Bandish Bandits: Season 1
Director: Anand Tiwari
Genre: Romance. Drama
Releasing Date: 4th August 2020
Streaming On: Amazon Prime
Cast: Shreya Chaudhary, Ritwik Bhowmik, Naseeruddin Shah, Sheeba Chaddha, Rajesh Tailang, Amit Mistry, Kunaal Roy, Rahul Kumar, Dilip Shankar, Atul Kulkarni, Rituraj Singh, Shashi Kiran, Meghna Malik, Sanjay Nath, Ajay Kumar, Harsh Singh Tridha Choudhury, Priyanka Arya
Plot: Bandish Bandits, the 10-episode ‘music-themed’ series follows the story of Radhe played by Ritwik Bhowmik and Tamanna played by Shreya Chaudhry.
Radhe is a singing genius, who is set on to follow the footsteps of his celebrated classical-musician grandfather Pandit Radhemohan Rathod played by Naseeruddin Shah - who refuses to trade on his gharana’s reputation and relies on the support of Jodhpur’s royalty to stay buoyant. Whereas, Tamanna is a rising YouTube pop sensation who is desperate to become an international star. It is when she had to churn out a track that would generate massive views online within two weeks, she landed up in Jodhpur for some inspiration and motivation. There Tamanna’s path crosses with Radhe.
Radhe finds himself falling in love with Tamanna soon. While Tamanna recognizes Radhe's talent and during their budding romance comes up with a plan to launch herself into stardom with a jugalbandi (collaboration) performance with Radhe and named the team as - Bandish Bandits.
Torn between Indian classical vs contemporary music, talent vs beauty, helping Tamanna and staying true to his own music - Radhe faces several ups and downs in his life and his relationship with Tamanna as well as his own family members which forms the rest of the story.
Review: Creator Anand Tiwari and his team of co-writers Adhir Bhat, Amritpal Singh Bindra, Lara Chandni set up the mood and motive of the story in the first episode itself. There’s a lot to take home from Bandish Bandits, imprisoned as we are inside our homes, the panoramic visual landscape of the show offers a joy of experiencing the fabled grandeur of Rajasthan, its royal traditions, splendid havelis, forts and ornate temples.
When it comes to performances, Shreya Choudhry and Ritwik Bhowmik alongside the stalwarts in the cast, make their presence felt noteworthy. With the range of emotions, their characters go through, they have done a fair job.
Whereas the daughter-in-law who has her own tragic backstory, Sheeba Chaddha has given a remarkable performance. Rajesh Tailang is a picture of a poise who suffers as the feeble son of a Sangeet Samrat. While Atul Kulkarni is marvellous as the maestro-turned-competitor from a different gharana who enters late in the show.
As for Naseeruddin Shah, everything from his silence to his expressions conveys a spectrum of emotions, perhaps there is no superlative that can describe the performance he gives.
Moreover, the musical score by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy manages to strike a chord. The songs are rendered by an array of classical vocalists and playback singers ranging from Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty, Dhananjay Mhaskar and Mame Khan and to Jonita Gandhi, Javed Ali and Shivam Mahadevan. The interesting mix of peppy rhythms with Indian classical is worthy of applause!
It is the cinematography that duly elevates the show, apart from the music. Rajasthan of Bandish Bandits is exoticised, Sriram Ganapathy’s spectacular camerawork seduces viewers into believing in his vision of Rajasthan.
Overall, if you are looking forward to taking a good break from murder mysteries steeped with ample negativity, then Bandish Bandit will be worth your while.