The show is even weak on its central element, the outrageous murders of celebrities don’t make their posh and swish periphery any vigilant. All they keep doing is paying two-hoots to such shady circumstances which is very unappetizing.
Netflix’s new show Hasmukh starring Vir Das and Ranvir Shorey is built on a unique idea but is badly implemented. The show is trying to be so many things but ends up being none.
Hasmukh (Vir Das), a wannabe stand up comedian of a small town called Saharanpur wants to be on the stage but his mentor Gulati (Manoj Pahwa) doesn’t give him a single chance because he thinks he isn’t still ready as he is unable to complete a single joke with confidence and without stammering. Now instead of taking Gulati ‘s words seriously and working on himself, Hasmukh gets angry on him and slits his throat. Hasmukh doesn’t even care about covering tracks or dumping Gulati’s body. He goes to the stage straight and starts cracking silly husband-wife jokes. But, the next time he goes on the stage he again stammers and is insulted by the audience. Soon, he realizes he can’t perform if he doesn’t kill. I can understand the structure of the jokes is kept limited to the place where he is performing. But the jokes aren’t even funny at all. It is like a mixture of poor WhatsApp jokes assembled haphazardly which even the older generation would think twice before forwarding it to other groups because they aren’t amusing at all. Somehow his video gets viral and he gets a chance to be a wildcard entry in a stand-up competition.
The show wants to be edgy, thrilling and amusing but fails terribly in all the aspects. Hasmukh suddenly becomes a serial killer with purpose like Dexter who only kills bad people and never touches the innocent but the show doesn’t show how Jimmy (Ranvir Shorey) is able to cover up the tracks of different murders. The act of erasing evidence (s) could have been shown cleverly but the creators clearly didn’t want to put their hands in the complex mud of removing the tracks of any murder. The characterization is the weakest organ of the show, none of the characters even the protagonist Hasmukh doesn’t get a proper background. Also, the choice of a character sketch is repetitive. I can understand there is a foolish cop in the small town of Saharanpur but even one of the cops of Mumbai is also a joke. And be it any character, they don’t have a signature trait, they have a silly punchline. For example one of the contestant in the comedy show always says the same line ” Chatt raha hai par mazza nahi aa raha hai .” And the forcefully built joker cop of Mumbai is always repeating either ” Case Closed” or ” Tension means no pension.”
At times you think that even The Kapil Sharma show’s jokes on discrimination of gender, body, race, and politics are quite better than this. The show could have been like Afsos, a dark comedy show with twisted premises but Hasmukh is too busy deciding their agenda. At times the show wants to empower by highlighting various themes like respecting women or making your own path but they aren’t told in a subtle way which makes these strong attempts looks less impactful, the show even fills some characters with some evils like a hit-run celebrity and a rapist who never got arrested but even these points are just touched not presented in a complete, convincing manner. The makeup of Gulati like the clown is the only amazing thing of the show. The show is based on a good concept which looks really thrilling and unique when you write it on paper but it is so ineffectively executed that it looks bad on the screen. The show is even weak on its central element, the outrageous murders of celebrities don’t make their posh and swish periphery any vigilant. All they keep doing is paying two-hoots to such shady circumstances which is very unappetizing. Even a gangster’s name and signature style are involved, he gets arrested but he doesn’t even try to dig the matter as to know who is imitating him.
The concept is thought by Vir Das but there are too many writers working on this script and so eventually this is just another case of “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” As far as acting is concerned, Vir Das doesn’t play this role effectively and other actors don’t get much space to shine. Such an able and esteemed cast but no one is used to their full potential. Dialogues of the show are largely dependent on gags and the gag is such a faux pas that it leaves you with nothing more than a chuckle at max. ” Har kalakaar ka koi na koi viagra hota hai ” is the only dialogue that is going to stay with you. The background score is dull, it is almost like it is absent from the show.
Overall, this Vir Das Netflix show isn’t half good as his actual stand-up comedy acts.
Director: Nikhil Gonsalves
Writers: Nikkhil Advani, Vir Das, Nikhil Gonsalves, Neeraj Pandey, Amogh Ranadive, Suparn Verma
Cast: Vir Das, Ranvir Shorey, Suhail Nayyar, Amrita Bagchi, Ravi Kishan