Bambai Meri Jaan review: This retelling of Dawood story has few moments of novelty

Bambai Meri Jaan review: This retelling of Dawood story has few moments of novelty

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There have been so many versions of the rise and rise of the dreaded D Company, and its top boss, Dawood, that yet another requires it to be a fresh lens on an an oft-told tale. But there’s very little in the 10-episode web series based on ‘Dongri To Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia’ by S Hussain Zaidi, that prolific profiler of the Bombay underworld, that we haven’t seen before.

The Dawood story in ‘Bambai Meri Jaan’, directed by Shujaat Saudagar, is so lightly fictionalised that it might as well have used the characters’ own names. The infamous trio of Karim Lala, Haji Mastan and Varadarajan Mudaliar who had divvied up Bombay in the 70s, and who ran their illegal enterprises like well-oiled machinery, are Haji Maqbool (Saurabh Sachdeva), Azeem Pathan (Nawab Shah), and Anna Mudaliar (Dinesh Prabhakar). And Dawood is Dara (Avinash Tiwary), complete with those sideburns and the big shades, wreathed in cigarette smoke and danger.

The series cuts back and forth in time, showing us the backstories of these goons who rose to prominence with the collusion of the authorities and the police-on-their-payroll. But the chief conflict from which the series derives most of its strength is the one between honest cop Ismail Kadri (Kay Kay Menon) and his always-taking-a-short-cut son Dara. The scenes between the father and son are reminiscent of so many similar face-offs in our movies, going back to Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar in ‘Shakti’: the playing out off this filial relationship against the backdrop of the rising crime graph of the city makes us recall many similar films which a faced similar challenge — how do you not romanticise the allure of the gangster and his power when you are intent on keeping it real? Which side is the film on? Is it akin to the fandom Ram Gopal Varma displays for his bad boys in ‘Satya’ and the outstanding recreation of the D Company tale in ‘Company’?

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Comments (2)

  • Darshan Reply


    October 28, 2023 at 11:13 am
  • Ramit bardewa Reply


    December 10, 2023 at 5:44 pm

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