Thank God It Is Friday and after a long grueling week, there is some respite with plenty of new releases that are lined up this weekend. So lets get to them one by one. First up, I have finished watching the new Hindi Series Garmi which is streaming on SonyLiv. One of the reasons why I was looking forward to watching this series is because it was directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia who has a keen eye for political dramas. Even in his simplest of setups, Tigmanshu has an ability to introduce the viewers with the politics of the area through his well etched out characters. I always did feel that some of his works like Haasil and Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster did have a contrived narration mainly due to the medium in which it was presented in. With the onset of the webseries, I feel that one director who could truly shine was Tigmanshu Dhulia simply because he would have the time to develop the plot and the characters which are his forte. That said, does Garmi manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Garmi follows the story of a young man caught in the crossfire of college politics wherein the equations between characters keep changing as per their interests. What happens next? The story here isn’t novel and we have previously seen content on a similar subject. But this is the brilliance of the filmmaker who happens to weave a convoluted and textured world with student politics as the backdrop that really makes things interesting. The screenplay standing at 9 episodes of 40 odd minutes each does make for a supremely compelling watch. But this is one series that I did find almost impossible to binge watch in a single go! It demands your undivided attention to understand the nuances of the politics and the character motives wherein the makers do not opt for any bit of spoon feeding to the viewers.
The drama does open with the introduction of the protagonist, a fiery young man, almost an idealist who likes to voice his opinion, at times through his actions. In a parallel plot-point, you are introduced to the two student leaders of a university which is termed as the ‘Research & Development Center’ for Indian politics. The hierarchy of politics is brilliantly represented through this university. The premise begins with the murder of a road contractor that sets the ball rolling for the politics to kick in with all the hidden motives of multiple characters coming into play. And the two worlds merge when the protagonist is thrown into this mix of student politics with two warring parties pitted against one another.
The proceedings are eventful and engrossing but the screenplay is designed to be a much more immersive in its nature. It is a slow burn and deeply rooted to the area where it is set in. There are so many characters with multiple subplots unfolding at the same time that the drama requires a good amount of patience and application to truly understand and come to terms with the politics of the land. As one of the characters does say, politics is also a science and science of the party needs to be studied and understood. This does hold true for the drama which threatens to explode at several places in its run time. Another aspect that I did like was that the writers were not scared of raising the stakes in the drama. This does include some key characters being bumped off or sidelined to fuel the narrative ahead which was quite impressive. Also, the drama did briefly touch upon the prevalent caste system in our society.
The drama does comprise of some interesting twists and turns that do make for a compelling viewing. One minor drawback can be that some of the plot points did seem to be rushed. For instance, the kidnapping of the protagonist’s sisters did seem simplistic. But the emphasis may very well have been on putting things to perspective for season 2. As they say, politics is an ongoing journey without a destination. And here, the characters are so well etched out with clear motives that it could lead to innumerous permutations and combinations especially when season 1 did end on a cliffhanger with open plot points. The screenplay overall is extremely well written but niche in its treatment that ends up being a convoluted yet textured and flavourful drama which is satisfying to the core!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are almost conversational and extremely well written. Also, the dialect is true to the area where the drama is set in and it does add a lot of texture to the drama. The music & BGM blend perfectly with the setting of the drama. The cinematography brilliantly capturing the dusty lanes of the area is almost representative of the budding politics in the area. The editing is sharp for most parts too. Director Tigmanshu Dhulia does a fabulous job by weaving a compelling story which is true to its subject of student politics. And his skills as a director are on full display here wherein he handles multiple subplots with finesse. The direction is top notch here.
The performances are excellent here and a huge shoutout to the casting director Mukesh Chhabra for scouting a bunch of talented performers here. Pravessh Rana as Dicky Singh(very important character perhaps in season 2), Harish Khanna as Shukla, Mukesh Tiwari as Dilbag Singh, Pankaj Saraswat as Jaiswal and Vineet Kumar as Bairagi Baba are outstanding to watch and witness. Sachin Vidrohi as Kamlesh, Tejaswi Dev Chaudhary as Pulkit, Ashish Chaudhary as Vishwas, Rahil Bharadwaj as Anjani Singh and Khushboo Arjwani as Pragya have their moments to shine. Apurva Singh as Sakshi is top notch and does a commendable job. Rrama Sharma as Vedika and Vishakha Pandey as Radhika are excellent despite a limited screen presence.
Ritik Raj as Brijesh, Karan Pandey as Nanhe and Jatin Sarin as Lateef have interesting subplots to their characters and both do a commendable job. Dheerendra Gautam as Ajay is sincere and endearing. Puneet Singh as Bindu Singh is first rate and superb to watch. Disha Thakur as Surabhi has a charming screen presence and does a fabulous job. Anushka Kaushik as Ruchita is natural to the core and I feel she might be an important character in season 2 as well. Satyakam Anand as Lal Bahadur is just outstanding to watch.
Jatin Goswami as Mrityunjay is excellent and I am the happiest that he is getting meatier roles to showcase his talent. He is just incredibly good here. Anurag Thakur as Govind Maurya is natural to the core in a superb performance. Vyom Yadav as Arvind has a towering screen presence in a fiery role and he just hits it out of the park! He is excellent in every sense of the word and his performance packs a punch and how!
The first season of Garmi is a convoluted, textured and flavourful political drama with smashing performances that makes for a brilliant watch. Available on SonyLiv and Highly Recommended!