Choona Review
Choona Review (Picture Credit: Youtube)

Choona Review: Star Rating:

Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Namit Das, Gyanendra Tripathi

Creator: Pushpendra Nath Misra

Director: Pushpendra Nath Misra

Streaming On:  Netflix.

Language: Hindi (with subtitles).

Runtime: 8 Episodes, Each Around 45 Minutes.


Choona Review
Choona Review (Picture Credit: Youtube)

Choona Review: What’s It About:

An influential gangster turned politician is highly superstitious and borderline delusional. On the way to the top, he makes enemies only to witness them gang up against him, carrying out a shattering heist in his kingdom.

Choona Review: Script Analysis:

Every project, especially, shows that open in the Heartland of India in the digital space now are already walking a thin line between something different and falling into the trap of staple. We have seen enough of the dramas that are structured around influential gangsters with goons ready to kill at their orders. The panache that the character brings has also been replicated more than enough. Amid this, does Pushpendra Nath Misra manage to get to us something fresh and different?

Choona, meaning conning someone here, is a show that knows it comes after a storm of content based on similar lines. Written by Misra with Srishti Dubey and Mugdhaa Ranade in the writing room, the show is about have-nots revolting against their oppressor in a way that it doesn’t kill them but makes him regret his doings. The fact that Misra shapes this world so dramatically helps establish the story that seems impossible, and even the makers are aware it borderline is.

There is a lot hidden under a very clever layer of humour in Choona. The conversation is about the people who have suffered at the hands of people with power. And not that the people with power are any smart. In this world, and maybe in the real too, they are even more dumb but act like God. This trajectory is very evident in the show that uses it in the proper manner.

Two friends grow up only to see one becoming an upright cop, the other a local gangster; this is a trajectory as old as time. It was a part of our 8th class syllabus. But in Choona, it is used well to add emotions and complexities. While the two actors playing it bring an exciting vibe to it, the writing pads them up pretty well and entertainingly. One can see Misra trying to give each of his characters a deserving arc and redemption without leaving any loose ends.

But where he falters is when he tries to weave this all with mythology and the astrological thread. While we are in sync, for most of it, at some points, it gets too overdone. I understand one of the main characters believes in it, but his involvement with the trajectory blooms much later; by then, you have already had a lot of it. With it, Choona also takes many taken paths, and that brings a later of repetitiveness to the show.

Choona Review
Choona Review (Picture Credit: Youtube)

Choona Review: Star Performance:

Jimmy Shergill needs to stop going back in hibernation and work more. He is so convinced that the delusional nature of his character is his own and plays Shukla so effortlessly. Yes, there are times you see he has put in the efforts, and it shows that the moment is not coming out organically from him, but he still manages to play it well. He is an actor with a whole lot of talent and one that has space in the ecosystem now more than ever.

Aashim Gulati surprises with this one because he becomes Ansari and is so good in what he does. Yes, his vanity peeps out of him at a certain point, but he is also good enough to compensate for it with his performance. Monika Panwar is one of the most interesting characters as she walks out of a kidnapping trap, shooting bullets and beating over a dozen men. She is a news anchor in this setup, and has a voice. Not just tokenism purpose, but something substantial.

Chandan Roy can entertain you even when he isn’t allowed to talk, and this is proof. Gyanendra Tripathi is a very fine performer, and I want to see more of him. Vikram Kochhar can cakewalk through such parts. Namit Das process why he is relevant for years and his performance is the highlight of the second half. I wish Niharika Lyra Dutt had more to showcase her talent, considering how good an actor she is.

Choona Review: Direction & Music:

Pushpendra Nath Misra (Taj Mahal Since 1989) in his direction is pretty good because the dramatics of his script never make it look like a comedy. After all, that could have ruined everything. He structures the chaos quite well and manages to keep the audience with him throughout the eight episodes. The 5th and 6th dip a bit because they become too explanatory, leaving no room for the audience to dissect. Talking of too descriptive, it feels like Misra is trying to make Arshad Warsi work over time and narrate the show so extensively that his voiceover script is lengthier than everyone’s dialogues combined.

For a voice-over, he is literally popping up every 10 minutes throughout the 8 episodes, going against the cause. The set design is also attractive in parts. Especially how unapologetically Jimmy Shergil’s Shukla has a bathtub installed right in the centre of a place that looks like a temple. Drama is at its peak, even with the set design. The music, though, is average and never surprises much.

Choona Review: Last Words:

An interesting show that has a different trajectory offer than the rest. There is humour, intrigue, and entertaining performances coming together. Go for it.

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