Bestseller (2022) review: A good plot ruined by bad writing and incompetent acting

Rating: 1.5/5

Prime Video is back with another thriller; ‘Bestseller’, portraying a frustrated film writer, a naive fan of his and an intriguing secret that unfolds through the 8 episodes.

Story

Tahir Wazid (Arjan Bajwa) is at his wit’s end, suffering from the usual writer’s block. While his publisher is at his throat for a good plot, he has nothing that could work at the moment.

His life changes as he meets Meetu Mathur (Shruti Hassan), a huge fan of his, belonging from a small town. She aspires to be like him and proceeds to disclose the plot idea for her novel.

Forced by his circumstances, and prompted by his self-centred self, Tahir decides to use Meetu’s plot as his own.

Things turn awry when someone starts trolling them online. This acts as an onset for murders that begin to occur. It gets serious enough for ACP Lokesh Pramanik (Mithun Chakraborty) to be assigned with their case.

Meanwhile, Parth (Satyajeet Dubey), a small term office intern begins to act sneaky- perhaps linked to a case that might ruin Tahir.

Performances

Arjan Bajwa tried to play the ‘insufferable, wannabe Chetan Bhagat’ for his role as Tahir- and failed. His portrayal made it difficult for the viewers to show apathy at his plight. His ‘immoral, selfish’ persona made it hard for the viewers to like him- which would have sat well had he been the antagonist, which he wasn’t.

Shruti Hassan as Meetu- a naive rural girl- could have played out well, but her ‘innocent’ accent was seriously off-putting. Talk about a character seeming believable!

Mithun Chakraborty as a righteous cop/ detective would have been a saving grace for the series, but at some point, his delivery started feeling forced. His presence was certainly ruined by the writing of ‘Bestseller’, and some of his jokes were cringe-worthy.

Satyajeet Dubey’s performance as Parth was hard to judge. Why? Because the series did that for us.

Positives

The simple, plain plot of Bestseller makes it worth a one-time-watch, probably a good pick for an audience that is into visuals. The series goes on smoothly, keeping the viewers hooked to itself.

Some instances induce pure suspense, even though the predictability does end up killing it towards the end.

There is a ‘Karma’ factor in the series, which sits well for people looking for ‘just’ consequences.

Negatives

The series ‘Bestseller’ killed its plot by becoming predictable within the first 30 minutes. It further deteriorated by clearing up the actual ‘mystery’ in episode 4.

It then proceeded to drag until episode 8 to emphasize the ‘evil v/s bad’ ideology, a clich√© for multiple Indian series.

The structure and writing were deplorable, complete with sleazy dialogues and cringe jokes. Instead of ‘showing’ the story to the viewers, it chose to loudly ‘shout’ it up to them. The series left no room for imagination.

The characters had no depth and dimension, and the incompetent acting made it worse. Sometimes it feels as if the writers and the actors have never even interacted with actual people.

There are many plot holes and some unrealistic portrayals. For instance, why would Mayanka (Gauhar Khan)- a successful ad maker choose to be with someone like Tahir, who couldn’t even respect her profession?

Verdict

What starts as a good plot for ‘Bestseller’, dies somewhere within episode 4, where most of the mystery gets cleared. And then, it moves aimlessly until episode 8 with no cause of its own. The delivery and the acting were some declining factors for ‘Bestseller’. This could have been a movie of 60 minutes, rather than a scraping mini-series.


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