There goes around a phrase among the youth of Purvanchal (eastern UP and Bihar) , particularly famous among the unfortunate general category regarding the everyday struggles faced by them. “ Na toh hm reservation vale or na hmare chacha vidhayak” which litetally translates to “ neither am I a reservation category nor I have an uncle in politics”. Amazon Prime’s latest release Mirzapur as of now tries very hard to portray this phrase and paint forever the same stereotypical image of UP and it’s people.
The series, although ambitious with an exceptional ensemble cast, turns very predictable after halfway through an episode. You immediately get the Anurag Kashyap vibe as soon as you start with the very first seconds of the first episode, which begins with bloodshed and guns. The story definitely builds up an excitement with it’s cast, but soon fails to deliver as the story feels predictable.
The Cast and Characters of Mirzapur
The series includes Ali Fazal, Pankaj Tripathi, Vikrant Massey, Divyendu Sharma as the central roles and Shweta Tripathi, Sheeba Chaddha and few more as the sidelines. First look at the cast would give anybody the impression of Mirzapur a hit. The actors are fit for the role they take on, Pankaj Tripathi as the antagonist, Massey as the innocent and obedient student and Fazal as the hefty wannabe Mr. Purvanchal. The ensemble impresses with their realistic acting and really delivers the role they were put into. The casting is extraordinarily perfect, like the character of ‘Kaleen Bhaiya’ played be Pankaj Tripathi, the typical antagonist of the story who’s the king of the city. Some of his dialogues are definitely the next line of memes not because of the actual line but because of his presentation of them.
It is safe the to say that Amazon’s Mirzapur success is largely based on the casts and their terrific performances.
A ‘been there done that’ story which is surprisingly saved by the hard-core Stereotyping.
The one thing that the series nails hard on with is the different characters which, even with a strong stereotype of the UP-Bihar region, is pretty spot on and accurate. If you live in the Purvanchal region or come to stay for a long time, you can actually witness these characters in real life. The son or relative to a person of power, wanting to be the next bigshot, the studious UPSC/IAS aspirant. These are a very common personalities that can be seen in this region of India. Of course since the series is ultimately fiction, it is expected that there will some over-the-top and exaggerated parts. The gruesome bloodshed and carefree hooliganism is something that is very strongly and often related with the people of UP, which is taken into consideration in this series. The explicit language although would not surprise the actual people of UP-Bihar, but can come off as a shocking surprise to most of the audience.
This is a major reason why this series is and will be a hit among the audience. Even if these are over done, these characters are a major source of entertainment. Divyenndu Sharma’s character Munna Bhaiya is the typical wannabe gangster that wants to overthrow his father. This plot is not something out of this world or unique but a very common character that has been previously seen in various movies. But this is what actually sells and is entertaining.
Everyone on the Bollywood planet has once seen a gangster story involving these characters. But these are some of the most fun portrayals to watch and is the very reason why more movies and series are being based upon the political and crime based thrillers.
What the Mirzapur did Right and What went Wrong
If someone asks me what stands out in this series, it would be the characters and the vibe of the surrounding. It is actually a spot on portrayal of the cities they pretend to be a part of. The middle class dilemma, the ‘I rule the world’ attitude of people in power here, these pointers are something that will definitely be the hit points of the series with the audience. Even though the story feels repetitive, there will be a large audience just to witness and judge how honestly the directors deliver these stereotypes.
For the fans of Netflix’s Sacred Games, previous fans of movies like Gangs of Wasseypur and such crime and gore based thriller stories, Amazon’s Mirzapur will be an entertaining ride with its funny characters and gruesome but comic plot. It will be trending for the first few captivating episodes and initial story behind individual characters, but it may become a little too similar after all the characters have been introduced.
Mirzapur, like its story, is an ambitious production, but in a shoot in the dark and go with it kind of a way. The story lives on the same old legacy of the hooligan and gangster theme and this will be the very reason for it’s success, because this theme is very ‘in’ right now. People want to pay to watch a little thriller and venture into the not so unknown world of Purvanchal terrors. The cast, exceptionally talented and able, is a good enough reason to watch this series, but after a few seasons it may lose the charm.