Ain’t nothing wrong in exploring the underbelly and the heartless activities that unfold there. But when you release it around a show that has already hit the aim (Paatal Lok) and is on the same lines, expectations are high. (PS: before you school me not to compare, I am not). Lalbazaar is a story intriguing on paper but half-baked on screen and that is what killed the mood. Also, Ajay Devgn is the presenter here.
Cast: Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Kaushik Sen, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Sauraseni, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Gaurav Chakraborty, Ronjini Chakraborty and ensemble.
Set in Kolkata, Lalbazaar is a story that takes you to the underbelly of this place and shows you the unimaginable things that take place. A group of honest, and well, believable police officers are on a mission to bring peace to this hell of a place. While on that, the several murders that take place in the town is also a mystery to be solved.
Lalbazaar Review: What’s Good:
The casting director of this series needs to be paid in double (for casting the main leads). The only saving grace in this super predictable cat and mouse chase that kept me hooked was the main cast. Comprising of two veteran Bengali actors and some amazing performers, Lalbazaar had the main key to excel but it didn’t.
Kaushik Sen and Sabyasachi Chakraborty bring to the table what is expected from actors of their calibre. Who stood out of all is Ronjini Chakraborty. The actor who I remember from her short stint in Article 15, is brilliant and I would want to see more of her.
Coming to writing. As said earlier, the idea and the writing to an extent is fascinating. The part where it treats its two major locations, Lalbazaar and Munsihunj (Red Light area) as characters. But only on paper, more about it later.
Lalbazaar Review: What’s Bad:
As much as I appreciated the idea and the writing, the execution is bland. To an extent were a few scenes and their set up looked straight out of an episode from Crime Patrol. My major issue was the disconnect between the parallel plots. While the event and murders happened parallel, nothing actually helped me to connect them all.
In the writing, where it tries to go inside the lives of the police officers and show them apart from their uniform, it looks forced and the purpose is defeated.
That brings me to the dialect. Seemed like only one actor brought his Bengali accent on the table and others clearly missed the point in their homework. Not even the localities commit to a dialect that is expected. We have seen Kolkata in our films and shows various times, and dialect is one major thing that drives the narrative.
To much dismay, even the camera department and the background score add nothing to the viewing experience.
While the police officers are played with conviction by the actors, the writer and director don’t give them much meat to dig their teeth into. Also, can we get done with stereotyping a brothel? That’s a major bad point. And, what is that climax? Season 2 is hinted, but I can’t see much waiting.
Lalbazaar Review: Last Words:
The show failed to evoke anything in me. Maybe it might in you, tell me if it does. A more marinated approach to this drama could have done wonders for it. You can skip this one.
Star Ratings: 2 out of 5 Stars