Call My Agent Bollywood
Bollywood is often accused of remaking many films especially from down South. As a result films like Sardar Udham or Sherni are very hard to find and all you get are remakes. But the remakes aren’t restricted only to films. Some of the popular sitcoms or shows are also remade to suit the Indian palette. And with that I have just finished watching the new Hindi Series Call My Agent Bollywood which is an official remake of the French show ‘Dix Pour Cent’. Now, I haven’t watched the original and so I have no real reference of what that show was like. However, I was aware of the concept of the show and hence was very excited and curious of how the Indian version will turn up with the backdrop of Bollywood. So then is Call My Agent Bollywood worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Call My Agent Bollywood is the story of a handful of agents who take care of the work of some of the biggest Bollywood celebrities. The story is quite novel with a fresh vibe to it. Unfortunately, all the events shown just do not completely exude of that Bollywood vibe. Which made me think – is this a scene to scene copy of the original? If so then this was a grave blunder as the relatable quotient would be reduced. The screenplay here is a mixed bag too. While it begins extremely well where you are right into the drama from the first scene, the drana begins to dip from the third episode onwards. You can blame it on weak execution but slowly but surely the drama starts becoming quite drab. I felt the pacing was a major issue here and some of the plot points either not well fleshed out or just not great on paper too. But having said that, there are also quite a few moments sprinkled with dark humour that will make you chuckle. The plain absurdities that are prevalent in the industry are well tapped especially in the first two episodes. Also the frothy vibe is maintained throughout. I just wish the drama had a little more spice to it with better execution. Overall, a screenplay just about watchable.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are quirky and unapologetic and quite well penned. The music is quite good and the BGM is jazzy which is great and blends well with the drama. I had a slight issue with the cinematography. While aerial shots were good, the filter added to blur out the edges didn’t really fit in well. Also, some of the frames especially in the third episode seemed a bit immature and gave an impression of watching a home video. I can’t really tell if there was a logic to it but for me it clearly did not work. The editing could have been sharper. Director Shaad Ali unfortunately doesn’t quite nail the subject. He had every opportunity here to just let his creative juices flow but sadly he misses the mark. Though he began quite well, he seemed to have missed the plot at the halfway mark that made the drama dip especially in the latter half.
The performances are pretty good here. There are some charming cameos by Dia Mirza, Farah Khan, Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal, Jackie Shroff, Lilette Dubey, Ila Arun and Lara Dutta, all of whom do have their moments to shine. Anuschka Sawhney as Jasleen looks pretty and does a good job. Merenla Imsong as Nancy does enough to impress too. Soni Razdan as Theresa is decent in an underwritten role, she is a fine actor and probably deserves a better script. Radhika Seth as Nia has a tremendous screen presence and has an impressive outing. Ayush Mehra as Meher is quite an ease in front of the camera and is pretty affable too. Aahana Kumra is a great actor but here she overcompensates a wee bit as Amal. Her character is a bit loud and someone that overpowers many of the emotions that she possesses. Rajat Kapoor as Monty is wonderfully restrained and is terrific in every scene.
Call My Agent Bollywood is more on style and glaze and less on substance and execution which makes it a half baked product and a lost opportunity. Available on Netflix.