Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi series Sandeep Bhaiya which is streaming on Youtube which is the latest presentation by TVF. One of the strongest aspects of a TVF show is its relatability factor which is often infused in their storytelling. But more importantly, they have a knack of creating endearing characters which would often touch your heart with their actions or speeches. And one such character for me was Sandeep Bhaiya from the show Aspirants.
If you were to ask me my all time favourite character from all the TVF shows then the one topping the list would be Sandeep Bhaiya hands down. There was a certain endearing quality in the character who was a friend, philopher and a guide for some of his juniors in Rajender Nagar. There were so many life lessons which I learnt through his character, almost wishing that I had a Sandeep Bhaiya in my life. I always felt that this character was so well written(and brilliantly performed by Sunny Hinduja) that he deserved a spin-off of his own(as mentioned in my review of Kota Factory 2, you heard it first there!). With TVF going the cineverse route by launching shows like SK Sir Ki Class and now Sandeep Bhaiya(finally), I was the happiest! But the one thing to keep in mind was that the show had to match up to the massive hype surrounding it. So then does Sandeep Bhaiya manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Set in the Aspirants universe and set a few months after the former, Sandeep Bhaiya follows the story of an endearing character trying to give his last attempt of the UPSC exam which is probably the toughest exam to crack in India. The story here is heartwarming and it gave all the answers to the viewers on what happened to Sandeep Bhaiya after that intense scene wherein you see him crying in the rains in Aspirants. The screenplay standing at 5 episodes of roughly 30 odd minutes each does make for such a heartfelt watch wherein I was filled with a plethora of emotions yet again.
The drama does open with the answer to the question on where Sandeep Bhaiya finds himself in life today. The character is still an idealist and is shown to look for solutions instead of cribbing on the various issues. The drama does go into a flashback wherein you are reintroduced to our protagonist who is quite dejected and bitter in life. Clearly, things haven’t gone according to plan and there is an atmosphere of negativity that has engulfed him. Hope soon comes in the form of another UPSC attempt along with a young girl whom he decides to mentor. Will he succeed in both aspects? The writers do an incredible job in establishing the characters along with their traits that does make for a fascinating watch.
The proceedings are endearing with a positive vibe surrounding it. It is almost like a sense of hope that the viewers are subjected to, while witnessing the character dynamics between characters. The writers do well in creating situations which does make for a compelling watch. The importance of UPSC is highlighted through the events in what was almost like a practical application to the entire syllabus. Yet, the events are heartfelt with Sandeep Bhaiya playing mentor to the young girl while helping her and motivating her through all the highs and lows. And as they say, some things are not meant to be which was represented in the form of a heartbreak!
The emotions in the drama are palpable and so genuine that you can’t help but be invested in the characters and their journeys. Since this was a weekly episode model(4 days to be precise), there are some cliffhangers and twists and turns in the story which are showcased through frequent timeline jumps. Yet, the sensibilities of the drama is so well maintained including a rousing final act that is bittersweet yet fitting in nature. It is here that your heart breaks and melts at the same time while completely being immersed in the narrative. And the little link at the end to Aspirants does give hope to the viewer that the TVF universe is here to stay. Overall, the screenplay is very well writteb and makes for a heartwarming watch.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are beautifully woven and there are so many life lessons to be had through the lines which are nothing but gems. The music is wonderful and compliments the drama really well. The BGM is rousing and hits the right notes with respect to evoking the appropriate emotions. The cinematography is top notch along with the colour grading that is dull and gloomy, almost representing the life of the aspirants. The costumes are excellent as well. The two stark contrasts between the timelines and represented through the costumes too with dull shades being a part of the flashback and slightly brighter costumes being a part of the current timeline. Director Parijat Joshi does a fabulous job in weaving an endearing story in the most sensitive manner. The vibe of Aspirants is intact and that is what is the driving force here making it such a compelling watch. The director deserves distinction marks as well!
The performances are excellent here by the ensemble cast. Keshui Upadhyay as Ritika and Vageshwari Gupta as Nidhi have their moments to shine. Rajendra Gupta as Sandeep’s father delivers a heartfelt performance. Happy Ranajit as Alok Verma is excellent and the shrewd coaching centre owner and he does a wonderful job. Abhinav Anand as Yogesh is fabulous to watch in a role comprising of a false bravado. Punit Tiwari as Prince is sincere and a silent support to Sandeep Bhaiya.
Deepali Gautam as Aarushi is perhaps the one actor that I have discovered in the series. I had earlier spotted her briefly in Super 30 and Bholaa but this is perhaps her career defining role. She was excellent with the tonality of the character which had a beautiful arc. She is assertive yet has her own demons to deal with and she portrays her character beautifully. Sunny Hinduja as Sandeep Bhaiya is (reiterating) the my favourite character of recent times and I cannot imagine anyone else to pull off this role. She is warm and welcoming yet carrying a mountain of pain within him which was so wonderfully portrayed. A real life person that I can equate Sandeep Bhaiya with is MS Dhoni who exudes similar vibes. It is an iconic characrer and performed in the most brilliant way possible by Sunny. A towering act to remember, study and cherish!
Sandeep Bhaiya is one of the most endearing and heartfelt series of the year that comes with my highest recommendation! Available on Youtube and Highly Recommended!