Cast: Bhuvan Bam (Vasant Vasya Gawde), Shriya Pilgaonkar (Madhu), Deven Bhojani (Mehboob), Prathamesh Parab (Peter)
Director: Himank Gaur
Ratings: 2.5/5 stars
‘Chamatkar’ and ‘kudrat ka karishma’. Well, these aren’t alien words for you right if you are someone who’s grown up watching commercial Hindi cinema? The cultural appropriation blended with the belief that miracles do happen is a concept that’s not unknown to the Indian entertainment industry. Over the years, we have seen quite a lot of content that has explored this genre and how. Well, so much so that in today’s time, until and unless it’s really ‘out of the box’ and captivating, the audience in all probability won’t really be interested much. Well, Bhuvan Bam’s new show ‘Taaza Khabar’ seems to be a classic example of that. It pretty much is an old recipe served with few new ingredients and we feel it doesn’t help the cause much.
The story revolves around Vasant ‘Vasya’ Gawde who owns a ‘shauchalaya’ in the heartland of Mumbai. Given the fact that the story is about a ‘public toilet’ owner, it’s only natural we are naturally set to witness a lot of classics ‘Mumbai special’ ‘tapori tamasha’ in the six-episode series. It’s a classic ‘rags to riches’ story fine-tuned with modern-day sensibilities to cater to the target audience. Vasya is a poor boy who seeks a better life for himself, his mother and his beloved ones. A nice and positive deed and a resultant miracle bless him with the power to see the future. Like the visionary that he has always been, he decides to use this power to good effect to manipulate his own destiny and Madhu, a s*x worker played by Shriya Pilgaonkar whom he loves. The protagonist uses this ability to good effect to earn riches by betting on cricket matches he’s aware of well in advance. Remember Emraan Hashmi’s ‘Jannat’ ladies and gentlemen? Well, that’s exactly it. In the process, he piles up a humongous amount of wealth before eventually the realization dawns upon him that life’s a lot more than just wealth. What does the journey look like for Vasya in the entire process? Does he eventually lead a successful happy life with his love? What happens to their love? Well, no spoilers here indeed.
‘Taaza Khabar’ as a show is entertaining and fun in bits and pieces. But seeing the show, you can’t really point out anything so earth-shattering that makes it a ‘must watch’. A complex drama blended with multiple emotions always leaves you craving for ‘better’ and that’s where we aren’t the happiest. The biggest positive of the show has to be Bhuvan Bam himself as his raw comic timing will certainly make you tickle your funny bones on many occasions. Shriya Pilgaonkar does justice to her well-crafted role of Madhu and the way she’s drawn a respectful ‘line of honour’ without going OTT while playing a s*x worker deserves appreciation. Other actors like Prathamesh Parab, who plays Vasya’s catholic friend aka Peter and Deven Bhojani, who plays the role of Mehboob, a bakery owner too put their best foot forward within the limitations that they have had. Director Himank Gaur gets the casting right as Bhuvan and Shriya’s romantic chemistry wins hearts. The series delivers quite a hit of half-baked homilies that never really manage to hit ‘home’. Add to that, the unnecessary ‘shauchalaya’ and ‘toilet jokes’ just because he owns a ‘shulabh shauchalya’ looks forced on many occasions. The biggest highlight of this series is that it makes you believe the fact that miracles do happen and when that actually happens, fortunes can really turn overnight.
To cut things short, there’s nothing really ‘taaza’ in ‘Taaza Khabar’ as it feels like rancid and decayed food heated up in an oven served ‘fresh and taaza’ as a form of disguise. Watch it if you are a Bhuvan Bam fan and if you love his ‘BB Ki Vines’. It’s certainly refreshing to watch this from that viewpoint. The key is to not expect much at the end of the day.