Call My Agent: Bollywood Review: Call My Agent: Bollywood is Netflix India’s newest attempt to create something edgy, innovative, and entertaining while remaining authentic.
Netflix India’s endeavours generally strive for this sweet spot between the “actual” and the masala, whether it’s with the good old Sacred Games, purchasing programmes like Kota Factory and Little Things, or even tackling numerous long-forgotten pieces like Chopsticks and Typewriter.
Call My Agent: Bollywood isn’t a fresh achievement; it’s based on another of Netflix’s own televised series, the French Dix Pour Cent, and while the two shows have a comparable degree of production and narrative,
The show’s direction is evident and deliberate, with the camera moving around, following actors in and out of rooms, spaces, and other locations, leaping to the rhythm of the characters’ frenzied lives, and striving to reproduce the hectic atmosphere of a huge, sophisticated talent management office.
It has the usual The Office documentary like intensity in moments, but it stays clear of the fake documentary genre since there is no breaking of the fourth wall or acknowledgment that this is, in fact, fiction.
The directing is stylized, and it would have succeeded if the storey itself had the type of chaotic substance it lacks.
The self-referential tone and candid assessment of “Bollywood” or the film business in general is a bit half-hearted. A glance into the rather harsh world behind the camera may have been refreshing and intriguing for the star-struck average man if it had the honest insight of series like Made In Heaven, but it does not.
It’s really difficult to sit through the set design and music composition. The soundtrack provides a melodramatic mood reminiscent of TV serials from the early 2000s, despite the show’s positioning as sincere, sardonic, quirky, hilarious, and friendly. It doesn’t look well on you.
The outfit designs are overly evident, and the set design is gaudy in an attempt to make the world colourful, which it is not in the text. Everyone seemed to be a bit too flawless to be financially strapped young people in one of the most expensive cities on the planet.
Why will the Goa girl be dressed in scruffy denims and sparkling nail paint, while the other solemn, gloomy Delhi girl will be dressed as if prepared to join a board meeting to address extremely important matters? The figures have a caricature-like appearance and feel to them.
Their personal lives are similarly uncomplicated and uninteresting, obviating the opportunity for conflict and drama that would have given these people a considerably richer and more memorable hue. Aahana Kumra is unbearable as a Muslim lesbian who yells to the top of her lungs at the least provocation and says janab after every statement.
Ayush Mehra is a Parsi lad who strives to keep his clientele satisfied and feeling put together, yet he has a BMW and an empty home in which no one else seems to come and leave for some reason, and which is always drenched in darkness.
Soni Razdan as a star-making agent, the best and oldest in the field, is bland and dull, looking puzzled for the most of the episode, and without the gravity and weight of an experienced manager that everyone looks up to. Razdan is possibly one of the worst-written characters of the bunch, and the rest of them aren’t much better.
Rajat Kapoor plays senior talent manager in ‘Call My Agent: Bollywood’
Rajat Kapoor, who plays another senior talent manager, is the only person who is pleasant and realistic, but he, too, suffers from a terribly written character and an even poorer scenario. Only Kapoor is entertaining to watch out of the four main characters. Throughout the play, I pondered why everyone walked, talked, and seemed so uneasy.
The narrative has so many flaws and easy plot twists that by the midway point of the second episode, one is yawning and knowing the outcome from a mile away. There’s not a lot to say about the narrative. It’s mostly about the pretty mundane and sanitised workings of Bollywood movie talent managers, and there’s not much else.
There isn’t much more going on save losing one client a movie here and another client a movie there, and scheduling one shot here that goes terribly wrong and another shoot there that likewise goes horribly wrong.
Subplots such as characters desiring children or individuals having random relationships with actors they’ve never met appear out of nowhere and lead nowhere.
The company’s and individuals’ financial difficulties appear out of nowhere and go just as quickly, neatly forgotten or fixed in passing, and whatever plot it is is a manufactured duplicate of a far superior original.
I would consider this to be an original work that should not be compared to the original, but when it is marketed as a remake and fails to work as either a remake or an original, there isn’t much to say.
Dia Mirza, Lillete Dubey, Ila Arun, and Richa Chadha make cameo appearances, giving the directors and writers a lot of room to do something entertaining and authentic, but they just skim the surface, wasting all the hilarious potential.
Bottom Lines: Call My Agent Bollywood Review
Call My Agent: Bollywood is a programme about nothing, and what it does try to be about doesn’t manage to tell us anything we don’t already know. As I have stated, it hardly touches the surface, creating no genuine conflict or resolves.
For a show about the lives of so-called exciting people, it is surprisingly dull, with a plot that is nothing more than a series of endless loopholes and forgotten subplots. Add in some mediocre music, costumes, and set design, and we’ve got an eye and ear ache on our hands.