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Afsos review: A unique and hilarious take on immortality

Would you become immortal if you had the chance? Or is the thought too overbearing to even imagine? Every person you talk to would have their own opinion on immortality. Amazon Prime Video India’s latest web series Afsos has its own opinion; a dark, hilarious and entertaining opinion that will fool you into thinking you know exactly what’s going to happen next.

Story

Meet Nakul (Gulshan Daviah), a man who think nothing can go right in his life no matter how hard he tries. His aspirations as a writer have come crashing down, he keeps getting fired and all he wants now is to commit suicide. Except, he just can’t do it.

After 11 failed attempts, he hires an agency which specialises in killing suicidal people for money. But when a man with such a strong death wish just cannot seem to die, is it because he can’t? The web series teases with the whole concept of death and immortality to a level you’ll start questioning what you would do if you had the choice yourself.

Performances

It’s baffling how effortless Devaiah is while acting. It feels like every character he plays has been written specifically for him (a shoutout to Mani and Jimmy from Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota). He is the centrepiece of the whole narrative, a role he plays masterfully. A special mention for his impeccable comic timing.

Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah’s daughter Heeba Shah, who plays Upadhyay, a contract killer assigned to murder Nakul, is terrifying as the unconventional ‘female hitman’. She is completely convincing and doesn’t put a foot wrong. 

Positives

How many times have you seen a show forcefully dragged when the story could have been told in far fewer minutes? This is one of Afsos’ biggest strengths. Pacy and tight, you won’t be able to take your eyes off it for even a second because every scene is important.

Absolutely hilarious at points, it doesn’t fail to keep you entertained, as well as keep you guessing. Be warned, the dark humour won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Also, the cameo of Biswa Kalyan Rath brings a welcome surprise factor.

Devaiah is a big reason why Afsos works, and it’s hard to imagine anybody else as Nakul. The wrong casting of the lead could have led to the show going completely South considering how much of the heavy lifting the role required.

Negatives

Except for Devaiah and Shah, you can clearly see the effort to act. It feels like all of them do not buy into the concept and seem way too conscious about the fact that they’re playing characters. Thankfully, much of the narrative focuses on the two actors on the top of their game.

The timeline is also unclear. There’s no indication that a scene is taking place in the past and no warning. It’ll take you time to figure out if it happened it the past.

Worth it?

Most definitely, yes. Indian content has improved so much during the streaming era, and Prime Video India has been on the forefront for much of it. While Afsos falls just short of the likes of Made in Heaven, The Family Man and Mirzapur, the platform can still proudly welcome another gem to its treasure chest.


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