IWMBuzz.com reviews Arre's Tathaastu

What if you had your very own real-life Genie, with the powers to make all your wishes come true? Who’d prostate before you in deference, while saying, “Your wish is my command, Sire. What is it that you want?” Sounds too good to be true, ain’t it? Sigh, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

But hang on; if not a Genie, what if there was a crazy start-up that fulfilled the wishes of anyone who was ready to pay the moolah, however inane the wishes were? Well, Tathaastu is the name of this start-up, run by a motley crew of madly motivated wish-fulfillers.

Don’t get us wrong; Tathaastu isn’t the result of a bout of wishful thinking on our part. It is the latest web series on the prolific OTT content creator, Arré. So, here’s the premise of the show – Tathaastu is an upstart company, set up by Dev Awasthi, tech wizard, Silicon Valley darling, and pal to none other than Elon Musk. While Dev is based in Silicon Valley, Tathaastu is a company based in India, dedicated wholly to fulfilling the wishes of Indians – three wishes per month, if you may. The incorrigible entertainer, Shivankit Singh Parihar, portrays Dev.

Tathaastu (Sanskrit/Hindi for ‘so be it’), as the name suggests, specializes in fulfilling wishes. Their slogan is ‘Your craziest wish is our command’. With a tagline like that, one can imagine the crazy wishes that come their way, demanding to be fulfilled. And to their credit, the mad men (and women) at Tathaastu rise up to every crazy wish, making sure that it comes true for the poor little rich folk who traipse down to the nondescript Tathaastu office.

You want the name of your girlfriend written in the sky in red, orange or yellow? Aye aye, consider it done. Or is it a seat you wish for, in the top engineering college in the country (when you don’t get it by conventional means obviously)? Aye again! Tathaastu makes your wish come true. Whether it is arranging for Pepsi Blue – a drink long discontinued in India – to quench the desire of a dead man on his ‘shraad’, or solving the puzzle of Taimur Ali Khan’s missing potty seat (yes, even Saif Ali Khan solicits the services of Tathaastu), it is all in a day’s work for Team Tathaastu.

Scatter-brained Ahuja (Rajendra Chawla) is the boss at the Mumbai office. He treats his young team with paternal caring, calling them Puttar every once in a while. The team comprises nerdy Loli, aka Lajpat Kumar (Aekansh Vats); flirty DK, aka Damodar Kondapalli (Pranay Pachauri); the foul-mouthed go-getting Shruti (Pragya Paramita); newbie and tech wiz, Radhika (Surbhi Dhyani); and the smart-mouth peon, Santosh (Piyush Kumar).

Playing Genie to the troubled populace of Maximum City isn’t the only thing however, that the folks at Tathaastu do. Loli has the hots for Shruti, who has the hots for DK, who has the hots for Radhika, who has the hots for Big Boss Dev himself. Phew! Confused? You ought to be. We too got it down pat after some difficulty.

The team goofs around, rags each other, rags the boss, and generally shoots the breeze most of the time. But miraculously, everything clicks into place in the end; and the team manages to fulfil each wish to the satisfaction of their loaded customers.

While most of the plots of the 5-episode series are quite hackneyed, one does make more sense than the rest – it addresses the age-old superstitions prevalent in the country regarding the ‘ap-shagun’ of marrying a ‘manglik’. The team beats back the quagmire with the new-age power of social media. The solution and wish-fulfilling is quite innovative and an apt reflection of the times we live in.

The rest of the episodes are mediocre, to say the least. The gags are pedestrian, with only a few eliciting laughter, if at all. The plots could have been crisper, and the acting, sharper. The actors seem to have sleep-walked through their roles, that’s how lacklustre the acting is. Pranay Pachauri, the guy who plays DK, apes Hrithik Roshan and quite blatantly at that.

That said, the writing of the show is refreshingly irreverent. It lampoons everyone, from the maverick Musk to Indra Nooyi. It doesn’t spare even the big guns of Bollywood, including SRK. If only the writers, Gaganjeet Singh and Piyush Sharma, had matched this irreverence with some inspired plots, it would have taken the series several notches higher in quality and content. The direction, by Gaganjeet Singh, is nothing to sing paeans to. It’s strictly OK, in our honest opinion. The creative producer of the series is Sharan Saikumar.

Tathaastu streams on the Arré app, on arre.co.in, as well as on MX Player. Watch it only if you have time to kill and nothing better to do.

Our rating for Tathaastu is 2/5.

(Written By Rashmi Paharia)

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