Bad Boy Billionaires: India Review (Netflix): It’s finally here! The showcasing of a handful of billionaires who turned into ‘bad boys’ in the books of the country’s judicial system. It was supposed to be a four-episode series releasing last month. But when you’re making a documentary on the billionaires allegedly ‘outlawed the law’ back in there time, you’ll have to face some of their heat resulting into resistance.
Billionaires Showcased: Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi & Subrata Roy
Creators: Dylan Mohan Gray, Johanna Hamilton, Nick Read
Bad Boy Billionaires: India Review (Netflix) Rating: 3.5/5 stars (Three and half stars)
Bad Boy Billionaires: India Review (Netflix): What Is It About?
Well, if you’re stepping into this, there’s a chance you already know about the crux of the show. It displays the ‘rise and fall’ of three notable billionaires turned bad boys of India. The fourth unreleased one being Satyam Computer Services’ Ramalinga Raju who challenged the streaming giant in the court of law, and hence his episode isn’t out yet. Starting with the ‘King Of Good Times’, yes it’s a compilation of things we already know of, but Netflix does it in a way you’ll be intrigued to sit down and watch the news footage you might’ve already seen.
Vijay Mallya’s episode starts with him saying, “We have a winner in hands” and from thereon the documentary proves why he was wrong. This is how well certain sequences are executed in all three episodes. Nirav Modi’s episode remains to least exciting than the rest two because at places it gets derailed from the narrative followed, ending up being a standard documentary, you can watch it on YouTube. Subrata Roy’s episode contains the maximum meat because of his dramatic and lush approach to life. I mean, this guy sent 127 trucks full of documents to The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) just to prove he’s innocent.
Bad Boy Billionaires: India Review (Netflix): What’s Good & Bad?
Most of the reviews are complaining about how there’s nothing new, and the footage is everywhere available to watch. But, I liked this documentary for the very reason. Yes, the footage and information shown in the docu-series are available around, but how many of us still have really gone through all of them. Isn’t it good to have them compiled with Nainita Desai’s controlled-yet-thumping background score, making it feel like you’re watching a feature film?
Also, I loved the way how all the three episodes follow a similar narrative template and yet feel very different from each other. When I say similar template, I mean by how every episode initiates by displaying these billionaires as these role-models, and in the last 15 minutes, they tell you why not to choose them as your role-models. Every episode has an “it was at this moment that he knew he f*cked up” moment, and they come with phrases like “that’s when the house of cards come falling” or “that’s where the problems started for him.”
Allow me to nitpick one last good thing, impressed by the minimalistic approach of bridging shots used and especially those informing the locations with city names on them. There’s a notable difference between watching all this stuff on the news and watching it clasped together tightly in less than an hour/episode.
What’s bad? Maybe to those who are already well-read about the life of these people will expect something new. I didn’t because I haven’t followed Nirav Modi and Subrata Roy’s case closely. Despite knowing everything about Vijay Mallya, I had no complaint for the same reasons mentioned in the “what’s good?” section.
Bad Boy Billionaires: India Review (Netflix): Star Performances:
This section is not applicable in this review as there’s no ‘acting’ happening, or maybe we all know how they’ve performed in real life (pun intended). So, I’ll talk about some of the highlights of every episode without spoiling anything. Starting with Mallya, as expected it screams ‘flamboyance’. There are times when you feel the show is white-washing his image; Shobha De says “the kid in Vijay gets him into a lot of troubles” and he’s been termed as ‘kid with an ego’. But, by the end of the show, makers balance out everything by trying to show every aspect of the story.
Nirav Modi’s episode which had the potential to do more remains to be pretty ordinary. This also maybe because of his real-life ‘camera shy’ personality. There aren’t any badas* footages of him partying with Lionel Richie, Enrique Iglesias (Mallya) or being best friends with Amitabh Bachchan (Subrata). Because of Nirav’s covert lifestyle, the makers don’t get much meat to stuff. Subrata Roy’s episode is the most detailed one, and it houses an excellent emotional connect.
Bad Boy Billionaires: India Review (Netflix): Last Words:
All said and done; this is a very balanced attempt at showing the truth behind some nefarious scams of the country. To those who have been affected by these scams, it’ll be a tough watch, and the rest of them should watch it to practice cautiousness while investing.
Three and a half stars!
Bad Boy Billionaires: India Review (Netflix) releases on 06th October, 2020.
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