Bambai Meri Jaan review: A wildly fascinating underworld story!
What: Kay Kay Menon is the life and Avinash Tiwari is the soul of this compelling and throbbing emotional saga.
Bambai Meri Jaan synopsis
Mumbai’s underworld has inspired many filmmakers including the likes of Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Ram Gopal Varma and his proteges, Anurag Kashyap, Milan Luthria. The bygone era when Mumbai was known as ‘Bambai’ has always provided a fertile tapestry for the filmmakers to dabble in stories and blend emotions, drama, revenge, action and what not! It has never failed to excite the audience.
Excel Entertainment’s Bambai Meri Jaan, directed by Rensil Desilve and Shujaat Saudagar and inspired from the life and times of the world-famous gangster Dawood Ibrahim, empathically gazes at the father-son relationship who are essentially the two faces of the same coin during the turbulent times of the rise of underworld in Bambai.
Ismail Qadri (Kay Kay Menon) an hopelessly honest police officer and a devout family man is tasked with exposing the crime racket and bust the deadly and emerging nexus of Haji (Saurabh Sachdeva) and Pathan (Nawab Shah). After a few futile attempts, his team cracks one endeavor which leads to formation of a secret ‘Pathan Squad’ to and these nefarious activities. But Qadri’s honesty and integrity is challenged following his suspension at job, a difficult domestic situation and Haji pressurizing to join his gang. And he being a tough nut to crack, Haji sets his eyes on the elder son of the family, Dara who grows up to be the undisputed don (Avinash Tiwary).
Rensil and Shujat conjure a crackling screenplay to writer’s Hussain Zaidi story ‘From Dongri to Dubai’ chronicling the six decades of Mumbai Mafia. The initial three episodes are told from Qadri’s perspective and his mission and the power that Haji wielded with the help of his companions – Pathan (modelled on Karim Lala) and Anna (modelled on Muduliar). There is an unmistakable depth to the emotions that coil within the narrative and immerse you into that world, a great patch provided by actress Nivedita Bhattacharya – who plays Qadri’s wife, Shakeena.
Kay Kay is deeply compelling and brooding with his intense outbursts and somber moments of guilt and poignancy. The actor makes you feel for his plight – torn between familial obligation and police duties and the moral compass. His sequences with Saurabh Sachdeva are simply superb. The latter has an amazing resolve to his persona, which even makes the evil look good. I was constantly reminded of “Once upon a time in Mumbai” and Ajay Devgan’s Sultan Mirza watching him. Alok Pandey shines as Rahim the junkie whose small but important role that gives he narrative that serious twist. The ensemble are competent under the glitz and fabulous recreation of the 60s to 80s era – thanks to the impressive production design (Mukund Gupta), although expletives (additional dialogues by Hussain Dalal) flood and smudge the usual conversations. The background score catapults the mood the series to a new high.
Bambai Meri Jaan is a series with 10 episodes each running to 40 minutes of runtime but there is hardly any moment of dullness.
I go with 4 stars out of 5 for BAMBAI MERI JAAN. Produced by Excel Entertainment, the 10-episode series is streaming on Amazon Prime Video platform from 14th September 2023.
PS: The above review id based on five episodes