The new Indian web series streaming on Amazon Prime Video ‘Bandish Bandits’ created by Anand Tiwari and Amritpal Singh Bindra is a 10-episode show.
I finished watching the web series this weekend, and to my surprise, I find IMDB has given the web series a rating of 8.7. Frankly, I don’t understand on what basis they have rated it so high.
So, I thought of sharing my review based on my understanding of the web series and why I think it is overrated.
Bandish Bandits Review Amazon Prime Web Series
The story follows Radhe (Ritwik Bhowmik), a singing prodigy hailed from a family of singers. His grandfather Pandit Radhe Mohan Rathore (Naseeruddin Shah), is a musical legacy of Jodhpur and desperately wants Radhe to be the heir of his singing legacy.
Radhe being born into such a conventional family always surrounded by a musical culture, more specifically, ‘Indian classical music.’ He is extremely dedicated to his musical journey and respect what his grandfather has achieved.
The series begins with the scene where Radhe, along with his other peers practicing classical music under the guidance of Pandit Radhe Mohan. Panditji thinks his grandson isn’t ready yet to be named as his singing heir who will continue his singing legacy.
Over the various courses, Radhe is being tested. He is practicing day and night to find the accuracy that Panditji is looking for.
Meanwhile, the story introduces Tamanna (Shreya Chaudhary), who is a YouTube sensation and has arrived in Jodhpur to find her music.
In a concert, the path of Radhe and Tamanna collide, to be precise, the central theme of the web series is the conflict between tradition and modernity.
Both the young new faces represent two different sides of a coin. Radhe is rooted in his conventional Indian classical while Tamanna finds music in pop culture.
Here, what would be the story is pretty much clear. Soon, the episodes keep adding up with two separate stories, a constructed love story, and a family drama.
Radhe keeps on proving his musical perfection to Panditji at the same time; his interest in attaining fame in the real world is conflicting with him.
In the latter half of the episodes, Atul Kulkarni as Digvijay stepped in the family to challenge what’s rightfully his. Digvijay represents the past of Panditji that he doesn’t want to acknowledge. The entry of Digvijay into the plot make the web series a typical family drama.
It seemed the love story is only there to add color to the narrative. Unfortunately, it failed to impress me. Initially, when the two young singers of different choices met, it looked interesting.
It made the impression that perhaps the story will show their musical journey, which will evolve into a beautiful love story in the lands of desert and forts.
But the narrative made it blunt and inconsistent by all the pretend theme love between the two young characters.
Indeed, the biggest winner of the series is the music, soundtracks, and the cinematography. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has created a background rich in music.
Classical music and songs are wonderful and pleasing. It’s only the music that has created a difference in the web series; otherwise, the narrative has nothing uniqueness in it.
For a while, as a viewer, I got confused as to what the series is about. Is it showing the paradox of today’s music vs the age-old Indian classical music?
Is it a family drama that represents a family of higher values facing a financial crisis, fights for legacy, and about an older man who controls the family?
Or is it a simple love story?
So, after watching a few episodes, I lost my interest in the narrative; it’s only the music that soothes me.
Usually, we don’t get to see web series or movies these days that have a classical background. With the trend of pop culture, Indian classical music has no place in the entertainment industry.
So, the soulful musical tracks are the reason why you should watch ‘Bandish Bandits’ on Amazon Prime Video.
Coming back to the performances, all the members of the Rathore family Atul Kulkarni, Rajesh Tailing, Sheeba Chaddha, and Naseeruddin Shah performed well. I was hoping to see more of Atul Kulkarni’s performance as Digvijay.
Ritwik Bhowmik as Radhe is average in delivering expressions. Though the web series is revolved around him, if his character would have the depth, the series could have been more connecting.
Tamanna (Shreya Chaudhary) delivered exactly what the narrative needed from her.
How could the series have been better?
Apart from the musical thing, I guess the story could have been more engaging if the narrative rooted together to one central theme. It could have been a wonderful love story that focuses on two different musical journeys.
Also, it could have been an intense family drama that set on to explore the complexities of relationships amidst the music.
‘Bandish Bandit’ could have been a lot of things. It has such a beautiful outdoor setting, having a plot that is rooted in the Indian musical culture and a pool of so many talented artists.
I wish the creators would have given much time and attention to the narrative part. The show is an ambitious project, with respect to showing the Indian audience the lost art of Indian music.
In the digital world, Indian classical music has taken a backseat. It’s time now to embrace our country’s musical roots.
So, I will say watch ‘Bandish Bandits’ only for the sheer love for music. But having said that in no way, it deserves an IMDB rating of 8.7.