Mirzapur, raw and stony, literally runs on ‘gun-point’. With versatile and brilliant actors playing their perfect parts, Karan Anshuman's directorial gives you a chill down the spine. A well-carpeted gun mafia runs exceptionally smooth in the violence-driven town of Mirzapur, where guns galore: country-made, large rifles, AK47s, pistols, unlicensed and official, are available as easily as toffees! Everything camouflaged beneath a carpet industry, plaguing the small town, under the monarchy of Akhandanand Tripathi aka Kaleen Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi).
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Nothing can describe Kaleen Bhaiya more than Guddu’s statement “Kaleen Bhaiya ka shehar, Kaleen Bhaiya ka chowk, Mirzapur mein bhokaal ho toh aisa ho.” The crime and drug lord runs a giant hierarchy of drugs and guns, all under the branding of woven carpets. However, the weak string attached with Kaleen Bhaiya is his notorious son, Munna Bhaiya (Divyendu Sharma), who indulges in every possible badass game for which his daddy dear is left to clean up his mess. Talking of sons, there are two more sons, hailing from an honest middle-class family.
Babloo (Vikrant Massey) and Guddu Pandit (Ali Fazal), sons of an honest lawyer, who aspires to become an IAS officer and Mr Poorvanchal, respectively. However, their fate connects their chords with Kaleen Bhaiya, where they cross paths in a very strange dilemma, and the brothers now become the brain and brawn of Mirzapur’s big enterprise.
The show, the third Amazon Prime Originals made in India, also features some strong female characters, who remain true to their roles. Kaleen Bhaiya’s second wife Beena (Rasika Dugal) is breaking on-screen stereotypes of the portrayal of Indian women. Beena essays a housewife who is quite a complex, grey character. The Sweety (Shriya Pilgaonkar) of Mirzapur knows her bullets, guns and bikes, in yet charismatic bold look.
The nine-part series, with almost hour-long episodes, features violence in every nook of the scene. The show-creators had wished to create layers of complex narrative, play the narration with a backstory, but the relentless violence takes a toll and ends up to be another emotional drama. The scenes do not frighten you, rather makes you cringe. There are many loopholes and side-turns in the series that successfully distract you from the story.
Giving a nostalgia of Gangs of Wasseypur, Mirzapur brings to the audience an interesting row of characters. Pankaj Tripathi acts the soul of the series, but the story doesn’t do justice to his impeccable character. Veteran actor Kulbhushan Kharbanda too plays his part but is crippled to a wheelchair, and other than uttering few predictable one-liners, there’s not much role for him to play.
Mirzapur brings a rough taste from the eastern side of Uttar Pradesh, where the city is plagued with every evil endeavour. The tried and tested template has been used multiple times before, and the makers have not done their part of the struggle to bring any new development or intriguing factor to the same old story.