Miya Biwi Aur Murder
Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi series Miya Biwi Aur Murder on MX Player. Everytime a series premieres on MX Player, I am extremely skeptical. This is because the OTT platform has earned a reputation of being a dumping ground. So when there are no real takers, it is MX Player at the forefront. But having said that, the streaming platform has also produced some good content like Aashram and a couple of other shows which does bring some credibility to the platform. So when ai happened to watch the trailer of Miya Biwi Aur Murder, it definitely seemed promising. I was really looking forward to the new show considering that there haven’t been too many movies or series made in the quirky-crime dark comedy genre(with the last being A Simple Murder as far as I remember). But a part of me was skeptical considering the OTT platform on which it was premiering on. So then does Miya Biwi Aur Murder manage to impress, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Miya Biwi Aur Murder is just as the title suggests – a couple having a strained relationship are witness to a “murder” committed at their house. With the entire drama set in a single location(almost) and on a single night, the story is quirky and has all the elements of a delicious dark comedy. The screenplay too standing at nine episodes of roughly 20 odd minutes each means that you can easily binge watch the series. But the screenplay is a bit of a mixed bag.
The screenplay opens with the introduction of the two protagonists – a husband and his wife while branching into two subplots. The portions involving the wife are genuinely intetesting and I was keen to know what happens next. But at the same time, the portions involving the husband who happens to be a police officer is dull and mundane. Thankfully, the plots merge after the first episode which did seem deluciously dark by the end of it.
The drama has its share of twists and turns which are interesting. While there are several quirky moments on paper, not all of them land. But the good bit is that the drama does not slow down and the length of the screenplay ensures that there aren’t any dull moments. The humour is a bit of a swing and a miss but the twists and turns especially at the end of every episode make for a consistently interesting watch right throughout. I did feel though that the humour on paper could have translated into a better version of it onscreen if it was executed a little better.
The final act is a bit of a downer which was such a shame. Because it had every ingredient of a laugh riot something which could have matched say a Delhi Belly or even A Simple Murder. But it was quite flat and again it boiled down to the execution. But in between there are many moments which are interesting and at times funny where you will let out a chuckle or two. In other words, the screenplay was a bit of a mixed bag though thankfully it was not a trainwreck.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are quirky and they make for a funny viewing. The BGM is bizarre and so jarring to the ear that not only is it unpleasant but also sucks away the shock element. This is because it leads the audience into anticipating an event instead of just being there to enhance the viewing. The cinematography is decent but the editing is choppy right throughout. A better edit would have ensured that the viewer is a little more invested in the drama as opposed to a momentary disconnect. Director Sunil Manchanda had a good script in hand but his direction doesn’t hit the bulls eye. There are set pieces(for example the final act) which lacked execution leading them to be flat onscreen and rather underwhelming. But at the same time, there are a few other sequences(like the sequence where a suspect refuses to shut his eyes to avoid getting shot), which are nicely executed. So again a bit of a hit and a miss here!
The performances are splendid and steady a potentially sinking ship at the end of the day. Prasad Khandekar as Sawant was just superb with a great sense of comic timing. Rithik Shah as Noorie is first rate and he shines in certain scenes. Ana Ilmi as Supriya is one character who is well restrained and she does a good job. Ashutosh Pandey as Achchelal manages to successfully tickle your funny bone. Rushad Rana as Abbas seemed like a miscast to me early on but he was pretty good(also justifying why he spoke english towards the end of the series). Ashmita Bakshi as Malati is excellent in a nicely layered character which will keep you guessing every now and then. Manjari Fadnnis as Priya is fabulous and perhaps the best actor on display here. Her emotions and humour were absolutely on point. Rajeev Khandelwal as Jayesh is remarkable as well and he has a terrific screen presence. Also I loved the manner in which he reacted to each situation instead of just “performing”. Overall a good day in the office for all actors!
Miya Biwi Aur Murder is a decent quirky thriller with good performances. But be mindful of managing your expectations. Available on MX Player.