Based on Voices from Chernobyl(1997) by Svetlana Alexievich
Director- Johan Renck
Genre- Historical drama, Political, there is horror too
Actors – Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Paul Ritter and many more
2019 has been an exciting year for HBO. First, the hype regarding Game of Thrones, the subsequent fall from grace and they needed a saviour to rescue them.
Chernobyl (2019) is the saviour that HBO hoped for and I guess it has delivered the craft with near perfection.
First of all, the makers deserve kudos for choosing such a controversial subject, researching extensively and finally drafting a classic script. The screenplay could have been more layered since the viewers never come across the reaction of the World and also the people in and around Chernobyl. This is the only place, where it falters mildly.
Now, the three major characters Professor Legasov, Commander Boris and Kimchuk essayed by Jared Harris, Stellan Skasgard, Emily Watson respectively deserves applause for their realistic portrayal(s) throughout the five episodes. The screenplay keeps you busy and curious at the same time. Dyatlov essayed by Paul Ritter resembles the cranky corporate bosses and believe me, I wanted to punch him hard, well that is the brilliance of textbook acting.
The background score is awesomely eerie and runs a chill down the spine. The series remains extremely faithful to the historical facts and that is where Chernobyl wins. The production design, the resemblance of the characters with the actual figures, the dialect and lastly the cinematography remains so natural and realistic that the viewer might feel that they are having a conversation with them in Soviet Russia. I would like to mention the brilliant usage of make-up for the patients in Moscow, it irritates and draws sympathy. Please watch this one, you might regret missing this beauty by John Renck.
In the end, Chernobyl remains one of the most perfectly crafted series by HBO after Band of Brother. It draws a conclusion, State is the enemy of the man and Socialism is evil (my point of view).
Warning – This series will disturb your conscience and make you question about the values, morals and ethics.
The casting, the acting.
The make-up of the Chernobyl victims.
The squad assigned to kill the pets, the scenes were tragic.
The haunting background score.
The sound of the dosimeter throughout the narration.
The minimal usage of VFX.
The conversation between the minister of coal and the coal miners.
And now we know how a nuclear reactor works.
The courtroom scene in the end.
Misses out the OTHER point of views.
Ratings – 9.5/10
Disclaimer – The images has been taken from the internet.
Amidst the barbaric machismo of Sacred Games and Mirzapur, Zoya Akhtar gives you brilliant study of relationships, friendships, power, politics and sexuality of postmodern Indian citizens.
Akhtar’s web series Made in Heaven narrates the tale of marriages (read the Great Indian marriages ) in and around Delhi. Made in Heaven revolves around two wedding planners Karan Mehra and Tara Khanna and their baby .i.e. Made in Heaven. Arjun Mathur as Karan Mehra dazzles across the series with his struggle and liberation as a homosexual man. I guess, after Jishu Sengupta as the homosexual (ok bisexual choreographer in Ghosh’s Chitrangada) and Manoj Bajpai in Aligarh, Mathur delivers a hard-hitting portrayal. He is not a person who is going to sit back and tolerate non-sense.
Sobhita Dhulipala (essaying Tara Khanna), who was last seen in Raman Raghav 2 gets enough screen time and tries very hard to justify her character. Well, she shines in a few of the sequences especially towards the end, where she discovers the importance of one’s identity, roots. The final fight with her husband, before she leaves the house forever, well great job. Look out for the platonic relationship (ok friendship ) between Tara and Karan.
The girl from Titli, Shivani Raghuvanshi is a fresh breeze of air. If she gets the right project, she is the star to look out for. Shivani as Jazz eats up her co-star’s screen presence in almost every scene in the series. She is an ambitious soul trapped in the body of a lower-middle-class Punjabi family of Delhi. She commits mistakes, sleeps with a guy without any emotions, makes out under the influence of alcohol, steals stuff, beat the shit out of her stoned brother, looks after her family and speaks her mind. Well, that is the young Indian woman who can take care of her own.
Now, the guy from Brahman Naman as the official photographer, Shashank Arora (as Kabir) doesn’t get much of the dialogues, but he reacts brilliantly in almost all the scenes. His voice-over towards the end of each episode is a thing to cherish.
Made in Heaven provides a tussle between the tradition, individuality, modernism and westernisation. It tackles several issues like homosexuality, infidelity, caste conflict, dowry, impotency, sexual independence, narcotics, power politics and religious extremism among others.
The narration is brilliant and the moments of reflection between the character’s past and present is a pure delight. The flaws in the characters, the convergence of multiple storylines, the production values, the voice-over towards the end, the background score and crispy editing make this one a highly re-watchable series.
Muaah, thanks for showing the authentic sides of Delhi.
Ratings – 9/10
Layered and multiple story lines
Excellent character build-up
Aesthetically executed love scenes
Usage of the Qawali “ Aye re Sakhi more Piya Ghar Aaye “
The loyalty of friendship between Tara and Karan
Vinay Pathak as the peeping and helpless landlord leaves a mark.
The tiny moment of courage, the scene where the bride denies dowry, fuck, awesome.
Caution– This is my experience. This one contains criticism and cuss words. Proceed with caution. Adult show, thus a matured piece of writing.
Adaptation – Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games
Writers – Varun Grover, Smita Singh and Vasant Nath
Genre – Crime, Thriller
Directors – Anurag Kashyap & Vikramaditya Motwane
Players – Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, Nawazuddin Siddique among others
Music- Alokananda Dasgupta
Original Network – Netflix
Number of Seasons – One (6th July, 2018)
Number of Episodes – 8
Country – India
A sinister plot to wipe out the city, the eccentric villain with God complex, a protagonist searching for some answers, terrific love affairs, exuberant ecstasy, an elegant eunuch and so on…
Well, that is the basis of DC Comics and other science fiction works. Look deeply, you find the above mentioned recurring patterns in them.
So Sacred Games is not something new or noble. The show is based on the novel by the same name which chronicles the life of a mafia and a police officer in the Maximum City. Well if you go through Hussain S Zaidi’s Dongri to Dubai, you would be able to relate to all the fictitious element in the plotlines of both the novel and the show. Ironically, the author of Sacred Games Vikram Chandra wrote the foreword to Zaidi’s book.
The eight-hour-long series falters mid-way when parallel plots pop up and slow hinder the pace of the show. Well, so many articles about Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s performance, yes he is every bit of God complex wala Gaitonde. He is the actual star of the show and naturally, he has been given the best dialogues and the one-liners. But, don’t you think he is repeating himself? Faizal Khan is Ganesh Gaitonde, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is Ganesh Gaitonde, Liak (Badlapur ) is Gaitonde, Ramaan (Ramaan Raghav) is Gaitonde and so on…
But he is never boring, he manages to woo and I’ve been mouthing his dialogues among friends. Moreover a mafia, Gaitonde is a philosopher.
Saif Ali Khan as Sartaj Singh provides a stellar performance. He is troubled, he suffers owing to his honesty and he is not at all flawless. Saif provides a performance of a lifetime, he reacts, he blinks, he shows frustration, cries out in pain and gets stupefied in the end. He is the most realistic protagonist in the show. He makes ‘Behenchod’ sexy. Saif comes up with one of the most authentic portrayals of an Indian Police officer.
Radhika Apte’s act could have been much better, I somehow missed the angst of a R&AW officer and she is a staunch feminist over here, leading to the tragic plight in the end.
Neeraj Kabir as the DCP is one hell of a corrupt officer, a bloody bastard. Keep it up.
We have a gullible and honest sidekick of Saif Ali Khan, the constable Katekar aka Jitendra Joshi, such an effortless and brilliant portrayal of loving husband and dutiful cop.
You are here to stay.
How can I forget Bunty bhai ? the staunch Hindu extremist but loyal to the core. Jatin Sarna is the next big thing. The violent women abuser, the foul mouthed gangster.
Well, Kubra Sait as Kuckoo steals the show, the eunuch eats up all the scenes and she is an onscreen magic. She turns the show, hard-hitting portrayal of the third gender. Well, remember Khushwant Singh’s Bhagmati, the ultimate Hijra? Is she the fourth witch of Macbeth?
Shalini Vatsa as Kanta Bai, such a daredevil act. Anushree Deshpande aka Shubadra instigated the manhood and vengeance of Gaitonde, limited screen time and the boldest screen presence, you have got guts.
And then there is one man, who juggles efficiently between fakht Marathi and Bombaiya Hindi. The underdog organiser of Ganesh Mitra Mandali to the top-notch minister in Mantralaya. Girish Kulkarni proves that he is the bloody best as if the role was written for him. I don’t know, why the media is not mentioning his killer performance over here. Girish Bhau..bahot khub. The hero in Deool to the sarcastic cop in Ugly, from the jackass coach in Dangal to the Machiavellian Minister Bipin Bhosale, you are fucking fantastic dude.
There is no complain about direction and execution by Motwane and Kashyap, but they have come up with better stuff. Somehow the screenplay falters between fourth and sixth episodes. The narrative technique is brilliant and it keeps the audience looking for more and more. Varun Grover, keep it up.Loved the gory texture of the series.
But the most striking features of the shows are background music and the credit designing. The Mandala art is impressive and the last episode reveals some brilliant insight about them and Aloka Dasgupta, what a beautiful and haunting composition? You are a pure sweetheart. Just remove the background music, the show will fall flat. Try it.
Verdict– Behenchod faad ke rakh diya..mazza aa gaya.
One of the best, Bose- Dead or Alive is also at par with Sacred Games.But this is pure sensation, you will love it. We want more stuff like this….
Realistic Violence and Nudity.
The third gender, sensitively dealt with.
The screen colour turns red when Gaitonde starts slashing the inmates in jail.
Gripping Background score.
The historical juxtaposition with the major events of Postcolonial India.
Do not miss Rajiv Gandhi’s presence in the show.
The cross-references with mythology, dam attractive..
The real picture of Indian Police Services.
The screenplay could have been crispier in few places.
Pankaj Tripathi, the Guru, aur chahiye tha.
Those who watched the show in English, silent sobbing for them.