with a perfect balance of intimidation and comedy brings that seasoned brilliance to the show that we see with Manoj Bajpayee in The Family Man. And uff his interactions with Kubra Sait are so eventful. Overall it could be said that Raj and DK have the power to bring out the best in the cast, whether they're supporting actors or main leads so they uplift the screenplay further.
The balanced mixture of reel and real
The genius of Raj and DK is unmatched, but throughout the course of eight episodes of Farzi, you can't help but applaud the originality and the brilliance of the screenplay and how the reel ends up being real. From every dialogue by Hussain Dalal to the character development of each and every actor, it's carefully thought of and curated which makes up for worthwhile binge-able content that doesn't seem out of this world. The start could feel a little bleak to some but is important to understand why Sunny ends up neck-deep in this counterfeit business. Or why everyone is so involved in this cat and mouse chase whether it is Michael or Megha (Raashi Khanna) or Firoz.
There are a variety of action sequences and not in your cliche format. But having an intense scene of a car chase and then getting stuck in Mumbai's traffic is a pure shot of genius and belief that it could really happen. Or exploring the angst of a middle class man who is dead tired of just hanging in somewhere mid-between the dynamics of class that it becomes a driving fuel towards greediness that ends up bringing up a darker side. Or thinking that an officer who is trying to catch the most wanted criminals could have a personal life that is completely blown apart because that is just life happening.
The best of both worlds in a perfect blend
In all its beauty, Farzi has a way of bringing about the north and south closer without being in the face. It's set up majorly in Mumbai and explores its character depth beautifully with the class divide that is prevalent in its structural ways, huge buildings with chawls, and how it affects Sunny's relationship with his girlfriend from a higher class. But it never misses out on an opportunity of being true pan-Indian without bringing the divide between north and south and yet focusing on it. Vijay Sethupathi's accent takes a while to get used to but that is how any south Indian will navigate through Hindi. So without making any fuss about accents and languages, the show adapts to its cultural setup easily.
There is a very good chance that something can sound brilliant on paper but most of it is not usually perfectly translated to the screen. And that is where every technical aspect from cinematography to editing to production has to come together. The cinematic brilliance comes from the crew understanding the directors and their vision and then bringing their best foot forward to uplift the entire thing from paper. In Raj and DK's Farzi, everyone understood the assignment. The way the camera and editing has worked in sync from the cinematography handled by Pankaj Kumar, and editing by Sumeet Kotian, where if the camera takes us through the lanes of every location, the editing builds in the edginess by drawing contrast consistently. Adding to them was the excellent work of sound design by Pritam Das and background music by Ketan Soda which is apt. Even the departments of production, art, and costume design as well as make-up, casting, and visual effects outdid themselves. That colour palette of every scene, especially the ending of Shahid in red adds so much effect to the flare and drama when you are watching the series.
In conclusion, Farzi currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video is one of those few shows to come out that is so sure and complete within itself that it definitely shouldn't be missed out on. Tough on another front, with all the interesting cameos, I cannot wait for the universe of Raj and DK to unfold and expand further with The Family Man, Farzi, and more.
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