Bombay Begums

A story that revolves around five women, their lives, desires, ambitions and their struggles to fulfil them.

Cast – Pooja Bhatt, Shahana Goswami,Amruta Subhash, Plabita Borthakur,Aadhya Anand,Vivek Gomber, Danish Hussain, Manish Chowdhary, Imaad Shah,Rahul Bose.

Writer/ Director – Alankrita Shrivastava

Cinematic Analysis

The show certainly boasts of a great cast which was the biggest charm for me. The actors do try to deliver the best in the confines of the script. Pooja Bhatt looks kickass as Rani and truly ruled the show like one. The central premise of the corporate banking, the personal stories around the women and the way they are interwoven is interesting and engaging. The English dialogues thankfully look organic as per situation and people.

There are moments that seem to strike the right nerve but they are far in between and few.

What is a big dampener to a potentially good show is the jaded script that sags under the weight of its too obvious efforts to highlight the struggles of womanhood.

I complete agree with the kind of struggles that women have go through including health issues, heart issues, body issues, freedom of choices issues, liberty issues or even survival issues. Complete respect for  all of these.

But inducing them all in a single script with so much impetus that that the efforts become obvious , is not going to help. The script, when it takes a back seat is going to pull down all else with it.

The situations are riddled with implausibilities and incredulities.

Imagine a a junior level fresher changing some crucial figures in an offer letter for a 30 million deal just because she thinks that’s best for the bank.

Two top most honchos of a bank behaving ridiculous in front of clients while trying to crack a crucial acquisition deal.

A young teenager painting her skirt red and going to school just to show off to the world that she has come of age.

A woman who wants the moon, her ex boyfriend, her new office colleague , a new girl she has met, all at the same time.She has no social ,moral or professional ethics  but yet feels the city doesn’t give the girls a fair chance.

You’ll find your own list.

Often you feel lack of emotional connect with the characters. The only track I found emotionally appealing was of Laxmi superbly played by Amrita Subhash and to some extent of Rani (loved Pooja Bhatt). And Ayesha was far and by the most irritating character that I have come across in recent past.

The Controversy Analysis

They might be an important part but I feel there’s more to womanhood than just menstruation, menopause, bras, sex, smoking and drinking that the show ends up highlighting.

Liberty cannot be the ticket to promiscuity. And confusion cannot be the ticket to lack of morality.

The rule applies equally to men and women or else the social fabric will fall apart.

Alankrita Shrivastava looks like a true feminist and she sketches women characters in their most flaw-full( if I may call it) and rebellious mode, breaking stereotypes and social norms. But when over done, it ends up showing women and meaning of liberty in bad light.

As far as the feminist issues are concerned, the show ticks all the boxes and I agree they do need social and psychological acceptance. But that would be better achieved with a more pertinent and coherent narrative rather than shouting from roof tops.

Recommendation

The show can be a one time watch , slightly better 3rd episode onwards.

So keep your patience level up and irritability quotient low.

The good set of actors and Pooja Bhatt might make it worth your while.

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