And the big release of the weekend is here. From all the new releases this weekend, I was waiting for the series Sunflower the most. Right from the time its first look featuring Sunil Grover was out, there was this curiosity on what the series is about and what the character of Sunil Grover was like. Once its trailer was out, it seemed very promising, probably in that dark humour space. The trailer also said that the series was created by Vikas Bahl the director behind gems like Super 30 and Queen, my excitement levels were right up there. And finally I have finished watching Sunflower on Zee5. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Sunflower follows the story of a murder that takes place in the Sunflower society. Will the cops be able to crack the case? The premise of the story is interesting. Here, I would like to point out that if you are going in with an expectation to watch an out and out murder mystery then you will just not like the story. This is because the screenplay has a number of subplots other than the murder angle too. Which made me wonder that the murder angle is also one of the many subplots and not your main story. If you can look past this, then you will start enjoying the absurb humour. Speaking of which, the humour is niche in itself. You need to have that whacky sense of humour to completely get or understand the humour here. And to top it, the series is a slow burn. These might be the reasons why the series is getting an extreme response. So thought to settle it here! So coming back to the screenplay, I really loved the humour in it personally. It was able to hold my attention for the first 5 episodes for sure(this is an 8 episode series). But on the downside, the last 3 episodes just lose their bite as the series begins to drag a bit. It wasn’t enough to completely derail the series but it did make a dent. And another flaw was not concluding the story in this season. The story should have wrapped up and maybe a new angle should have been your cliffhanger for season 2. And at some point, the number of subplots did get to me as well. Probably the overindulgence of the writers, spread the screenplay a little too thin. But still it is a decent screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are pretty well penned and you will find yourself chuckling at more places than one. The music and BGM are good too. In scenes featuring the flashback, the use of a pressure cooker whistle as the BGM was pretty interesting to depict a rise in anger. Directors Vikas Bahl and Rahul Sengupta have done a decent job though the pacing could have been better in the backend and the series could have been wrapped up earlier.
The performances are outsranding here. Shonali Nagrani as Naina Kapoor is impressive in a cameo. Ashwin Kaushal as Mr Kapoor is fabulous. Simran Nerurkar as Gurleen will make you laugh towards the end. She is first rate in that singing scene especially. Ria Nalavade as Paddy is pretty good, so is Dayana Erappa as Justina and Sonal Jha as Mrs Iyer. Saloni Khanna as Aanchal is decently good too. I really enjoyed the role of Annapurna Soni as the maid, she was hilarious! Ashish Vidhyarthi as Mr Iyer is phenomenal here. This role could so easily have been a South Indian caricature but it was an exceptional performance from the veteran actor that made it different from the stereotype. But, his character was underwritten and definitely could have been explored more. Ranvir Shorey as DG had this stoic look throughout and that made me chuckle more than once. Such a brilliant actor and he again weaves his magic! Girish Kulkarni as Sub Inspector Chetan Tambe is in his elements once again. We all remember his famous scene from the film Ugly. Here too he is in the same mode and does a fantastic job. Mukul Chaddha as Mr Ahuja was an interesting character. He has done a good job though I feel his role is again underwritten. The show definitely belongs to Sunil Grover as Sonu Singh. The man has an incredible gift to turn even the simplest of lines into something hilarious. And he is simply outstanding here. I just had one criticism with the writing of his character. The writers could and should have shown his dark side too. They barely scratched the surface with his “other” side. But nevertheless another good outing from Sunil Grover.
Despite its flaws and an abrupt end, Sunflower is interestingly absurb with some good performances. Available on Zee5.