Homi Adajania’s “Saas, Bahu, aur Flamingo” is centered around three groups of people: the antiheroes, the villains, and the law. Rani Ba, also known as Savitri, is the leader of the antiheroes and the owner of Rani Cooperative, a seemingly small handicraft company that sells toys and organic herbs.
However, it is actually one of the largest producers of cocaine (dubbed Flamingo) in India. Savitri has three children: Harish, Kapil, and Shanta, with Harish married to Bijlee, Kapil to Kajal, and Dhiman, who is supposedly Savitri’s adopted son.
Anurag Kashyap’s “Gangs of Wasseypur” and the first season of “Sacred Games” have had a significant impact on the Indian film and web series industry. Before their release, movies were told in a certain way, and web series were of a specific type.
However, after their release, crime, love-making, and politics became intertwined themes in Indian web series. It is difficult to say if any other movie or show has surpassed the quality of these projects, but many storytellers have attempted to recreate their magic instead of finding their own unique voice.
“Saas, Bahu, aur Flamingo” initially appears to follow this pattern, but as the narrative unfolds, it becomes clear that Disney+ Hotstar has stumbled upon a gem.
The Steller Performances by Ensemble Cast of Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo
Kajal takes charge of managing the workers at Rani Cooperative, while Bijlee is responsible for the treasury. Shanta, on the other hand, is the expert in perfecting the cocaine. Meanwhile, Dhiman and Cheema serve as the enforcers of Savitri.
However, on the villainous side, there are Munk, Dil Samson, and Sahebji, who have their own personal motives for eyeing Savitri’s business. When the son of the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra almost dies from a batch of Flamingo, Proshun from the Narcotics Division steps in to uncover the truth.
In “Saas, Bahu, aur Flamingo,” Homi Adajania and writers Saurav Dey, Nandini Gupta, and Aman Mannan tackle a plethora of topics. They address the issue of queer relationships, which are still frowned upon in both rural and urban India.
The show also highlights the prevalence of drugs, and how every part of the system contributes to their accessibility and production, despite our supposed moral high ground.
While they put a “boon or bane” spin on narcotics, the series shows how the popularity of drugs allows Savitri and her female workers, many of whom are widows or single mothers, to gain independence and respect.
Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo Is Bollywood Attempt To Create Stunning Female Lead Web Series
The central themes of patriarchy and casteism are prevalent in “Saas, Bahu aur Flamingo.” The Rani Cooperative, being run by women from a minority community, stands as a powerful symbol of resistance against a system that oppresses them.
Each woman in the cooperative has a story of abuse and the show depicts their journey of turning it into a story of resilience. However, despite their strength and determination, they are still reliant on men due to their positions of power. Harish and Kapil represent male privilege and ignorance, serving as punching bags for the show’s exploration of these themes.
The success of “Saas, Bahu aur Flamingo” largely hinges on how effectively it tackles these sensitive topics. The show addresses the issue of feminine rage by depicting a forcible violation in explicit detail, which is revisited multiple times throughout the series.
This approach raises questions about whether the show is being exploitative or truly attempting to sensitively address these topics. The repeated depiction of the scene, especially the third time, seems excessive and may cause viewers to question the show’s intentions.
Watch Online Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo web series all episodes on Disney+ Hotstar
The rivalry between Savitri and Munk in “Saas, Bahu aur Flamingo” attempts to depict the constant threat women face while holding positions of power. However, the threat appears to be superficial and fails to generate any real tension or interest in their conflict.
The use of the doomed queer romance trope to underscore India’s bigotry feels justified but overdone. When the show focuses on the family drama surrounding Savitri’s decision to choose a successor, it becomes more engaging. Many viewers can relate to the frustrating family dynamics caused by meddling relatives.
The world-building in “Saas, Bahu aur Flamingo” is captivating as Homi Adajania and the team gradually reveal the mysteries hidden within its castles, tunnels, dolls, and fauna. It highlights the contrast between Savitri’s professional and personal life.
The cinematography, editing, production design, costume design, and hair and make-up are of the highest quality. Every frame looks authentic, and the attention to detail is admirable. The action direction is particularly impressive as it showcases the actors’ abilities while pushing them out of their comfort zones.
Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo Web Series Review: Flawed and Interesting
The cast of “Saas, Bahu aur Flamingo” is nearly flawless. Dimple Kapadia shines as the cool-headed yet occasionally vulnerable matriarch. Isha Talwar remains cold and calculating throughout the eight-hour series, exploding only when things get serious.
Angira Dhar exudes confidence and strength to mask her emotional side, while Radhika Madan is aloof but capable of dialing it up when necessary. Varun Mitra is appropriately disillusioned, while Ashish Verma’s annoying character chews through every scene, with the high point being his “bad trip” sequence.
Udit Arora steals every scene he’s in, and Jimit Trivedi does a decent job of portraying Proshun’s descent into madness. Vipin Sharma’s portrayal is decent but unremarkable, as he’s playing a South Indian stereotype.
While the supporting actors bring their A-game, Deepak Dobriyal stands out as a sore thumb, struggling to break away from typecasting as he takes on villainous roles. Hopefully, he’ll learn from his mistakes and keep pushing himself.
The title of “Saas, Bahu aur Flamingo” makes it evident that Homi Adajania has attempted to blend daily soap-style drama with an international drug trade that exploits women. It’s a fascinating concept that works well, especially when the show delves into how men and women react differently to similar circumstances.
It’s an engaging character study that delivers the right level of surprise with its twists. However, when the series tries to broaden its scope to resolve conflicts, it becomes overly simplistic and derivative.
Nevertheless, the exceptional cast makes up for these shortcomings, with Dimple Kapadia rightfully taking the spotlight. Despite my reservations, I’m curious to see where Adajania and his team take the story in the next season, which I hope is called “Saas, Bahu aur Pink Unicorn.”
Nonetheless, this is my personal opinion, and I encourage you to watch “Saas, Bahu aur Flamingo” on Disney+ Hotstar and form your own opinion.