The Fame Game
And our bandwagon for the weekend begins! And I have finished watching the new Hindi series The Fame Game on Netflix starring Madhuri Dixit. Madhuri Mam has always been a favourite of the 90s kids, be it her effortless charm or her disarming smile. We all have grown up watching her films and quite honestly I was the happiest to see her in a webseries. Another fascinating element which the series seemed to be tackling was the dark side of showbiz. We all are enamoured by the glitz and glam and perhaps the larger than life personalities of our starlets. But the reality is far different from it. And time and again we have been privy to the dark side of Bollywood. This subject seemed to be quite intriguing for me. That said does The Fame Game on Netflix manage to impress, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Earlier titled Finding Anamika, The Fame Game follows the mysterious disappearance of a big Bollywood starlet. What is the mystery behind it? The story is quite good and it definitely gives a sneak peek into the big bad world of Bollywood. There are lacs of people who come to Mumbai to act in a Bollywood film but only a few survive and sustain. But everything has a price and that is something which is well shown in the series. The screenplay unfolds in a non linear pattern which means that it frequently oscillates between the present and the past. So you do get a glimpse of the main protagonist and the equations that she shares with her family and the people around. As the drama unfolds, it keeps getting murkier by the minute where a string of unrelated events are eventually pieced together to solve the puzzle. This was an intriguing style of storytelling as it did keep me invested throughout as an audience. The one little drawback which I found was that some sequences are a little stretched and something which could have been trimmed out on the final edit. Some relevant topics of homosexuality are handled with sensitivity as also the pressure of being a star kid who are so easily dismissed in the name of nepotism. Most twists and turns are somewhat predictable but the final act is excellent and a satisfactory one. Overall, a well penned screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational but they hold a lot of weight and do have an impact. The music is pretty good as is the BGM. The production value is excellent and it does give a feel of a big budget series(which it is). The cinematography is pretty good as well. The director’s chair is shared by three individuals – Sri Rao, Bejoy Nambiar and Karishma Kohli and they have done a splendid job. This was a tricky narration which could have been lost under its layers of complexity, but the directors were in control all throughout, in fact they maintained a fair grip on the drama.
The performances are excellent here. Makarand Deshpande shines in a small cameo. I was very impressed with Garima Yajnik as Zarine in a small role. She was confident and such a natural onscreen, it was an absolute pleasure to watch her. Danish Sood as Samar was impressive as was Kashyap Harsha Shangari as Billy and Sheena Chohan. Suhasini Mulay and Shubhangi Sanjeev Latkar are good in their respective roles. Gagan Arora as Madhav is a revelation here and what a journey he has had from a TVF show to a full blown Dharma show. His character is unpredictable and his eccentric acts will keep you guessing. Rajshri Deshpande as the cop is excellent and this is another timely reminder to everyone on what a good actor she is. Lakshvir Saran as Avi is a bundle of talent and he comes out with flying colours here. This was a difficult and a layered role which required him to internalize his emotions and he does it effectively. Muskkaan Jaferi as Amara is quite brilliant and she puts forth a mysterious act. Manav Kaul as Manish is a delight, so many shades to his character and he performs it to perfection. Sanjay Kapoor as Nikhil is commendable and does a pretty good job. But the pulse of the show is Madhuri Dixit who is absolutely fantastic as Anamika Anand. She literally lives her character and makes it believable to an extent that you are invested in her mystery all throughout. The fanboy in me is extremely happy to see her onscreen again!
The Fame Game is deliciously deceptive and showcases the darkness behind the glitz and glam of the showbiz rather well. Available on Netflix.