new Delhi: On a very basic formula of respect and revenge, Taish Banks said that even the most commercial of Bollywood producers stopped peddling some time ago, though Bejoy Nambiar works with the polish. The story unfolds against the backdrop of good-looking London and surrounding locations, in which the characters are well used. For some novelty, you get a choice of formats – you can treat Tash as a six-episode series, or as a feature film.
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The option in the format is not the only experiment about Taish. Nambiar and co-scriptwriters (Anjali Nair, Karthik R. Iyer and Nicola Lewis Taylor) adopt a non-linear approach in storytelling, which – by mainstream Bollywood standards at least – is not something common. It finds the narrative more interesting than it actually is.
That the operative mood is of murderous anger sets in with a bloody performance that takes place between the young Sunny (Pulkit Samrat) and gangster Kuljinder (Abhimanyu Singh) in a washroom of a posh pub in London. The encounter leaves Kuljinder in a botanical state, and soon the gangster’s younger brother Palli (Harshvardhan Rane) and the gang become beg for Sunny’s blood.
Things get complicated as Sunny is in the city to attend the wedding. Krish (Ankur Rathe), the little boy of the affluent Kalra family, is married to Mahi (Joa Morani), and is like a Sunny family. When Pali and the gang arrive at the venue and announce that they will find the attacker and bite the nail, or ensure that there is no marriage.
The narrative goes into flashbacks to find the cause of Sunny’s violence, and also completes the plot. Nambiar is subtle in the way he introduces important characters – Rohan (Jim Sarbh), Krish’s elder brother or Arfa (Kruti Kharbanda), Rohan’s Pakistani introvert, for example – as well as important plot. The idea is to present a dull treatment for the episode.
Nevertheless, for all its visual and cinematic treatment, Taish lacks an innate ability to connect. There is a vivid idea, there are characters who struggle with the demons of the past, even they fight tooth-and-nail to finish – yet these heroes fail to reach out and connect . You do not feel them or their grief, for the simple reason that their emotional dilemmas are not completely original, or not reassuring.
As the story progresses into its final episode, many of the surprising situations unfold begin to force. It is almost as if Nambiar and the team were in a hurry to wrap up their story with a brilliantly executed chase sequence and some filmy melodrama.
A major bottleneck for many would be the wide use of Punjabi dialogues. The family and friends of Pali and the gangsters are from Punjabi background and for authenticity, Nambiar allows them to explain in Punjabi. You can feel that you have entered a Punjabi gangster movie without subtitles for a long time as a result of the conversation.
The show hinges on Pulkit Samrat, Harshvardhan Rane and Jim Sarbh, and the male lead consists mostly of interesting characters who are rarely on the big screen. Kriti Kharbanda as Arfa and Sanjay Sheikh as Jahaan in the story are primarily romantic interests, but the script offers them stray moments where they play a part in furthering the story.
Along with the lead cast, Taish’s authors suffice in the way they imagine minor players in the story. Pali mentions Saurabh Sachdeva as Cydik Sukhi and Zoya Morani as Mahi. Nineties star Kunika makes an enjoyable appearance in a small role.
Taish kills familiar stretches of vengeance. It is a strong idea that transcends storytelling that fails to connect. The cast is superb in its lively form and yet the characters often have to go through adversity to take the story forward. You have some great songs, yet strangely these only slow down the pace of storytelling. Taish is an iron labor.
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