Farzi Review : Shahid Kapoor And Vijay Sethupathi’s Fake ‘Money Heist’ Is Worth Bingeing
When the stamp of Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, better known as Raj and DK is printed on a project, you can’t help but set expectations from it. If the format is a series, it makes the hype all the more high, thanks to The Family Man. Farzi does carry the burden of expectations of the hit series but after eight hours of binge-watching, I realised that while The Family Man has its own benchmark, Farzi tries and almost successfully leaves a mark of its own.
Starring Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi in the lead, Farzi is about an artist who has found his inspiration in the costliest entity in the world — Money. But his artwork is being followed by many, including Michael Vedanayagam, a cop. No prize for guessing that Shahid plays the role of the artist aka Sunny whereas Vijay plays the cop. Their cat-and-mouse chase tale includes Kay Kay Menon, Raashii Khanna, Amol Palekar, and Bhuvan Arora.
Farzi starts off on a fun note, with Sunny going all out Professor on Money Heist. While the Spanish heist mastermind goes into a bank and prints money, Sunny turns his grandfather’s printing press into an in-house fake RBI printing press, generating counterfeit notes. In his trial and error stage, Sunny and his sidekick Firoz (Bhuvan Arora) go through the juggad phase, the getting caught phase, and whatnot before they manage to get their first counterfeit note into the market successfully. At first, it starts off as Sunny’s last resort to save the printing press but eventually, greed takes over, and Sunny starts enjoying the rain of money.
The transition of Sunny’s character from an underpaid artist to making counterfeit notes as a business is well established in the first four episodes. Raj and DK smartly lay out the character, his backstory, and the future that is ahead of him in stages that help you connect with Sunny. However, in that process, especially during the third and fourth episodes, the writing starts to show signs of trembling hands on deck. With so many characters left to be introduced and the need to branch out Sunny’s role into the bigger state of affairs, it gets a tad confusing to keep track. But once Raj and DK are convinced that it all placed, they take the series to a notch higher starting from the fifth episode.
The series is well-researched and executed in a detailed manner. The first half of the series is heavily focused on getting the concept of counterfeiting right that it begins to feel like a tutorial for those who are unaware of the subject. The scenes involving the printing press and Shahid celebrating with bundles of cash inevitably brought back memories of Money Heist. It almost feels like Sunny is an all-in-one packed character — essaying the role of Professor, Nairobi, and Denver — doing all the planning, plotting, and execution almost single-handedly.
Despite the focus on nuances, Raj and DK returned to a few old tricks of their books. They retained the sidekick who isn’t as street smart as the protagonist, a doubting husband, a cop who is trying very hard to be a ‘family man’ but not coming through, and humorous jibes in the utmost serious discussions feature in Farzi as well, which weigh down the series at times.
The writing is brilliantly supported by the screenplay and dialogues. Every episode is packed with mini-pataas (firecrackers in Tamil) delivered by Firoz, Michael, and even the minister, played by Zakir Hussain, throughout the season which ensures laughs in every episode.
Coming to the performances, Farzi is a potpourri of impressive performances. Farzi marks Shahid’s OTT debut and it seems like the actor has fully embraced the medium. Raj and DK offer him a platform to portray his multiple shades. There were scenes in which I couldn’t help but drool over his chocolatey good looks and then there were also scenes in which I was applauding for Shahid. He should experiment with a lot more gray and dark characters, they suit him well.
It comes as no surprise that Vijay Sethupathi is effortless in the series. He not only makes his OTT debut with the series but also his Hindi cinema debut. I absolutely love Raj and DK for retaining Vijay’s voice for the role and even showing his struggle with the language in a humourous style. However, I wish his character was explored a little more. Understandably that the show is called Farzi and revolves around Sunny, Vijay’s Michael felt a little short in terms of character graph. His on-screen wife Regina Cassandra also felt wasted in the series, serving no bigger purpose in the overall series.
As someone who was expecting a full-blown showdown between Shahid and Vijay, I was a little disappointed with the lack of their scenes.
Meanwhile, Kay Kay Menon feels smooth like butter on screen. Having seen him and Shahid share the screen in Haider in 2014, Farzi gives him and their on-screen bond a makeover that you end up rooting for. Raashii Khanna as Megha compliments and even hold attention while Vijay and Shahid own the screen well, making her performance memorable. Bhuvan Arora leaves a mark as Firoz. His comic timing and dialogue delivery, much like Shahid, is impressive.Another factor that plays in Farzi’s favour is its cinematography and music. There were a number of scenes shot by Pankaj Kumar that stand out, one of which includes him using the
washing machine to show transition. Sachin–Jigar also offers catchy tunes after every episode that are going to be a part of my playlist.
Bottom line: While Farzi might not be as great as The Family Man, it serves as an entertaining binge-worthy series to watch over the weekend. Don’t burden it with The Family Man’s baggage and you’ll enjoy it.
Source : news18