With a title as unique as ‘Fixerr’, ALTBalaji and ZEE5’s latest web production must make you wonder who or what is a fixer. Well, let us enlighten you. First of all, a fixer is a person who fixes things for others. Google describes a fixer as a person who makes arrangements for other people, especially of an illicit or devious kind. In film-making parlance, consider a fixer as someone who will be in the thick of things, manoeuvring, machinating, manipulating – in other words, the lynchpin of the plot.
That is what ALTBalaji and ZEE5’s web potboiler, ‘Fixerr’, is all about. Dishy actor Shabir Ahluwalia plays the titular character of a fixer in the show, who puts things into motion, makes things happen and does all the dirty deeds for the rich and famous of glitzy Mumbai. FYI, the show also streams on ZEE5, the result of a strategic collaboration between the two OTT giants.
Hollywood is replete with movies, TV shows and web series that feature the character of a fixer in a prominent role. The Indian content space, however, has been woefully deprived of this colourful and intriguing character. Not a single Indian movie or TV show has been made on a fixer and his penchant for living life on the wild side. Friends, Indians, countrymen, you don’t know the opportunity you’re missing out on.
The only Indian fictional character we can think of, that was remotely similar to that of a ‘fixer’ was Arjun Singh in that seminal comedy drama, Namak Halal. Call him fixer, trouble-shooter, handyman, whatever you will, but the role required Amitabh Bachchan to ‘fix’ a surfeit of sundry issues in the life of his master, Raja Babu, played by Shashi Kapoor. That made him – what else – a fixer!
But now we officially have a show featuring a legit fixer, and about time too. Shabir Ahluwalia is the quintessential fixer in ‘Fixerr’, doing what a fixer does best…..that is, fixing! So folks, read on to find out what’s brilliant and what’s baloney, in Ekta Kapoor’s latest offering for netizens. Here’s our review of Fixerr!
The first episode opens with high drama. Jaiveer Maalik (Shabir Ahluwalia) walks out into the open in the dead of the night, complete with trademark swagger and stylish lighting up of a ciggie. He ends up getting shot in the back and being rushed to hospital. His distraught wife Kesar (Mahie Gill) keeps vigil over an unconscious Maalik, even as there’s another attempt on his life at the hospital.
Just as the suspense builds up to pressure-cooker levels, the narrative moves into flashback mode, back to where it all started from. The story is narrated by Jaiveer Maalik himself, as he often breaks the fourth wall in a playful, flirtatious tone, teasing the camera and the viewers with thrilling revelations.
We learn that Maalik is an honest, upright and exceptionally resourceful police officer in the Delhi Police force. An encounter goes awry, and his superior, DCP Sherawat (Tigmanshu Dhulia) strips him of his uniform and suspends him for a couple of months. The vulture-like Sherawat (his own words, not ours…..he describes himself as a ‘giddha’ in a story he relates to Maalik) seems to be behind the devious plot to get rid of Maalik from the scenario, purportedly at the behest of influential politician, Sinha (Ravi Kesar).
Directed by Sohum Shah and produced by the creative genius, Sakett Saawhney’s Ekomkar Pictures, Fixerr is a great watch.
Shrewd businessman Dalmia (Varun Badola), who’s seen Maalik’s resourcefulness at close quarters, swoops in on a frustrated Maalik, and convinces him to turn into a fixer. Disillusioned with his unfair humiliation, and lured by the promise of easy money, Maalik gives in and moves to Mumbai, much to the consternation of wife Kesar.
In between, we are also introduced to a mysterious woman in black, who turns out to be Jayanti (Isha Koppikar), Maalik’s comrade-in-arms in his edgy life of a fixer. As Maalik embarks on the exhilarating ride of a lifetime, a raft of intriguing characters troop in and out of the show. There’s the Mr Moneybags film producer, Vicky Kapoor (Rajat Rawail), aspiring actress and thorn in Dalmia’s side, Ahana (Karishma Sharma), Dalmia’s bisexual son, Tarun (Gagan Anand) and a host of others.
Maalik gets into all kinds of situations, emerging from each one smelling of roses. The only spanner in the works is that he’s piled up enemies by the dozen, disgruntled fellas from his plentiful escapades and shenanigans – dons, druggies, godwomen, his own brother, the starlet Ahana, Sherawat, Sinha, and maybe even Jayanti, the list goes on and on…..All of them have an axe to grind with him, and any of them could be behind the conspiracy to get rid of the smart-ass Maalik.
As the plot thickens, we are drawn deeper and deeper into the narrative. The air is heavy with drama, but equally, brimming with smart slapstick humour. Maalik gets into situations that are uproarious, glittering with lively witticisms and snarky dialogues. Light-hearted, breezy and gently refreshing, the series is the kind that will get you in an upbeat mood, even when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Each 18-20-minute episode leaves you in splits and is so engrossing that time literally flies; the episode is over before you even realize it.
While the storyline of the series is a hell of an interesting ride, it’s the ensemble cast that takes it to a stellar level.
Tigmanshu Dhulia is superb as Sherawat. He’s got that air of mystery surrounding him, and you don’t know where his loyalties lie, and what his motives are, for doing what he does. He’s cute and creepy, rolled into one. Varuna Badola is sharp and quirky as the wily and horny businessman.
Mahie Gill has positively perfected the art of playing the sultry sensuous beauty, tinged with an endearing earthiness. And she does it darned well too. Karishma Sharma is pretty and appealing with a refreshingly innocent air about her.
But the star of the show is undoubtedly Shabir Ahluwalia. He is simply outstanding in his part, displaying a beguiling candour and ardent earnestness in his acting. He holds the series together with admirable ease, carrying it to glory on his capable shoulders. He’s smart, shrewd and attractive, with tousled hair that looks like someone’s lovingly run their hands through its enticing depths.
Isha Koppikar’s Jayanti is the quintessential Marathi mulgi – street-smart and badass. Isha Koppikar has matured into an accomplished actress, getting better with age, just like fine, vintage wine. She gives a weighty performance, the picture-perfect foil to Maalik’s chaotic shenanigans.
Fixerr vibrates with an energetic hum, buzzing with liveliness, with nary a dull moment or lull in pace. It’s an instant perk-me-up that invigorates – like a steaming cup of strong, fragrant coffee, on a dull, dull morning.
Director Sohum Shah has done a great job. And with Producer Sakett Saawhney helming the show, the end product is a must watch.
This one definitely merits a dekko, guys. Take our word on it. So what are you waiting for? Go watch it now, people!
In the meanwhile, 3.5/5 is our rating for Fixerr.