The quintessential war between Indian classical music and the growing popularity of modern music has been beautifully depicted in this Amazon Prime’s latest trending show Bandish Bandits.
Directed by Anand Tiwari, this OTT show has a phenomenal and experienced star cast like Naseeruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni, Kunal Roy Kapoor, Sheeba Chaddha, Rajesh Tailang, and Ritwik Bhowmik(Radhe) and Shreya Chaudhury(Tamanna) in the lead. The show does a fantastic job of grabbing the attention of the audience, especially the millennials and the Gen Z, towards the richness of Hindustani Classical Music in the first episode itself.
While Tamanna is shown to be a Mumbai-bred artist-performer who has a huge fan following among the youngsters, Radhe is the grandson of Pandit Radhe Mohan(Naseeruddin Shah), the ‘hopeful’ future custodian of his ‘Gharana’. Both youngsters have a common passion– music, but their lives are not even close to similar. While Radhe’s goal is to do his grandfather proud and become one of his diligent ‘Shishyas’ to take his Gharana forward. As luck would have it, Radhe and Tamanna’s paths cross!
They come together to create fusion music but the show is weaved remarkably well to show what brings them together and what problems each of them is facing in their lives. Radhe is shown to do a delicate balancing act between his ‘Riyaz’ with ‘Panditji’ every morning, creating fusion music and recording albums with Tamanna for financial reasons. Somewhere midway, they fall madly in love with each other. Plenty of twists are added as the season progresses –with the entry of Atul Kulkarni, the sudden change in Sheeba Chaddha’s character who takes it upon herself to save her father-in-laws Gharana, some hidden secrets of the family and the complicated love between Radhe and Tamanna.
The heritage, pride, beauty, and richness of Hindustani Music along with the alluring infusion of modern music into is brought to us by none other than Shankar, Ehsan, and Loy. The show also brings out the male domination in the field of classical music that has, time and again, suppressed women who were better than the men in some instances. The show Bandish Bandits takes us on a roller coaster of various emotions that we feel for each character. While you begin with respect for Panditji’s character, towards the end you end up with even more admiration for Sheeba’s character. Not to miss are the characters who add a dash of comedy, and quirkiness such as Kunal Roy Kapur.
They say all senses work together to give us a beautiful experience. The show is not just a delight for the ears but also for the eyes. Shot in picturesque locations in Mumbai and Jodhpur, you can’t help but get immersed in the beautifully bright decor, the lavish palace of the king, the typical haveli that Panditji and his family live in, and the colorful upholstery in most scenes. There has been immense thought put into the designs and trends in clothing to match the personality of each character.
If you are bored with the documentaries, real-life adaptations or crime shows on OTT platforms, Bandish Bandits is a unique show to tantalize all your senses. Grab a packet of popcorns or fry some pakodas, a cup of ginger tea and enjoy the ‘Sur’, ‘Raagas’, and the music and songs that feature at regular intervals throughout the show. Experience the magical, musical, and emotional ride with Bandish Bandits!