Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi series United Kacche which is now streaming on Zee5. And the main USP of the show was that it did star Sunil Grover. It was in 2009 when I had first witnessed Sunil’s work in the film Ghajini wherein he was still an unknown entity. I was enamoured by his comic timing as I did witness him stand his own against the likes of Aamir Khan and Asin in the scene. Years later, I again spotted him in Comedy Nights With Kapil wherein he did essay the iconic role of Gutthi. His antics continued in The Kapil Sharma Show wherein another one of his famous characters Dr. Gulati was a smash hit with the audience.
I always did believe that somewhere beneath his comic avatar, there is an actor waiting to explode. I did witness some doses of it in films like Gabbar Is Back and Zila Ghaziabad however his watershed moment did arrive when he had to shoulder the Zee5 show Sunflower. The show was alright but it was Sunil Grover who was brilliant and almost single-handedly shouldered and saved the show to a very large extent. And I was happy that he was getting such meaty parts to showcase his acting chops. This week, he returns with another new show of his, United Kacche. Does the show set new benchmarks in comedy, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
United Kacche follows the story of Tango who visits the UK in order to find work and earn some money. But it is a race against time as his visa would expire soon which would make him an illegal immigrant. The story here is veiled as a comedy and it is quite quirky. The season of absurd comedies is here to stay with shows like Happy Family Conditions Apply and United Kacche that have reignited a fresh brand of comedy, something that would need some to settle into as viewers. It is safe to say that you won’t be laughing hysterically and that this brand of comedy is an acquired taste. The more you spend time on it, the more you will appreciate it. The screenplay here standing at 8 episodes of roughly 20 odd to 30 odd minutes does make for a breezy watch. However, the writing could have been slightly sharper.
The drama does open with the introduction of the protagonist and how he finds his way to London. I did like how the writing here did bring the different cultures together under one roof. This happens when the protagonist who is Indian is residing in the house of a Pakistani and has a Bangladeshi as his roommate. So I did like the premise here for starters. But I still needed a while to get used to the tone of the comedy that ranges from a slapstick to quirky in a matter of scenes, before reversing the order. And like Happy Family Conditions Apply, this brand of comedy also requires patience to sit through it.
The proceedings are decent and almost designed like a sitcom. This means that the events in the series are astray and almost disjointed with a slender thread connecting every episode. This for me was a bit of a hit and a miss as the topic of illegal immigration did not warrant this template. The twists and turns in the screenplay do have moments wherein I found myself enjoying the drama. But the writing should have been sharper to completely have the viewers invested. Some of the humour in the series does work but elsewhere it doesn’t quite land.
What does work though was the character dynamics despite characters which were not fully laid out. The situations that the characters find themselves in does make for an entertaining outing. The events leading up to the final act are quite random but they do make for an entertaining ride. The final Kaccha Heist was silly, frivolous but hilarious summing up the screenplay here which is decently well penned and has its moments to shine.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are quirky and make for a decent impact. The music featuring renditions of old songs did fit in the premise really well. The BGM was the generic Punjabi notes being played in the name of humour and something that couod have been improved upon. The cinematography also doesn’t completely work with constant zoom ins and zoom outs which was almost like a distraction for me. The editing is alright but could have been sharper. Director Manav Shah does a good job in keeping things light and frothy although at times his direction is rough around the edges. But overall, I was fairly invested in the drama and for that the director deserves some credit.
The performances save the day to a very large extent here. Alexandra Taylor as Christina, Poojan Chhabra as Jazz, Nilu Kohli as Kuljeet Kaur and Satish Shah as Mr. Patel have their moments to shine. Diksha Juneja as Jasmine has a good screen presence and does a commendable job. Nayani Dixit as Zareen is aptly cast and is fabulous to witness. Her comedy timing was impeccable and quite razor sharp wherein she does nail a few lines beautifully. It was so easy for her to go overboard with her character but she shines while being well within her character boundary. Manu Rishi Chadha is such a fine actor and he has an ability to find humour at unexpected places. Here as Sajjad, he does exactly that in an affable role. Nikhil Vijay as Shampy is outstanding and that Bengali accent was spot on! Sapna Pabbi as Daisy looks pretty and does a fine job. Sunil Grover as Tango is brilliant and just so well measured in his comedy. He makes you laugh and also touches your heart with his sincerity in a couple of heartwarming scenes.
The first season of United Kacche is quirky in parts with good performances that makes for a good one-time watch. Available on Zee5.