Humble Politician Nograj(Viacom Voot, Kannada, 10 Episodes)
Directed by Saad Khan
There is a prime minister, played by the long-time-no-see Tiku Talsania who is constantly out of the country looking into “international affairs” and there is the president of party called The Family Run Party where the young leader keeps running to his mother for advice. They even speak in,ahem, Italian.
But no. This is not about the prickly political peccadillos at the Centre. This off-centre off-kilter political satire is just not bothered about its khadi attire. Comic actor Danish Sait who by now owns his (anything-but-humble) politician Nograj’s wobbly character, dip-dives into the despicable dirty games that politicians play, and comes up with some genuine if lowbrow, laughs.
But be warned: the laughter this time is as ground-level as it can get. If you are looking for edifying humour, look elsewhere. Here in Nograj’s world the laughter comes from a place of absolute self-serving asininity. Sample this: Nograj tells his ever-faithful assistant Manjunath(Vinay Chendoor) that he needs protection. Manjunath dutifully pulls out a condom from his bag.
“Put it on your head, because you are behaving like a dick,” barks Nograj. Well , okay then.
The knocks delivered on Indian democracy’s hardened knuckles are filled with chuckles, of not a very refined variety, I am afraid. The cheesy humour goes with the mood of dimwitted political horse-trading in the series.Yes, MLAs are taken to a resort and locked away. No it is not the last resort.
Director Saad Khan had earlier written the film version of the same protagonist political clown’s antics in 2018. Over there ,Nograj played by the delectably over-the-top Danish Sait who looks like a confounding cross between Pawan Malhotra and Dulquer Salman, wished to be an MLA. Now he wants to be the chief minister of Karnataka, no less.
I am pretty sure he would want to be the prime minister in the next season of this fair-to-fine politic aperitif with characters painted in such broad strokes of satire that they end up looking like cartoon strips come-alive , which I suspect, is what the team behind this beetle-leaf burlesque wanted it to be.
Humble Politician Nograj is fun when it isn’t trying to spoon-feed us with unnecessary information on how the jokes work.At one point the nosy female journalist, working for a channel called, ha ha, Paid NewsTV asks Nograj if he is a leeeetle jealous of his political opponent KGB(Prakash Belawadi), Nagraj dials KGB’s number and pretends to have a friendly conversation .
“Prank call,” he later whispers to his assistant.
As long as Nograj doesn’t think the audience is as stupid as some of his political adversaries, the series is fun.By the way is Nograj gay? There are hints all over that he is, his speech and manner. But then one never knows about these things,specially in politics.