Starring: Manoj Bajpayee, Gajraj Rao, Ali Fazal, Shweta Basu Prasad, Anindita Bose, Kay Kay Menon, Bidita Bag, Harshvarrdhan Kapoor, Radhika Madan, Chandan Roy Sanyal and Akansha Ranjan Kapoor
Directed by: Srijit Mukherji, Abhishek Chaubey and Vasan Bala
Written by: Niren Bhatt, Sayantan Mukherjee & Siraj Ahmed
Created by: Sayantan Mukherjee
Streaming on: Netflix
The show RAY adapts and retells the four classic stories of legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray. The four stories are all set in a different world and are bound to evoke emotions from the viewers. This was another anthology attempt by Netflix, only this time, the show was modeled more like Black Mirror and less like their previous flop attempts. Each episode in RAY tells a different story but all the episodes are thinly connected by a theme. The main plot of the stories are ofcourse impeccable, but let’s get into how the makers have made their execution.
The story titled Forget Me Not is the story of a man, Ipsit (Ali Fazal), with an impeccable memory, like a computer. His story starts when Rhea (Anandita Bose), enters his life and tells him she has been a very important part of his life and things only he would know. What the whole story is and how he goes through it form the whole episode. Ali Fazal plays his role brilliantly as someone who is on a downward spiral after meeting someone from his past. He is the best thing about this particular episode. Following him would be the cinematography as they scenes have been shot exceptionally well. The screenplay is strong, and a lot may disagree here but with the kind of plot that it had, there was scope for improvement. Apart from that the execution has been great but it just falters a little.
Bahrupiya, tells the story of Indrashish Shaha (Kay Kay Menon), an aspiring make-up artist stuck with a job & life he hates. He has simple dreams and desires but the world is too twisted for him and he doesn’t fit in. Something he does out of desperation lands him in a life threatening situation. What happens next forms the rest of the episode. Kay Kay Menon is the heart and the soul of this film. He runs a one man show, literally. What’s best is that he relished his performance, as much as the audience has. The plot of this episode is obviously great but the execution; not so much, mainly because it could have been a bit shorter. The impact would have been much better if that would have happened.
Story titled Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa, tells the story of a kleptomaniac Urdu singer Musafir Ali (Manoj Bajpayee) who clashes with Aslam Baig, a wrestler-turned-sports journalist, who back in his days was known as Jenga The Wrestler. As the story progresses we learn there is a history between them both. This is one particular delicate film that is arguably best of the four. Manoj Bajpayee and Gajraj Rao; One will honestly be out of superlatives to describe their performances in this one. Seeing the story unfold with these two beautiful actors gives you one of the best feelings. Another rare feat observed after so long is that, as good as the acting is in this one, so is the execution and the story telling. The delicate plot has been executed with such care and so well by Abhishek Chaubey.
SPOTLIGHT, tells the story of a star Vikram Malhotra (Harshvardhan Kapoor) who has become a sensation for his look. He loves being in the spotlight, but that is soon stolen by Didi (Radhika Madan). What happens when they meet? Watch the episode to find out. HUNGAMA HAI KYON BARPA is arguably the best because, leave others, it makes you argue with yourself if it is better or SPOTLIGHT. Mainly, because how relevant the premise is to the current times. Such are the dilemmas you love having. Although the kind of topic this film had, I do wonder if the simplistic approach and execution is better or a darker one would have been way better? In any case Vasan Bala delivers a fantastic story with some top notch acting by Harshwardhan Kapoor and Radhika Madan. Maybe the story of SPOTLIGHT has been more relatable and closer to home, but still the fact remains that it is a good story and a good film.
All in all, this is one series that has to be binged on NETFLIX, right away.