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‘Taaza Khabar’ Review: Bhuvan Bam’s Show Relies Almost Too Heavily on Its Cast

'Taaza Khabar', starring Bhuvan Bam and Shriya Pilgaonkar, is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

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Taaza Khabar

‘Taaza Khabar’ Review: Bhuvan Bam’s Show Relies Almost Too Heavily on Its Cast

Mumbai sheher. The city that has been a character in films and shows for decades now, with microcosms contained almost within each other, is once again explored in Bhuvan Bam’s show Taaza Khabar. 

Bam plays Vasant aka Vasya, an attendant at a pay-for-use public urinal, who has his eyes brimming with hopes and dreams for a lavish future – for himself, his weary mother, and his partner.

Right on cue, a miracle changes his life. This magical realism is updated for the modern era by shifting this said vardaan (boon) to the medium of a smartphone screen.
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Vasya receives news notifications on his cellphone and eventually sees the opportunity for what it is – his way out of his circumstances. Bhuvan Bam, the YouTuber who became popular for his ability to play multiple roles, fits into Vasya’s changing psyche effortlessly. 

He has also clearly evolved as an actor – from his time on YouTube to Dindhora, this show is his best outing.

'Taaza Khabar', starring Bhuvan Bam and Shriya Pilgaonkar, is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

The cast of Taaza Khabar in a still from the show.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Director Himank Gaur deserves appreciation for the casting in this series, especially for the characters of Madhu (Shriya Pilgaonkar), Alpa (Atisha Naik), and Reshma (Shilpa Shukla).

Pilgaonkar is pitch perfect in her role as Madhu, a sex worker who is trying to get her boutique off the ground.

Even in silence, her inner turmoil at the man she loves changing into a “monster” in front of her is evident. 

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In a story that is rapidly descending into a palpable sense of dread and madness, Atisha Naik as Alpa is a warm and almost endearing presence. On the other hand, JD Chakravarthy as the politician Shetty is not nearly as menacing as he should be and comes off as a spoilt child. 

As the poster suggests, Taaza Khabar is the Bhuvan Bam show – the secondary characters, though better written than I expected – still remain only secondary in the plot.

'Taaza Khabar', starring Bhuvan Bam and Shriya Pilgaonkar, is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

Atisha Naik and Bhuvan Bam in a still from Taaza Khabar.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

There’s a sex worker with a heart of gold, an alcoholic and abusive father, corrupt politicians, a man actually named Kismet (destiny) and the list goes on. 

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Taaza Khabar is a typical rags-to-riches story ending in a life lesson about how undiluted power and money can often lead to ruin. It’s a return to the most basic of Bollywood storytelling which is also the show’s fatal flaw – it doesn’t add anything new to the template.

There are also several topics the show could’ve delved deeper into but Taaza Khabar’s understanding of socio-political issues and the characters’ placement in its setting remains superficial for the most. 

For instance, with the power that Vasya now wields, isn’t there much more good he could be doing? And yet, we only see him deal with this moral question once when it has a direct consequence on his life and on his story. 

'Taaza Khabar', starring Bhuvan Bam and Shriya Pilgaonkar, is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

Shriya Pilgaonkar in a still from Taaza Khabar.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Taaza Khabar is let down by its writing not being as immersive and its story and cast. The writing by Abbas Dalal and Hussain Dalal, who truly brought forth how important dialogues can be to a story with Brahmastra, is much better here but still, rather shoddy in places. 

Overall, the show isn’t a complete letdown and with the right tweaks and a deeper understanding of its own material, Taaza Khabar has the potential of being an immersive watch. 

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