Call My Agent: Bollywood (2021) Review

A predictable fare that lacks execution and is riddled with all possible desi-tropes

Aparnna Hajirnis -

Call My Agent: Bollywood (2021) Review
Platform
Netflix
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Format
Original Series Review
Movie Rated
18+
Genre
DRAMA
Language
Hindi

What is the story about?

An official remake of the cult hit French show Dix Pour Cent, four talent agents living in Mumbai and having A-list Bollywood clientele find themselves neck deep in trouble, when the owner and founder of ART, the talent agency they work for dies. They are then saddled off with demanding clients, financial troubles and petty work politics amongst themselves. On top of their dog-eat-dog industry, they have to now face an auditor who might unearth some bitter truths they might not be willing to swallow.

Analysis

I am not opposed to remakes and adaptations of western cinema and series in Bollywood. In fact, when they announced the remake of Call My Agent, I was excited to see how they would show the Bollywood Biz up close and from the viewpoint of agents, who as we all know do thankless jobs. When I started streaming Call My Agent: Bollywood, I was left aghast with my jaw dropped. And not in a good way. The series starts off with Dia Mirza reaching late for a commercial shoot and being sacked from a Hollywood project because of ageism. You are then introduced to the motley crew of talent managers namely Monty, Amal, Mehershaad and Treasa who are supposedly managing some of the big names in Bollywood. We are then introduced to newcomer Nia, who clearly has a past connection with Monty (no prizes for guessing what it could be) and gets a job within minutes of her entering the talent agency. Hereon you can predict the entire series. The first 20 minutes of the series are a big giveaway as to how the series would shape up and end. It would be unfair to compare this series to its French counterpart, but even as a standalone this series is abysmal. For a Netflix show you would expect them to at least hire someone to do research to tell you that there isn’t really a building in South Mumbai that overlooks the CSMT station on one side and the Asiatic library steps on the other. There are ample cameos from Bollywood celebs, each one riddled with predictability and insipid plots. For a series that is based on Bollywood, it is strange that the office is set in CSMT, where you find mostly government offices as opposed to Bollywood which is literally residing in the suburbs and northern part of Mumbai. 

Performances

The series claims to be a spoof on the lives of agents in Bollywood, but when you see consummate actors such as Rajat Kapoor, Soni Razdan and Aahana Kumra being handed with a half-baked plot, not even their acting chops can salvage the series. There is no chemistry between any of the cast and their entire troupe seems disjointed. However, it must be added here that we enjoyed the cameos from Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal, Shruti Hassan, Sarika, Farah Khan and Tigmanshu Dhulia

Music & Other Departments

For a director who’s directed runaway hits such as Saathiya and Bunty And Babli, you would expect that a series helmed by Shaad Ali would if not break conventional entertainment norms, still manage to entertain you. However, this series is a hot pile of mess. The flow of the series is extremely boring and unless you are reviewing it, you wouldn’t want to watch it. The camera angles around their Instagrammable office interiors would give you a migraine. The actors though talented are all let down and wasted by shoddy and juvenile writing. The characters are caricaturish, the dialogues are ridiculous, and the production quality is quite tacky. The plots are so repetitive that you are reminded of Madhur Bhandarkar’s Page 3, Fashion and Heroine, and several other movies/series which are an ‘expose’ on Bollywood. 

Highlights

None.

Drawbacks

The entire series is a drawback in itself.

Did I enjoy it?

No.

Do I recommend it?

No. Do not waste your time and resources watching this series.


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