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Heeramandi-8 episodes- Hindi- Netflix

First things First. Heeramandi spells opulence. And how!! Be it the grand sets, the massive Kothas, the Mehfils, the fountains, the jewellery, costumes, Nawabs and their mansions….phew. Kind of reminds you of Devdas almost all the time.

Then comes the story. Mallikajaan played by Manisha Koirala is a shrewd Huzoor of her Kotha, Shahi Mahal. Then comes Sonakshi Sinha who establishes her Kotha right opposite, which means competition and ofcourse, revenge. The two lock horns over Nawabs and patrons, constantly trying to take the other one down. But then there is Freedom movement in the background, which also adds to some substance.

The urdu dialogues are rich and the music is soulful too. The pre-independence settings are really classy. But then, why couldn’t I binge watch this one?

To put it straight, in my simple language- OVERDOSE. Eight, 1-hour episodes of some very long dialogues, mouthed monotonously, with the Nazakat and Ada, but the story not building much. And then suddenly, everything happens in the last episode, as if they had to end it in a hurry. The series finishes with all Tawaifs uniting for India’s independence and a cliche statement of Women still being under shackles. But all along, these women literally fight over men, spewing venom on each other.

Then, there’s the predictability. There’s not much that would ever raise your excitement quotient. You know what’s next, trust me.

DO NOT be misguided by the poster, Heeramandi isn’t about Feminism. Mothers, Daughters, Sisters. Scheming and murdering each other for power and men, there’s not one woman who stands up for her kin.

Of the performances, Manisha Koirala and Sonakshi Sinha shine. They are poweful…brilliant. Aditi Rao Hydari and Sanjeeda Shaikh are good too. Richa Chadda deserved more. But the newcomer, Sharmin Segal disappoints. The men unfortunately don’t have much to contribute, they are all just about okay.

If you are a Bhansali fan and a sucker for slow burners, take 1 episode at a time and this one is for you. Though personally I feel a little pace could have helped. It’s a bit too much of everything…class, grandeur, spite and Nath Utraai. So you could just switch it on and go about your chores. You won’t miss much.

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