Bambai Meri Jaan Review: Kay Kay Menon and Avinash Tiwary's combo makes this riveting underworld series a stellar watch
Bambai Meri Jaan
Bambai Meri Jaan is loosely based on the life of gangster Dawood Ibrahim and tells his story from the eyes of his father who was a righteous police officer but saw his children foray into the path of crime
- Shujaat Saudagar
- Kay Kay Menon,
- Avinash Tiwary,
- Kritika Kamra,
- Nivedita Bhattacharya,
- Amyra Dastur,
- Vivan Bhatena,
- Saurabh Sachdev,
- Nawab Shah
- crime/period drama
- Amazon Prime Video
Shujaat Saudagar and Rensil D’silva’s Bambai Meri Jaan takes you back to the gritty underworld nexus that had haunted the entire city of Mumbai in the 1960s and henceforth. The series is heavily inspired by the life of drug lord and gangster Dawood Ibrahim and is narrated through the eyes of his father who was a police constable. The tagline of the show opens to ‘good begets evil’ which forms the main crux of the show wherein a helpless father who followed the path of righteousness sees his children foray into the dark side.
The plot revolves around an honest police officer Ismail Kadri ( Kay Kay Menon ) who is ready to earn a penny less for his family of six but will never take home money garnered through criminal activity. When he locks horns with the menacing smuggler and gangster Haji (Saurabh Sachdev), he is forced to bow down with his morals for the sake of his family. In an evil twist of fate, he sees his own son Dara (Avinash Tiwary) follow the path of crime and take his baby steps into the underworld nexus by working under Haji. However, Dara’s ambitions are big and it soon shows in his actions when he goes independent forming a brutal rivalry with the gangster trio Haji, Pathan (Nawab Shah), and Anna (Dinesh Prabhakar). Along with his faithful henchman Abdullah (Vivan Bathena) and brothers Saadiq (Jitin Gulati) and Ajju (Lakshya Kocchar), Dara forms the D Company which revolutionizes the underworld and smuggling racket in Mumbai making him the mightiest gangster to gain a foothold in the city. His youngest sibling the fiery Habiba ( Kritika Kamra ) shows bold signs of joining her brothers in this web of crime, violence, and gore.
Rensil D’silva and Shujaat Saudagar have skillfully taken us back to when the city was terrorized by warring gangs. Murder, betrayal, and crime were a child’s play and there was no room for morals. However, what stands out in Bambai Meri Jaan is the intricate and exceptionally sharp writing when it comes to the interplay between the characters. It is not a surprise that the show has been penned by bestseller novelist Hussain Zaidi of ‘From Dongri To Dubai’ and ‘Mafia Queens Of Mumbai’ fame. You feel yourself connecting with the rawness and consciousness of every character as they choose a path of right and wrong. Hussain’s expertise and lifetime of research of the underworld nexus and its key figures clearly fleshes out on the show. You see characters based on Dawood Ibrahim, his father Ibrahim Kaskar, his mother Amina Bi, his sister Haseena Parkar, and his brother Shabir Kaskar. Then there is Haji Maqbool whose character is based on Dawood’s mentor Haji Mastan.
The camaraderie between the key characters be it of loyalty or enmity is excellently portrayed. However, the main drawback is the laborious pace of the show. There could have been more crisp editing and a sharper screenplay to not make the length of the show so laboursome.
Talking about the performances, Kay Kay Menon inevitably delivers a masterful act as Ismail Kadri who sees the foundation of his values crumbling as his children venture into the world of crime. The actor does more of the heavy lifting in the first few episodes wherein he does not falter. Avinash Tiwary hits the ball out of the park with Bambai Meri Jaan. After Laila Majnu and Bulbbul, the actor has got his due recognition and how. Playing the slick, ruthless, and no-nonsense Dawood was a mammoth task that Avinash aces smoothly. He also channels his vulnerability in the emotionally high-octane scenes involving his family. Kritika Kamra and Nivedita Bhattacharya as Dara’s sister and mother respectively were a treat to watch. Kritika’s character is based on Haseena Parkar who navigates the decisions of the D-Company along with her brother. The actress is fierce and riveting in every frame. Nivedita’s camaraderie with her real-life husband Kay Kay Menon visibly shows as they play a reel-life couple too.
Other performers who shine vividly include Vivan Bhatena, Jitin Gulati, Saurabh Sachdeva, Nawab Shah, Lakshya Kocchar, Shiv Pandit, and Aditya Rawal (whose character is heavily based on Chota Rajan). Amyra Dastur who plays Avinash Tiwary’s brief love interest tries her best but her chemistry with Dara’s character fails to create an impact. In short, the performances are one of the main guiding anchors of underworld series.
The cinematography by Anuj Rakesh Dhawan is top-notch in some of the action sequences. The production design and set decoration by Mukund Gupta and Etisha Jain respectively are intricately done. Bambai Meri Jaan is bound to strike a chord with every crime enthusiast out there and is a reminder of Mumbai being a victim of blood and gore from the terrorizing underworld network in the days gone by.