Netflix Ray Review – Manoj Bajpayee and Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor Stands Out
As a creator, I was very excited to see the film adaptation of Satyajit Ray’s short stories. All the stories of Satyajit Ray were meta-commentary of the various aspects of life, and the creators tried to attain the same philosophy via visual representation of the stories.
The only problem is the modernization of stories. It can be the creative differences but the essence of the stories was way too awesome if only shot as a period drama. Also, these stories have shot differently, the stint of storytelling was always there.
For instance, the climax of “Forget Me Not” was the retrospection of the whole story which was visually stunning. It’s the direction and creative choices that made stories float in front only and not sink deep in the heart of the audience.
Here, with a particular order, I lay down my opinion of these Satyajit Ray’s short stories. And what is good and what can be better in these Netflix Ray anthology series.
1. Forget Me Not by Sirjit Mukherji
The very first story is from director Sirjit Mukherji’s “Forget Me Not” starring Ali Fazal in the lead role. The episode is an adaption of Ray’s short story titled “Bipin Choudhary’s Smritibhrom”.
Sadly, to say there was nothing to grasp on as his behavior and everything he does is very cinema-isk instead of grounded into reality. He talks fast, shows everyone that he has a brilliant memory like a computer. Make an impression everywhere he goes.
However, the character is a layered one and it was not conveyed beautifully. You may wonder as Sirjit Mukherji has directed many Bengali thriller movies and all of them were stunning cinematic masterpieces.
2. Bahrupiya by Sirjit Mukherji
To be honest, I was pretty excited about this episode starring Kay Kay Menon in the lead role. We have already seen many antagonists who came up charmingly meaningful especially when they shared the same hate from the society as Indrasesh did in the Bahurupiya episode.
It came as the worst of all the four stories. The dramatic impact was missing; the scenes were just flowing without setting up characters or anything else. In a scene, Kay Kay Menon’s character offered a guy 100,000 rupees for a tiny cyber café work.
He disguises himself just to check if the “priest-on-road” can identify him or not. While the story “Bahurupi” by Satyajit Ray portrays the fairyland and in the psyche of the character, it was a bit difficult to come up with the same results in the episode’s expected run-time.
3. Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa by Abhishek Chaubey
A social commentary on society being a kleptomaniac is justified by its storytelling. The stellar cast includes Manoj Bajpayee, Gajraj Rao, Manoj Pahwa, and Raghubir Yadav in a key role. There are many scenes in the episode that are completely awe.
From the direction to acting, the series grasp the essence of Satyajit Ray’s storytelling. A particular scene where Gajraj Rao showed his watch… Manoj Bajpayee is transported into a dream world to present the momentary fascination towards the object at that point.
This is what storytelling is about. No matter how absurd it may look like a scene but in the whole story, it was a highlight. The fame of Manoj Bajpayee was also captured beautifully as he first sang in small concert, then in stage shows, then the segment where he autographed many fans, and then in “Gazal-e-Mehfil”.
It all ended up with a big twist reveal. So tell me if you have ever read a story how’d you feel. Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa gives you somewhat the same feelings.
4. Spotlight by Vasan Bala
Based on the short story of Satyajit Ray by the same name, it stars Harshvarrdhan Kapur and Radhika Madan in a prominent role. The story showcased the struggle of an actor in his prime but quoted as “one look actor” which is also fading.
At the same time, a “Didi” getting pompous rise because of the religion in the country. They met in a suite and fight for a room where Maddona lived once. While they both have reasons, hoteliers decided to give it to Didi because of her so-called Bhakts.
It all ended up with a big reveal and a social message as well. From an acting standpoint, it was good, the way it captured the story, it can be better.
I recommend you to watch the Netflix Ray web series. It is something different from Bollywood. Do comment on what you think about the Ray short stories and their film adaptation.