Review of “Taaza Khabar”: Boon-as-bane comedy goes from a hit to a miss

The Hotstar series on Disney+ marks Bhuvan Bam‘s streaming debut.

Taaza Khabar seeks to modernize the age-old Mumbai hustle, which consists of making money in the time it takes to cross the Sealink. Vasant, a janitor, receives a heavenly power that enables him to foresee future occurrences. The prophecies, which are displayed as notifications on Vasant’s phone that only he can read, have the ability to alter his life.

Will he, to use the show’s penchant for Mumbai cliches, progress from zero to hero and eventually to superhero?

Comedian Bhuvan Bam produced the Disney+ Hotstar Hindi series. Bam makes his acting debut as Vasant, who attempts to become an instant superstar by biting off more than he can chew.

Taaza Khabar
Taaza Khabar

The road from blessing to curse for Vasant begins in a chawl in downtown Mumbai. His drunken father Ashok (Vijay Nikam) is cared for by his doting mother Alpa (Atisha Naik). Vasant is infatuated with Madhu (Shriya Pilgaonkar), a sex prostitute who has been claimed by politician Shetty (JD Chakravarthy).

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A good deed affords Vasant the opportunity to deliver the news beforehand. Vasant leverages his cosmic fortune for his own and his family’s benefit. His partners — Madhu, boyhood buddy Peter (Prathamesh Parab), café owner Mehboob (Deven Bhojani), and Mehboob’s daughter Shazia (Nitya Mathur) — also benefit from Vasant’s sudden wealth, despite their objections to his growing “I am god” hubris.

The concept for the show was created by Aziz Dalal. The dialogue is written by Hussain Dalal and Abbas Dalal. Six episodes directed by Himank Gaur avoid expected hazards in familiar landscape populated by familiar characters.

Taaza Khabar
Taaza Khabar

The narrative unfolds in a world of heightened realism where money acts like a Mumbai monsoon downpour, but nobody bats an eye at Vasant’s newfound wealth. In their zeal to give Vasant his just desserts, the show’s creators miss some of the story’s more unexpected developments.

There are improvements to the template that are appreciated. Madhu is a vibrant woman who approaches her profession with wide-open eyes (Shriya Pilgaonkar has become one of the most effective performers in the streaming sector). The madam of Madhu’s brothel, Reshma (Shilpa Shukla), is more world-weary than malevolent. Mehboob has a lovely relationship with his intelligent daughter, and his reaction to learning about her romantic life is humorous. Atisha Naik convincingly portrays Vasant’s mother as a pleasant presence.

The tiny moments, punctuated by streetwise insight and obscenity, work better than the larger plot, which meanders in a predictable manner (Vasant cannot take credit for this prediction). When Mahesh Manjrekar snarls his way into the frame as a thug named (what else but) Kismat, you know precisely where you are. It was inevitable, but it didn’t have to be.

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Taaza Khabar Official Trailer

Taaza Khabar