“Showtime, A Perky Precocious Peek-a-Boo Into Bollywood” – A Subhash K Jha Review

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Our Rating

Showtime

There is so much happening in Showtime now streaming on Disney+Hotstar, sometimes all in a bunch, that the end product about the rangmanch that’s showbiz leaves us with a lot to munch but nothing really to chew on.

Produced by Karan Johar’s Dharmatics, Showtime ingests some enticing energy and a vestige of vigour in its vinegary plot. But some of the vital plot points are hard to digest—for instance, a young television film critic makes bold to trash a big budget movie after being bribed and the producer hands over his production house for her to run. Wow!

Aisa sirf cinema mein hota hai. Don’t look for signs of real-life Bollywood personalities here. This is not Jubilee. It is a jubilant saucy tongue-in-cheek peep into showbiz shenanigans. The screenplay does’t dig deep into the dirt. It scratches the surface and gives us no real-life references.

Proudly pulpy, Showtime has a some solid actors bolstering its badass bacchanalia. Naseeruddin Shah is in splendid form as a Movie Moghul fallen on bad days. I wish there was more of him. There is a lot of Emran Hashmi as an unscrupulous, roguish young producer who won’t stop at anything to make that elusive hit film.

But the most provocative performance comes from Rajiv Khandelwal as a narcissistic superstar Armaan Singh on the slide whom no one has the guts to tell off even when he wants to do Parkour in his next project set in 1857. Khandelwal nails his character’s self obsession and the belief that world cannot survive without him. He has wangled the most interesting character in the shimmying ensemble.

As for the protagonist, Mahika Nandi, played by Mahima Makwana, she is the weakest link in the orgy of selflove, greed and nullity . The pulsating plot needed a stronger heroine.

Showtime is a racy bestseller in motion picture format. It doesn’t aspire to be anything else. There are some amusing, though hardly clap-worthy cameos by well-known stars like Dharmendra and Janhvi Kapoor. I am especially unsure about what Ms Kapoor is doing here. But then again, every thing in showbiz doesn’t have to make sense, right?

Directed by Mihir Desai and Archit Kumar, Showtime is a pop-in-pop-out kind of cheat treat. Once you are in it, you cannot come out before the four episodes are done.

I am quite looking forward to what happens next. There are loose ends, like Mahika’s friend Prithvi’s (Vishal Vashishtha) sister as a victim of domestic abuse. What is her relevance to the plot? And why are actresses of Lillete Dubey and Sriya Saran’s calibre reduced to mere props?

Our Rating

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