Bambai Meri Jaan follows gangster Dara Kadri’s rise from underprivileged streets to the top of Bombay’s criminal underworld.
Ismail Kadri is an honest cop who’s given an opportunity to expose the criminal nexus between gangsters Haji and Pathan. His downfall is brought upon by a mistake he commits unaware of the impact it will have.
He faces a slew of challenges all thanks to Haji, and these challenges lead to his son Dara’s worldview get changed drastically.
Ismail is forced to work for Haji, until Dara comes of age and begins claiming turfs as his own, eventually joining hands with Haji, which Pathan and his men are miffed about.
When Dara stretches his legs and aims for all of Bombay, Pathan sets loose his men whom he and Abdullah defeat. However, Pathan’s nephews Yasir and Arif brutalize Dara’s childhood friend Nasir and his wife.
Dara unleashes a bloodbath across the city for his revenge and eventually gets to the nephews and kills them. A truce is established but Pathan continues conspiring against Dara, who, meanwhile, expands his business and grasp on the city.
Pathan attacks again and Dara burns with vengeance, quickly becoming the fiercest gangster and taking the Pathan gang one member after another. Arrest warrants are finally out against him and he sacrifices before fleeing to Dubai.
K.K. Menon is sublime in his performance as Ismail Kadri. A moment where he truly flexes his craft arrives when he’s taunted by Dara about saving the man who killed his friend. His response is subtle and yet so strong and felt.
Saurabh Sachdeva lends an undeniable gravitas to Haji, speaking with sight and smirk way more than he can with his words.
Avinash Tiwary brings a similarly understated charm to his role. Nawab Shah is familiarly intimidating as Pathan, and brings his usual panache to the character.
Bambai Meri Jaan greatly benefits from the stellar performances of the cast, especially from the heavyweights like K.K. Menon.
The logistics of the set pieces and the different components of the story are complex and the show does a great job handling all of it seamlessly.
The use of expletives comes across as almost juvenile. The characters are so prolific with the curses that it’s almost funny at times.
The sets and costumes are really good but the green screen in the terrace shots can throw one off on one too many occasions.
The biggest crime of the series is the way it glorifies guns, and gangsters, and adds an obnoxious amount of gore to the mix.
None of it serves any purpose other than to serve on a stinky platter what’s already been served by so many other films and shows about gangsters.
There is a potential for more of the undercovered and underexplored culture and also themes other than that of the simplistic good vs. evil or “sometimes good also begets evil.”
That the rape of Nasreen isn’t on full display isn’t a positive and doesn’t absolve the makers of their inability to develop a motive without an unnecessarily and abruptly inserted act of horror.
Bambai Meri Jaan has a premise that provides for a lot to be conveyed and communicated and yet it opts to tell a basic, familiar, and clichéd gangster story with unnecessary gore and an unintentionally funny expletive-filled script to possibly introduce an edge or grit, which never quite translates well.
Bambai Meri Jaan
Director: Shujaat Saudagar
Date Created: 2023-09-14 06:30