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3.5 Star popcorn reviewss

Onto the last release of the weekend and what a roller coaster it has been! It started with Andhaghaaram which was a masterpiece, lost its way in the middle with a couple of duds but quickly made lost ground with Peninsula and Fabulous Lives(up to a certain level). And in a hope that this ends on a high, I just finished watching the last new release for the weekend -Naxalbari on Zee5. Now I really had high hopes from this one owing to its subject, does it match my excitement or even exceeds it, stay tuned.

Naxalbari is the story of a group of Naxals that are causing havoc in a jungle. What is their motive? Is there more that meets the eye. Now we have witnessed such stories in the past in many movies like Chakravyuh and Red Alert. So in other words the story isn’t very novel. But this being a web series, the makers had an opportunity to dwell a little deeper into the complex subject. And the good news is that they do not disappoint. The screenplay is quite well written. There is a compromise to the depth of characters as opposed to the pacing here. But that is not really a problem. While there is a buildup at the beginning and you scratch your head to what is happening and where are we headed, the plot starts to make sense from the third episode onward. There are a few shocking twists and turns and an element of mystery that is interesting to watch and something that will keep you interested throughout. It culminates into a thrilling finale that unfortunately flatters to deceive. The finale is a slight drawback. I would have loved if the writers had made it slightly more convoluted or layered. I just felt things were rushed at the end in a quest to wrap up the show(there might be a season 2 here). So the climax is a notch below my expectations especially after the preceded tempo which was set. But the screenplay is sure to keep you hooked and booked. The dialogues are quite good, the BGM is decent. Director Partha Mitra has done a good job in keeping the proceedings fast and water tight. His direction is quite good.

The performances are all quite good. Tarun Arora as Pathak is decent. Narayani Shastri as Sudha is excellent. Tina Datta as Ketki really surprises here in a good way. She looks pretty and has done a good job here. Shakti Anand as Binu is fiery and has done a marvelous job. I was really looking forward to watching Sreejita De. As Prakruti she has done a great job though I feel her character was slightly underwritten. Satyadeep Misra as Pahan often gives you death stares and that is intimidating, a job well done! Aamir Ali as Ambar is outstanding. He literally owns the climax! Rajeev Khandelwal as Raghav once again throws in a reminder of what an excellent actor he is. For some odd reason he is still considered to be underrated but he commands your attention like no one else. Screen Presence – Check, Personality – Check, A great job done – Double Check.

Naxalbari is the surprise package of the week among new releases. It is thrilling and entertaining, a staple for us Popcorn Viewers! Available on Zee5.

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