First things first. It feels reassuring and comforting to see the very gifted Pankaj Tripathi finally taking centrestage. He was plainly riveting as the Shakespearean mafia don in Shankar Raman’s Gurgaon. He returns to play a restless crimelord with a problematic son in Mirzapur, Amazon’s new bust-or-boom series which promises a fusillade of flamboyant fights and bloodshed.
It’s a world that perhaps Coppola or Scorcese would approve of. There is sly deceit and tormenting teachery as Tripathy’sKaleen Bhai(he deals in carpets) tried to control his wild son, played by that extraordinarily credible actor Divyendu Sharma, last seen stealing every scene from Shahid Kapoor in Batti Gul Meter Chalu. I suspect there are only scene-steelers no scene-stealers in Mirzapur.
Divyendu Sharma is the Sonny Corelone of this sanguinary saga of internecine wars where I suspect most characters would lie dead at the end of the series. Till then the show offers us dollops of aggression and trippy retribution served up with a dash of humorous relish. I like the way Ali Faizal has bulked up and trimmed his hair to look menacing and the super-talented Vikrant Massey looks positively mousy as his sibling. These two brothers promise to turn the rugged terrain ofMirzapur into an area of a subverted Mahabharat.
The series is splattered superbly actors. Rasika Duggal turns up as Pankaj Tripathi’s sex-starved wife reminding him that he always leaves her unfulfilled.
I suspect we won’t come away from the series with that feeling.